The Application Process
Review or Appeal of Decisions
Please read the following general information about the process of applying for compensation. This is not intended to be a complete guide to our process, but it does explain some of the things you will need to think about when deciding whether to apply.
This guide is intended to help you complete an application for compensation arising from the death of someone because of a crime. A separate guide is available if you are applying for compensation arising from an injury. If you have any additional questions, contact us toll free at 1-800-372-7463 (if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, call 416-326-2900) or visit our website at www.sjto.ca/cicb.
The Victim Support Line (VSL), through FindHelp, provides a province-wide, toll-free telephone information line providing access to information for victims, in the language of their choice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you would like to find out about services in your area, or would like to inquire about organizations that might be willing to assist with the completion of your application, call the Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2888 (if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, call 416-314-2447) and choose option 1.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (the Board) is an adjudicative tribunal that is governed by the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act (the Act). The Board decides on the eligibility of an application for compensation under the Act after it holds hearings (oral, electronic or documentary hearings). The Board recognizes that no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one.
If a person died as a result of a violent crime in Ontario, or while making an arrest or assisting a peace officer with law enforcement duties, or while trying to prevent a crime, any family members that were dependent on the deceased person or who paid expenses as a result of the death (including expenses to care for one or more children of the deceased person, or expenses for bereavement counselling) can apply for compensation. A person can also apply for compensation if he/she witnessed or came upon the scene of the crime that resulted in the death and he/she meets the criteria for a finding of "mental or nervous shock".
If a claimant is under the age of 18, or is unable to manage his/her personal affairs, a legal guardian must make the application.
If you believe you meet the criteria for a claim, complete an application form with as much detail as possible. Fax, email or mail the application form to the addresses or numbers shown on the form, along with any supporting documents. It is important to keep a copy of any document you send us, as these documents will not be returned to you.
When we receive an application form, we assign it a file number. We will inform you of that file number, and you should write it on any further correspondence or documents you send to us. We may contact you to ensure that the application form is complete. We require information and documents to support your claim. These documents may include receipts for funeral costs or other expenses associated with the death, counselling reports, police reports, court files and so on. In some instances, we can assist you in obtaining documents.
When we determine that your file is substantially complete, we will schedule a documentary, electronic or oral hearing. We will tell you the time, location and type of hearing we will hold. You are responsible for ensuring that we have your current contact information (e.g. telephone numbers and mailing address).
To make it easier to move between the guide and the form, the headings in this guide match the headings on the application. For example, "Part 1 - Claimant Information" below is the same as the heading for the first section of the form.
A claimant is a person who wishes to receive compensation. If you are the claimant, you must ensure that your contact information is correct. You must also inform us if your contact information changes while we are processing your claim to ensure that we can send documents to the correct address and can contact you directly, if necessary.
This section is completed only if you are applying on behalf of someone else (the claimant). If you, as an applicant, have a Court Order confirming custody, wardship or guardianship of a claimant who is a minor (child under the age of 18), or if you have been appointed as an attorney for the claimant pursuant to a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property, we require copies of these documents, and you must send them with the completed application.
In addition to completing this section of the form, we require a copy of the death certificate or any other documents that may verify the death. Please include a copy of the death certificate with the completed application.
While it is not necessary for you to have a lawyer, agent or paralegal, you may choose to have one. Once you hire a legal representative, we will communicate only with your lawyer, agent or paralegal.
We require copies of receipts and/or supporting documents to compensate you for any of the items listed below. Please note that we will not return any original receipts or documents sent to us.
Please refer to Part 12 (Mental or Nervous Shock Claim) for the types of compensation available for mental or nervous shock claims.
If you need immediate financial or other assistance, call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888 (if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, call 416-314-2447) to find out about other services available in your community (e.g. Victim Quick Response Program).
You may seek an interim award prior to a hearing for support, funeral expenses and/or medical/treatment expenses (s.14 of the Act). We may exercise our discretion to make such an award only in exceptional circumstances when a claimant can demonstrate an urgent need for the funds prior to a hearing. To be considered eligible to receive compensation before a hearing, you must provide sufficient documentary evidence, such as police and/or medical records, to lead us to conclude that an award would likely be made at the time of the hearing. If you wish to apply for an interim award, please contact us toll free at 1-800-372-7463 (if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, call 416-326-2900).
