- 1 CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR VICTIMS
- 2 PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
- 3 WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
- 4 FACILITY ASSOCIATION
There are many ways that victims of crime can seek financial assistance in PEI. The province has a specific program for victims of crime called the Criminal Injuries Counselling Program for Victims, as well as other programs available to the general population that victims may access if they are in financial need. All of these programs are listed and discussed below. If you have specific questions about any of these programs, you can find contact information for each below as well.
CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR VICTIMS
In PEI, victims or the dependants and parents of deceased victims, can apply to receive compensation for expenses related to actual bodily harm, emotional trauma resulting from sexual assault, and other emotional or psychological injury. To apply, the following criteria must be met:
- The crime must have occurred in PEI after September 30, 1989, but you do not have to currently be residing in PEI.
- You must have made a police report and cooperated with police and victims services. While a charge or conviction is not necessary for an award of compensation, compensation may be withheld until a verdict is given if in the opinion of the program, there is inadequate evidence to prove that a criminal act/victimization has occurred.
- The application must be received within one year of the crime occurring, although some exceptions may be made.
- The PEI compensation program is used as a last resort. This means that if you are eligible for, or are receiving benefits or having costs covered from other sources (such as the offender, insurance, employment insurance, worker’s compensation, a civil suit or social assistance) the amount of compensation awarded by the program may be reduced.
Compensation could be reduced or denied based on these following factors as well:
- The victim provoked or was partly to blame for the offense committed,
- If the victim were doing something unlawful at the time of the offense
- Whether the victim’s or dependant’s past character and lifestyle contributed in whole or in part to the injury or death of the victim,
- Previous criminal injuries compensation awarded to the victim.
TYPE OF COVERAGE AVAILABLE
The maximum amount of compensation available for the injury or death of one person is $15,000. The maximum amount available for one criminal incident that results in injuries or deaths to multiple victims is $30,000 (for example, if there were four victims of the same crime, $30,000 would be split between all four victims).
Victims and family members or dependants of the victim may be eligible for compensation for expenses such as:
- Financial loss resulting from total, partial or temporary disability affecting the victim’s capacity for work
- Funeral expenses
- Medical or dental expenses
- Financial loss to dependants resulting from the victim’s death
- Pain and suffering
- Maintenance of a child born as a result of sexual assault
- Financial loss incurred in respect of grief or sorrow as a result of the victim’s death
- Other financial loss resulting from the victim’s injury or death
- Any expense that in the opinion of the Minister or, in the case of a small claim, in the opinion of a designated person, it was reasonable to incur
If it is shown that the victim is in immediate financial need, the board may make interim payments to the victim if there is a reasonable probability that compensation would be awarded to them. If you do have immediate financial needs, you should speak to a worker at the program to ensure that they know your situation and can begin the interim payments as soon as possible.
APPLICATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION
To receive the correct application forms, you will need to contact PEI Victim Services and they will mail them to you. If you need assistance in filling out the application, Victim Services is also able to answer any questions you may have and can support you through the application process. Relevant information that is often needed in addition to the actual application includes medical reports, letters from employers or counsellors, receipts, and information from the court process.
Once your application is complete, you should send it back to Victim Services. Once it is received, the completed application and a report by the Victim Services counsellor you have been working with will be sent to the Provincial Manager of Victim Services. If the claim is for less than $1,000, the manager can decide the final amount of compensation given. For all other claims, the Provincial Manager must identify how much they recommend and the Attorney General makes the final decision; instances like this may take up to two years to be completed.
For more information about the Compensation Program, or to begin the application process, you should contact the Victim Services branch that is closest to you:
Queens and Kings Counties:
Honourable C.R. McQuaid Family Law Centre
1 Harbourside Access Road
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
263 Harbour Drive
Suite 19, 2nd Floor
Summerside, PE C1N 5P1
Tel: 902-888-8217 or 902-888-8218
APPEALING A DECISION
If a victim does not agree with the decision on their claim, an appeal may be made to the PEI Supreme Court on any question of law within 30 days of the decision being made. This means that you can only appeal if you feel Victim Services did not appropriately apply or follow the legislation of the Victims of Crime Act or other relevant statute; you cannot make an appeal if you simply disagree with the amount awarded to you.
If additional information about your injury becomes known after your claim has been decided, you have two years to apply for a variation. All supporting information and documents must be given to your Victim Services worker within one year of applying for a variation of your award.
Generally speaking, social assistance benefits are intended for those persons who do not have the following resources:
- Sufficient income to meet basic need requirements
- Family Resources
- Short-term Credit
- Sufficient Assets
- Sufficient Employment or training opportunities
The level of need of the applicant is assessed by conducting a needs test, and can only be determined after a social assistance worker and the applicant examine of the various circumstances that led to their decision to seek financial assistance.
Before an applicant can be granted financial assistance, the worker must ensure that all other alternative sources of income have been examined and exhausted (i.e., EI Benefits, CPP Benefits, Worker’s Compensation, etc.).
