Crime victim compensation: important changes

  • December 8, 2021
  • Crimes, Justice
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In Québec, there is a public plan for compensating crime victims and their families under certain conditions. The purpose is to provide them with resources and services to foster their recovery. The Direction générale de l’indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels (IVAC) administers the plan.

New features

Since October 13, 2021, the status of victim has been expanded to include new categories of people. In other words, people who did not qualify for assistance before may now be eligible.

For example, the parent of a crime victim may now apply for compensation. Previously, a parent could only be compensated if the other parent murdered their child. This condition no longer exists.

Same thing for witnesses to an intact crime scene. Under the new measures, they may be eligible whether or not they saw the crime being committed. Until recently, they had to have been there at the time of the assault.

Another important change: crime victims can apply for compensation as of 14 years of age. Before they had to be at least 18 years old.

IVAC’s website describes the new conditions for access to assistance for crime victims.

More time to exercise rights

Now crime victims have three years (rather than two) to apply to IVAC for assistance. However, there is no time limit in cases of sexual assault, violence suffered during childhood or spousal violence.

The deadline for filing for review of an IVAC decision is now 90 days. It used to be 30 days.

For more information

The Act to assist persons who are victims of criminal offences and to facilitate their recovery contains many improvements, some of them in response to recommendations by the Québec Ombudsman in one of its investigation reports.

For find out more about assistance requirements, see IVAC’s website.

If you are dissatisfied with IVAC’s services, don’t hesitate to complain to the Québec Ombudsman. Our services are free and confidential.