When one person has died as a result of a violent crime, the maximum award that we may pay as a lump sum is $25,000. When more than one person has died as the result of a violent crime, we can award a maximum of $150,000 as a lump sum to all of the claimants.
Ongoing monthly periodic awards can be made in certain cases when there is an ongoing financial loss (e.g. lost income, child care expenses). When a periodic award is made, the amount of the lump sum component cannot exceed $12,500 (s.19(1) of the Act). The maximum amount that we may award as a periodic payment is $1,000 per month. Periodic payments cannot exceed a total of $365,000. Periodic awards are reviewed on an annual basis to determine whether there is still a need for the funds.
If you receive an award from us while you are also receiving benefits from either the Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works, our award may have an impact on those benefits. We recommend that you contact your ODSP/OW caseworker for more information.
An application for compensation must be made within two years of the date of the death. However, we may extend the time for filing where it is warranted (s.6 of the Act). When we receive an extension request, we take into consideration several factors, including:
The Board will render its decision on the extension based on written information you provide including the information you have given in the application form. If your request for an extension is approved, your application for compensation can proceed. If your request for an extension will be denied, we will send you a letter explaining why. You will have an opportunity to make submissions before we render a final decision. You may appeal this decision to the Superior Court of Justice.
You must inform us of any other compensation you have received or will receive in respect of the death (s.17(3) of the Act) (e.g. life insurance, CPP benefits, etc.). This information will be taken into consideration when we decide whether to make an award for compensation and the amount of the award.
If you have started a civil action, you must provide copies of the Statement of Claim, Statement of Defence, or any settlement documents that were issued to you. If you are successful in the civil action, you must reimburse the Board for any compensation you received from us (s.26(5.1) of the Act).
If there has been a criminal conviction against the individual who committed the crime, we will refer to him/her as the "offender". In all other circumstances, we will refer to him/her as the "alleged offender". Please provide us with the full name, birth date and full address of the (alleged) offender(s), if known to you. We are obligated, by law, to make a reasonable attempt to locate and notify the (alleged) offender(s) of your application. If you have concerns about our notification of an (alleged) offender or any disclosure of personal information to the (alleged) offender, you must tell us during the application process.
We require sufficient details regarding the crime to ensure the incident meets the eligibility criteria for compensation (s.5 of the Act). We may award compensation only when a person died in the Province of Ontario as a result of:
The following are examples of the types of evidence we may consider to confirm that a violent crime occurred:
We must review all of the relevant circumstances, including the extent to which the behaviour of the deceased person contributed to the circumstances that resulted in his/her death, when we decide whether to award compensation and the amount (s.17(1) of the Act). Accordingly, we must consider the context in which the incident took place, including any involvement the deceased person had in criminal activities. We will request information from the police regarding their investigations surrounding the crime.
We may also refuse compensation or reduce the amount of compensation if we are satisfied that you have refused reasonable cooperation with or failed to report promptly the offence to a law enforcement agency (s.17(2) of the Act).
If there was a criminal trial as a result of the crime, we will obtain documents regarding the outcome on your behalf. If the matter is still before the courts, we may not be able to proceed with your hearing until after the trial is completed, depending on the circumstances of the case. We decide this on a case-by-case basis.
We may compensate you for some or all of the following costs:
We may also award you compensation for any other reasonable expenses incurred as a direct result of the death. However, we do not generally pay for thank you cards, postage, flowers, food, cars, police escort, clothing for relatives, clothing for the deceased person, and legal or accounting fees for settling the estate.
You must provide copies of receipts and/or supporting documents before we will compensate you for expenses. Please send these documents with the completed application.
We may award compensation for the cost of bereavement counselling for:
We will assess compensation for bereavement counselling for family members after claims for dependent children and funeral expenses have been assessed and paid out.
Consideration will be given to the total number of potential family members who could apply to assess the amount of financial compensation available to each of them. Priority will be given to those family members who lived with the deceased person at the time of his/her death.
You must provide copies of receipts and/or supporting documents before we will compensate you for expenses. Please send these documents with the completed application.
We may provide financial support for dependants of a deceased person. A dependant may be a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, brother, sister or any other relative of the deceased person who was being financially supported by the deceased person prior to his/her death. Each dependant must provide proof of financial dependence on the deceased person, such as bank statements, Income Tax Assessments, Birth Certificates (Long Form) for minor dependants, and other documents confirming spousal and/or child support.
