There are many ways that victims of crime can seek financial assistance in Quebec. The province has a specific financial program for victims of crime, called l’indemniassition des victims d’actes criminels (IVAC), 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.

L’INDEMNIASSITION DES VICTIMES D’ACTES CRIMINELS (IVAC)

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

A person who is injured either physically or mentally as the result of a crime committed against them may receive compensation for those injuries through the IVAC program. The spouse, parents or dependants of deceased victims are also eligible to receive certain benefits through this program. To access compensation, the following criteria must be met:

  • The application for benefits must be made within two years of the date of the material damage, or the victim’s injury or death, for crimes committed on or after May 23, 2013
  • For crimes committed before May 23, 2013, the time limit is one year.
  • And, although a charge or conviction is not needed, the victim must file a police report and cooperate with police

A victim will not be eligible for compensation if they:

  • Contributed to their own injuries
  • Contributed to the death of the deceased victim
  • Were participating in criminal activities that contributed to their victimization
  • Were injured as a result of a crime committed involving a motor vehicle (in these cases victims would have recourse under the Automobile Insurance Act) unless the offender acted intentionally (used the car as a weapon for assault, for example)
  • If the victim is injured or killed in circumstances that would give recourse to the Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases, they shall not be granted compensation through this program, unless the benefits provided by that act are smaller then what would be provided under the Crime Victims Compensation Act. In these cases, a victim may claim the difference through the compensation program
  • Were injured or killed in circumstances that would give recourse to indemnities under the Automobile Insurance Act (such as a hit and run). In these cases the victim must claim those indemnities under that Act. However, if the vehicle is used as a weapon to commit assault, the victim may be eligible to receive compensation through IVAC

Compensation cannot be awarded in cases of crimes against property (such as break and enter), robbery without violence, vandalism, or fraud, or in hit and run circumstances involving a motor vehicle.

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS

Victims and family members of victims may receive varying levels of compensation depending on their individual circumstances. There is no overall maximum amount; however some specific expenses may be limited.

Victims may be eligible for compensation for the following:

  • Temporary total disability: may receive indemnities for the period in which you are unable to work or to resume usual activities
  • Medical assistance: expenses such as those associated with ambulance fees, medications, transportation, orthotics/prosthetics, dental care or physiotherapy may be reimbursed
  • Permanent disability benefits: determined according to the degree of physical disability or mental impairment
  • Rehabilitation services: professional services associated with psychotherapy, moving expenses, protection related expenses (such as self-defence classes), home assistance services, or job training/refresher courses, can be reimbursed by the IVAC program

Family members or dependants of deceased victims may be eligible for the following benefits/compensation:

  • Death benefits for dependants of the deceased victim: the amount of the death benefit is determined based on the victim’s income.
  • A $2,000 indemnity may be granted to the parents of a minor child who had died as a result of a crime.
  • Funeral expenses may be reimbursed up to $3,000.
  • Costs associated with transporting the body may be reimbursed up to $500.
  • Those who are closely related to a deceased victim or anyone who contributes to a victim’s rehabilitation may also receive psychotherapeutic rehabilitation services.
  • Victims or dependants of deceased victims may also receive up to $1,000 in compensation for property damages if the victim was arresting or attempting to arrest an offender, was assisting a peace officer in making an arrest, or was lawfully preventing or attempting to prevent the commission of an offense at the time they were injured or killed.

APPLICATION PROCESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION

You should be aware that the decision making process to determine if you are eligible for, and what amount of compensation you can receive, will take a minimum of three weeks once IVAC receives your application. If you need assistance with filling out this application, a friend, family member or worker from a victim agency can help you to do so.

Application Forms can be found online, or be obtained from IVAC or from any Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail (CSST) office. Once your application is filled out, you should mail it to:

Direction de l’IVAC
1199, rue De Bleury
CP 6056, Succursale Centre-ville
Montréal, QC H3C 4E1

For more information, you may contact IVAC at 514-906-3019 or toll free at 1-800-561-4822, or by e-mail: ivac@csst.qc.ca.

APPEALING A DECISION

If you are not satisfied with a decision made by IVAC, you may challenge that decision. To do this, you must contact IVAC within 30 days of receiving the decision, or within 90 days in cases involving permanent disability. You have to write a short letter explaining why you are challenging the decision. If you wish, you can also meet with an IVAC officer to explain your situation in person. An officer will review your file and make a decision within a reasonable time frame. The letters can be sent to the same address shown above.

If after your file has been reviewed, you are still not satisfied with the decision, you can appeal to the Tribunal Administratif du Québec within 60 days of the date you were notified of the decision. More Information about how to do this can be found online.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS OFFERED BY EMPLOI AND SOLIDARITÉ SOCIAL QUÉBEC

ELIGIBILITY

There are two financial assistance programs available to low-income individuals and families in Quebec: the Social Assistance Program (used to grant last-resort financial assistance to people with no severely limited capacity for employment) and the Social Solidarity Program (used to grant last-resort financial assistance to people with severely limited capacity for employment). For either program, the following eligibility requirements must be met:

  • You must prove that your resources (cash, property, earnings, benefits and income) are equal to or less than your needs
  • You must be a Québec resident and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • You must be aged 18 or over or, if you are under 18, you must be married, have been married, or be the parent of a dependent child

To be eligible for assistance under the Social Solidarity Program, you must also be able to present a medical report stating that your physical or psychological condition is significantly impaired and, therefore, in combination with your socio-occupational profile (little schooling, no work experience), you or (your spouse) have severely limited capacity for employment.

