Criminal Injury Compensation

Who is eligible?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board provides financial compensation to victims and family members of deceased victims of violent crimes committed in Ontario. Anyone injured as a result of violent crime in Ontario can apply. If a person dies as a result of violent crime in Ontario, any family members that were dependent on the deceased person or who paid expenses because of the death can apply for compensation. A person can also apply for compensation if she or he suffered “mental or nervous shock” because she or he witnessed a crime that resulted in death.

Violent crimes may include murder, attempted murder, firearm offences, poisoning, arson, assault and abuse. The injuries may be physical or psychological, but they must be more than transient or trivial in nature to be eligible for compensation.

The Board does not award compensation for:

 

  • crimes committed outside Ontario;
  • damaged, lost or stolen property;
  • motor vehicle incidents (unless the vehicle was used to intentionally assault or harm someone);
  • legal fees;
  • distress or lost wages for attending criminal court;
  • workplace  accidents;
  • accidental death;
  • suicide;
  • pain and suffering of family members coping with injury or death of a loved one (however, the board may give compensation for bereavement counselling where there has been a death);
  • financial loss due to fraud;
  • neglect or abandonment of children (unless it amounts to criminal negligence);
  • accidental injuries;
  • negligence by an institution; or
  • malicious prosecution.

 

Compensation may be awarded even if the alleged perpetrator has not been prosecuted or convicted of the offence giving rise to the injury or death. Accordingly, you may still be eligible for compensation if no charges were laid or if there was no conviction in a criminal proceeding.

 

An application for compensation must be made within two years of the date of the incident.

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Compensable injuries

 

Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, compensation may be awarded for:

 

 (a) expenses actually and reasonably incurred or to be incurred because of the victim’s injury or death;

 (b) monetary loss incurred by the victim as a result of total or partial disability affecting the victim’s capacity for work;

(c) monetary loss incurred by dependants as a result of the victim’s death;

(d) pain and suffering;

(e) support of a child born as a result of rape;

(f) other pecuniary loss resulting from the victim’s injury and any expense that, in the opinion of the Board, it is reasonable to incur.

Some examples of compensable losses arising from physical injury and/or psychological harm that resulted from a violent crime in Ontario include treatment expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

 

Some examples of compensable losses arising from death that resulted from a violent crime in Ontario include funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, bereavement counselling. In circumstances where a person suffers “mental or nervous shock” from witnessing a scene of a crime that resulted in death, that person may receive compensation for treatment expenses, travel to treatment expenses, loss of income and pain and suffering.

 

In exceptional circumstances where the claimant can demonstrate urgent financial need, the Board may also grant compensation before the hearing to cover funeral and/or medical treatment expenses.

What can you get?

If one person is injured or killed as a result of a violent crime in Ontario, the largest possible award is $25,000 paid as a lump sum. If more than one person is injured or killed, then the Board may pay up to $150,000 as a lump sum to all of the claimants.

Ongoing monthly payments can be awarded. The maximum monthly amount is $1,000 and cannot exceed a total of $365,000. If a monthly payment is awarded, then the maximum lump sum paid is $12,500.

 

How do you apply?

Applications for compensation are made in writing to the Board. There are separate forms for injury and death.

 

How can we help?

At PooranLaw, we provide advice and representation to victims and family members of deceased victims of violent crimes to receive compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. We can assist you to put together an effective and thorough application and provide representation at the hearing.