We cannot award compensation in the form of pain and suffering for the grief and sorrow that follow a death, or for problems in dealing with the aftermath of the occurrence, such as difficulty in adjusting to a new lifestyle, stress, financial problems or having to attend court.
However, if you witnessed the crime or came upon the scene of the crime that resulted in the death and you experienced severe psychological trauma (and were not physically harmed) we may consider the injury known as "mental or nervous shock", which is a legal term and not a medical condition (s.1 of the Act).
You must meet all of the following criteria in order for there to be a finding of "mental or nervous shock":
The following are examples of the types of evidence we may consider to confirm your claim for mental or nervous shock:
If you meet the criteria for a finding of "mental or nervous shock", we may compensate you for the following items:
We require copies of receipts and/or supporting documents to compensate you for the items listed above.
Treatment information assists us in assessing your claim for mental or nervous shock and in deciding appropriate compensation. We will request reports from your treatment providers to make a decision on the claim. It is your responsibility to obtain these reports or ensure they are returned directly to us by your treatment providers. You will be provided with instructions for doing so during the processing of your application. We will pay the treatment providers directly for providing us with records or reports. We will pay the full cost of each hospital record and up to $100 for each medical and therapy report that we request, but we will not pay for records or reports that we have not specifically requested.
Compensation may be awarded for your loss of wages/income as a result of a total or partial disability affecting your ability to work (s.7(1)(b) of the Act). This type of award is paid if the following criteria are met:
Your employment information is needed to calculate your net income loss, and we must take into consideration any benefit, compensation or indemnity paid or payable to you from any source other than general welfare assistance or family benefits (s.17(3) of the Act). We may award up to a maximum of $1,000.00 per month for lost income. Generally, this is paid out to a maximum of $50.00 per day or $250.00 per week. Loss of income does not include loss of rental income or loss of business profits.
Use this section to list the total number of potential family members of the deceased person who may apply to the Board for compensation. This information will assist us in assessing the amount of financial compensation available to each of them.
Use this section to provide any additional information that you believe we should consider that has not already been included in other sections of the application form. If adding information in another section, clearly identify the part of the form to which the additional information relates.
There are times when we must obtain or share your personal or health information so that we can make decisions on a claim. Any information we ask for, or any information we release, is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Statutory Powers Procedure Act.
Our process does not interfere with your right to sue the (alleged) offender(s) in a civil action.
If it is not clear to the Board, whether a crime of violence occurred, the CICB may issue a Notice of Application to a person identified in the application as responsible for the alleged crime of violence. We will advise you whether an (alleged) offender will participate in the hearing process. Generally, an alleged offender's participation will be by way of written submissions, however, on occasion, the Board may determine that, based on his/her submissions, an alleged offender must take part in the hearing to support proper adjudication. If this is the case, you will be informed accordingly. If you have concerns about our notification of an (alleged) offender or any disclosure of personal information to the (alleged) offender, you must tell us during the application process.
If your claim can be assessed based on written evidence alone, you won't need to attend a hearing. One of our adjudicators will make a decision based on the information in the file.
If an oral hearing is needed, you must be present. During an oral hearing, the adjudicators will ask questions about the incident, injuries (for mental or nervous shock claims) and associated costs. Oral hearings are generally open to the public, but may be closed if:
If you have concerns about participating in an open hearing, you must tell us during the application process.
In certain cases you may only be required to participate in the hearing by telephone. At an electronic hearing, adjudicators assess written materials submitted by the parties and oral evidence presented at the hearing. They will ask questions to assist in understanding the evidence.
In assessing a claim, we must consider the following:
Following the hearing, you will receive notice of the adjudicator's decision.
If you are awarded compensation, you will receive a cheque approximately 30 days after you receive the Board's decision.
If your claim for compensation is denied, you will be provided with reason(s) for the denial.
If you are successful in a civil action in a related matter, you must reimburse the Board for any compensation you received.
If you do not agree with the decision in your case, the following options are available:
Our contact centre is available to assist you should you have any questions not answered in this guide. You may call us toll free at 1-800-372-7463 (if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, call 416-326-2900) or please visit our website at www.sjto.ca/cicb.