You can use an online tool called Simul Aide to help you determine your eligibility for either of these programs.

TYPES OF BENEFITS AVAILABLE

The following benefits are available to applicants under either of the programs listed above; however the amounts of assistance available may vary depending on which program you have qualified for.

  • Basic Benefits: This benefit is meant to assist individuals in being able to meet their basic financial needs (food, shelter, etc.) A list of the maximum amounts that are available to individuals and families based on their current situation can be found online.
  • Health Benefits: assistance is provided for expenses associated with prescription drugs, dental care, optometry services, health and safety equipment and accessories, medical care (transportation and accommodation costs) and special health needs.
  • School Expenses: benefits to help cover your childrens’ back-to-school expenses. The amount differs depending on whether your child attends kindergarten, elementary school or secondary school in a general education program. For children aged 16 and over, you must submit proof of school attendance.
  • Funeral Expenses: a special benefit may be granted to reimburse funeral expenses incurred for a deceased person. The person who is deceased does not have to have been a recipient of last-resort financial assistance. The maximum amount of this benefit is $2,500. You must apply for this benefit within 30 days of the funeral service by filling out the Application for the payment of funeral expenses.
  • Pregnancy/Nursing Benefits: a special pregnancy benefit of $55 a month is provided every month of the pregnancy until you give birth and is designed to help recipients buy healthy food during their pregnancy. Recipients may also be eligible for additional benefits to provide adequate and nutritious food to your child after birth for up to one year. You must provide proof of your pregnancy and/or child’s birth to be eligible for these benefits.

APPLICATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION

A thorough Explanation of the Application Process is available online.

All of the forms you will need can be found by following that link. You should send your completed application forms to your local Employment Centre. If you need assistance in applying for financial assistance, you can also contact your local Employment Centre for help.

APPEALING A DECISION

If you do not agree with a decision made regarding your application for financial assistance, you may appeal that decision within 90 days. You must fill out an Application for review and send it to your local employment centre. If, after the decision has been reviewed, you still do not agree with the outcome you may file an appeal with the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ). More Information about this process is available online or by contacting TAQ in your area at 514-873-7154 (Montréal Area), 418-643-3418 (Québec Area), or 1-800-567-0278 (elsewhere in Québec) for more information.

COMMISSION DE LA SANTÉ ET DE LA SÉCURITÉ DU TRAVAIL DU QUÉBEC

The Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail du Québec (CSST) provides financial compensation if you are injured at work.

ELIGIBILITY

If you criminally injured (physically or psychologically) while at your place of work, you are eligible for compensation under from the Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail du Québec.

In order to be eligible for compensation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The crime must have been committed against you at your place of work
  • Your employer must be notified immediately of the injury, and must in turn notify the CSST
  • You must complete an application form within six months of the injury or death to be eligible

TYPES OF COVERAGE AND ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

Benefits for Injured Workers:
  • A worker who suffers a work-related accident or disease and who sustains permanent physical or mental impairment is entitled to compensation for bodily injury that takes into consideration:
    o   Degree and severity of the disability
    o   Physical disfigurement
    o   Suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Workers who are injured on the job are entitled to an indemnity which is calculated using the percentage of impairment and the age of the person when the injury occurred. More Information about this is available online.
  • Coverage of medical costs associated with the services of health professionals, care or treatment provided by a public health institution, medicine and other pharmaceutical products, prosthesis, any care, treatment, technical aid or expenses determined by regulation by the CSST, travel and accommodation expenses incurred to receive care, undergo medical examinations or take part in a personal rehabilitation program
  • Coverage for damaged clothing (the maximum amount available is $597, with a deductable of $50
  • Repair or replacement of a prosthesis (up to $597)
  • Repair or replacement of glasses (up to $181 with a deductible of $50) or contact lenses (up to $86 with a $50 deductible)
Benefits Available in the Case of Death:
  • If the worker was killed at their workplace, the spouse or children of the deceased person are entitled to a monthly (up to $2,265.41/month) as well as a lump sum indemnity (up to $210,000). Minor children of a deceased worker may also be eligible for a monthly or lump sum indemnity, divided equally among all siblings, including children who are over the age of majority but under 25 and are full-time students, and the children over the age of majority for whom the worker was paying more than 50% of the costs at the time of his or her death. More Information on the amounts of these indemnities and how they are calculated can be found online.
  • Funeral expenses may be reimbursed to the person having incurred them up to a maximum amount of $4,826.
  • Coverage for the costs of transporting the deceased’s body to the funeral home closest to his or her regular place of residence, if in Québec, is also provided upon production of supporting documents.

APPLICATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION

You must remember that your application must be received by CSST within six months of the injury or death. All of the necessary Application Forms can be found online.

Once you have filled out the application you must return it to your local CSST office. Addresses for CSST offices are included on the application forms.

If you have any questions about this program or require assistance in completing your application, you can visit the CSST Website  or call them toll-free at 1-866-302-2778.

SOCIÉTE DE L`ASSURANCE AUTOMOBILE DU QUÉBEC

The Sociéte de l`Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) provides compensation for Victims of Vehicular Accidents.

ELIGIBILITY

The SAAQ strives to compensate all victims of vehicular accidents who do not have private insurance, including those of a criminal nature (such as hit and runs or those involving the use of alcohol), for any bodily injury incurred as a result of the accident. If the victim dies as a result of the accident, the victim’s spouse, and dependents and (in some cases) parents, may also receive compensation. Compensation is available regardless of whether or not you are fully or partially at fault for the accident, as long as you contact the SAAQ within three years of the date of the accident, death, or appearance of injury.

If your vehicle or other property is damaged in a collision and the identity of the driver or owner of the vehicle that caused the accident is not known (as in the case of a hit-and-run), you can submit a claim with the SAAQ for compensation of property damage as well, as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The accident occurred in Québec
  • You are a Québec resident
  • You are the owner of the vehicle damaged
  • You are the owner of the property damaged (e.g.: a fence)
  • You were not wholly at fault for the accident
  • Your insurance policy does not cover a hit-and-run collision
  • You reported the accident to the police within 48 hours after the event
  • You submitted a claim to the SAAQ no later than 60 days after the accident
  • You had no repair work done on your vehicle or property before the SAAQ‘s adjuster estimated the damage

In the following circumstances, you would be considered ineligible for compensation (this includes victims of hit and run accidents):

  • Your insurance (private) covers property damage you sustained
  • You were driving your vehicle while your licence was under suspension or was not valid
  • Your vehicle’s registration was not valid or licensing fees had not been paid up to date
  • Property damage was caused by a motor vehicle taking part in a race, competition or show on a track or area closed to other traffic
  • You are resident of a jurisdiction outside Québec in Canada or in the USA which does not grant Quebecers rights equivalent in the same situation to those enjoyed in Québec

TYPES OF COVERAGE

Compensation for all victims of vehicular accidents:

All victims of vehicular accidents may receive compensation for the following:

  • The loss of your employment income or employment insurance benefits
  • Your inability to take care of an invalid or a child under the age of 16
  • The loss of an academic term or a school year
  • Expenses incurred because of the accident (e.g.: ambulance transportation, personal assistance, clothing, glasses, etc.)
  • Diminished quality of life (physical suffering and pain) caused by the accident
  • Expenses incurred as a result of your rehabilitation
  • The death of your spouse or a dependant. Up to $4,957 may be provided to for funeral expenses. A Complete List of the type and amount of benefits you can receive if your loved one is killed in a vehicular accident can be found online.

Property Damage for victims of a hit-and-run collision

  • The SAAQ pays compensation up to $10,000 for property damage to a vehicle for victims of a hit-and-run accident. This includes damage to property located inside of the vehicle at the time of the collision.
  • All compensation payable for property damage is subject to a deductible. The deductible will be the higher of a) $500 for a vehicle valued under $5,000 on the day when the accident occurred, or b) 10% of the worth of a vehicle valued $5,010 or more on the day of the accident.
  • The deductible is $500 for damage to property other than a vehicle.

HOW TO MAKE A CLAIM WITH SAAQ

To claim compensation with the SAAQ, the first thing you should do is call the SAAQ (they can be reached by calling 1-888-810-2525) to receive a claim number and have a file opened for you. The compensation officer assigned to your case will discuss all of the necessary additional documents you should include with your claim (medical documents, police report, etc.). You should then fill out the claim form and return it, and all other documentation, to the SAAQ. Application Forms can be found online, and can be submitted:

  • Through the Document Submission Online Service
  • By fax: 1 866 289-7952
  • By mail:
    Société de l’assurance Automobile du Québec
    Services aux Accidentés (DI)
    Case postale 2500, succursale Terminus
    Québec G1K 8A2

Once your claim is submitted, the compensation officer studies the claim, obtains the necessary information, authorizes the payment of indemnities and sends you the written decision by mail within 90 days.

APPEALING A DECISION

If you do not agree with a decision made by the SAAQ, you may file an Application for Review Form to have the decision reconsidered.

For further information or to obtain a form by mail, you should contact an information clerk at: 1-888-810 2525 or 1-800-463 6898.

In order for your application for review to be admissible, you must return this form duly signed and dated within 60 days of when you received the decision which you are contesting. The SAAQ then has 90 days to render a new decision or confirm the original one.

*See “A Victim’s Guide to Financial Assistance Available to Canadians” for additional information on Federal Programs and restitution.


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Last modified: May 13, 2016