In order to maintain eligibility for assistance through this program, the applicant must:
- Accept employment where reasonable opportunities arise, or to undergo training or treatment, or both, necessary to improve or restore their capacity to support him/herself and their dependents;
- In the case of a minor, to attend school or accept employment leading towards self-support, unless, in the opinion of the Department, there is a valid reason for not doing so;
- In cases of divorce, separation or desertion, initiate action and enforcement of any court order concerning obligations of another person to support or maintain the person making the application. The Department may waive this provision where compliance with this requirement would adversely affect the applicant or prove futile or unreasonable; and
- Report to the Department any changes in circumstances which may make necessary an adjustment of the amount of assistance being paid
TYPES OF BENEFITS AVAILABLE
The Social Assistance Program can provide benefits for the following expenses:
- Household supplies and personal requirements
- Care in residential institutions
- Travel and transportation expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Health care (prescription drugs, dental care, optic care, respite care, medical supplies, etc.)
- Comfort allowances ($53/month)
A full list of all of the benefits provided and the maximum allotted amounts for those receiving financial assistance from this program can be found by scrolling to the “Expenses” section. It is important to note that the maximum amounts available will depend on the number of people/dependents in your family and whether you or any of the people in your family have a disability.
Victims of crime should note that money they receive from the PEI Victim Criminal Injuries Compensation Program for pain and suffering or grief and sorrow are exempted as a source of income under this program (receiving compensation will not affect your eligibility for assistance under this program).
APPLICATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION
To begin your application for financial assistance, you should contact the Social Assistance Program and speak with a representative. The worker will begin to fill out the necessary forms with you, either over the phone or may ask that you come in person so that they can review all of your documentation. The application process can be long, as a full review of your financial situation is necessary. You may also read more information specific to new applicants.
You should contact the social assistance office nearest you to begin the application as soon as possible. Contact information for each of the regional offices is list here:
General Information: 902-620-3777 or Toll-free: 1-866-594-3777
APPEALING A DECISION
If you do not agree with the decision made by the social assistance program about the amount or type of assistance given to you, you may appeal the decision by notifying the chairperson of the Social Assistance Appeal Board within 30 days from the date the decision was made. The chair can either confirm or vary the decision, but cannot provide more assistance that is set out in the legislation and regulations. To contact the chair, you should ask the worker assigned to your case for chairperson’s contact information.
WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Compensation is payable to a worker when the injury/death arises out of and in the course of employment. In most cases, this would include workers who are criminally victimized at work as well. Compensation will not be granted to workers who have left the premises of their employer for personal errands or refreshments, to workers travelling to and from work, or if the worker‘s injury is due to willful and serious misconduct of the worker (in these cases, compensation for the injury, including medical aid, is not payable for the first three weeks following the injury).
TYPES OF BENEFITS AVAILABLE
Some of the benefits you may be entitled to include:
- Medical aid benefits: to cover the costs of treatment and expenses associated with medications, dental treatment, chiropractic services, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, medical supplies, assistive devices, transportation costs related to the injury.
- Wage loss benefits: can be either temporary or extended. Temporary benefits may continue as long as you are unable to work, as supported by medical evidence, and you are participating in your recovery. Extended benefits are awarded if you do not fully recover from your work-related injury or illness, your medical condition has stabilized, and your rehabilitation process is complete.
*Note: your benefits may be reduced by other sources of income you receive while your claim is still active.
- Expense reimbursement: to compensate workers for medications and other expenses related to their injury. Such expenses include transportation, meals, accommodation, and medications and medical supplies that are approved by the WCB.
- Survivor benefits: benefits are available to the spouse, children and dependents of an employee killed at work. The WCB will assist with the costs of burial up to $10,000, and will also provide monthly payments to spouses, children under 18 (or 22 if pursuing post secondary education), and where applicable to the guardian of the deceased workers child(ren).
APPLICATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION
After receiving medical assistance for your injuries, the next thing you should do is complete a Worker’s Report Form.
After completing it fully, you should return it to the WCB at:
Workers Compensation Board of PEI
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7L7
Or Fax to: 902-368-5696
If you require assistance in filing out the form, or have questions about the program or your eligibility, you should call the WCB at 902-368-5680. More information on the claims process.
APPEALING A DECISION
If you disagree with a decision made by the WCB, you can appeal the decision by requesting an internal reconsideration within 90 days of the initial decision being made. You need to complete a Request for Internal Reconsideration Form, and return it to the WCB at the address or fax number above. If you need assistance with or have questions about this process you should call the Internal Reconsideration Office at 902-368-5674 for more information.
If after a review has been completed, you still do not agree with the decision made, you may file an appeal with the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal. If you require assistance with your appeal, you should contact the Worker Advisor Program at 902-368-6460 or toll-free at 1-800-658-1806 for free advice and information on this process.
Compensation for victims involved in accidents with uninsured or unknown (hit and run) drivers.
In all of the Atlantic provinces, drivers who are injured or killed in accidents with uninsured or unknown (as in the case of hit and run accidents) drivers can turn to the Facility Association for assistance in getting the costs incurred as a result of the accident covered. The type of assistance drivers are eligible for will depend greatly on the area they live in, whether they have their own personal auto insurance, and the type of coverage included in their insurance plan. The money used to cover these costs comes from the Uninsured Automobile Funds for each of the Atlantic Provinces.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured or unknown driver, you should contact the Facility Association at 1-800-268-9572 for more information on how to take advantage of the services they offer. You may also review the legislation that the Facility Association must follow when assisting Prince Edward Island drivers who access their services.
*See “A Victim’s Guide to Financial Assistance Available to Canadians” for additional information on Federal Programs and restitution.