Brochure: Financial Assistance for Victims of Crime
About the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
Since 1971, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) has provided financial compensation for those who qualify under the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act (CVCA). Compensation can play a vital role in a victim's financial, physical and emotional recovery.
Compensation may be awarded even if no charges were laid or if there was no conviction in a criminal proceeding.
Who is eligible for compensation?
Anyone injured as a result of violent crime in Ontario can apply.
Violent crimes may include attempted murder, firearm offences, poisoning, arson and other offences such as assault, sexual assault, domestic assault, child physical assault, and child sexual abuse.
Can anyone else apply?
- Family members of deceased victims can also apply for compensation if they were financially dependent on the deceased victim or if they paid expenses as a result of the death.
- A person can also apply for compensation if he/she witnessed or came upon the scene of an extremely violent crime and meets the legal criteria for a finding of "mental or nervous shock".
Types of Compensation Available
The CICB may award compensation for:
- medical, dental and/or therapy expenses
- funeral and burial expenses
- counselling expenses
- income loss or loss of financial support
- pain and suffering for injuries resulting from a crime of violence
- support of a child born as a result of a sexual assault
Types of Awards
Lump Sum Award: Up to $25,000 depending on the injury
Periodic/Monthly Award: Up to $1,000 per month to a maximum of $365,000
Interim Award: Section 14 of the CVCA allows the CICB to consider an award for expenses before a hearing is held
Urgent Financial Assistance
If you need immediate financial or other assistance, call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888 or 416-314-2447 in the GTA to find out about other services available in your community. The Victim Quick Response Program is one example.
How do I apply for compensation?
You can download an application form from our website: sjto.ca/cicb. You can email, fax or mail your completed application to the CICB.
You must apply for compensation within 2 years of when the violent crime took place, unless you were a victim of domestic or sexual violence or under the age of 20.
The CICB can extend the time for filing where it is warranted but you will have to request an extension and explain your reason(s) for the delay in applying.
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer, agent or paralegal, but you may choose to have one.
What happens after I apply?
After we receive your application, we will:
- assign a file number and review your application
- assess the documents you provided (e.g. receipts, medical or counselling reports, police reports, court files) and identify what other information will be required in order for the application to be decided on
- schedule a hearing
We will also contact you if you are not eligible for compensation under the CVCA.
Types of Hearings
When the file is substantially complete, we will schedule a written, oral or electronic hearing.
- If a written hearing is scheduled, you will not be present. The adjudicator(s) will make a decision based on the information in the file.
- If an oral or electronic hearing is scheduled, you will need to provide oral evidence.
What are my responsibilities?
The faster we get the key information to complete your application the faster a hearing can be scheduled. It is your responsibility to:
- follow up with your treatment providers to ensure your key records are sent to us
- keep your address, phone number, e-mail address up to date as we will need to contact you
- let us know when the criminal trial is completed, as court documents will be required for the file
- notify us if you receive benefits and/or other funds as compensation for the injury or death
What does the CICB consider?
In assessing a claim, the CICB considers:
- whether a violent crime under the Criminal Code occurred, or whether the injured/ deceased person was assisting a peace officer with his/her law enforcement duties, or trying to prevent a crime from occurring
- all of the relevant circumstances, including any behaviour of the injured/deceased person that caused or contributed to the injuries or death
- the testimony/submissions of any persons asked to participate in a hearing
- whether the claimant has refused reasonable cooperation with the police or failed to report the offences promptly to the police
- whether the claimant has received any benefits paid by private insurance, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or any other source, as a result of the crime (not including Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program)
- whether there is enough reliable information available to support the claim
If you are successful in a civil action, you must reimburse the CICB for any compensation received.
Some cases take longer than others to decide. For example, because of the complexity of issues related to the crime and/or issues resulting from the police investigation or criminal trial.
Following the hearing, you will receive notice of the adjudicator(s)' decision. If compensation is awarded, a cheque will be sent to you. If compensation is denied, reasons may be provided.
The Financial Assistance for Families of Homicide Victims program provides up to $10,000 in total for eligible parents and spouses who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Contact Ministry of the Attorney General staff to learn more: 416-212-9164 (from the Greater Toronto Area) or toll-free at 1-855-467-4344.
Contact the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
Toronto area: 416-326-2900
Toll free: 1-800-372-7463
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
655 Bay Street, 14th floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2A3
Visit our website at sjto.ca/cicb
Last updated: June 2017