Crime Victim Assistance Program

There are many ways a crime can affect your life. If you have been physically or emotionally hurt as a result of a violent crime, you may be entitled to financial assistance.

The Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) assists victims, immediate family members and some witnesses in coping with the effects of violent crime. It provides financial benefits to help offset financial losses and assist in recovery.

Benefits for victims of crime include:

  • Medical and dental services
  • Prescription drug expenses
  • Counselling
  • Protective measures
  • Replacement of damaged or destroyed eyeglasses, clothing and disability aids
  • Childcare and homemaker services
  • Disability aids and related disability expenses or services
  • Support for a child born because of a crime
  • Vocational services
  • Income support or lost earning capacity
  • Transportation and related expenses
  • Crime scene cleaning

Benefits for immediate family members include:

In cases involving fatalities, benefits also include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Bereavement leave
  • Other benefits to support spouses, children and financially dependent family members

Benefits for witnesses include:

  • Counselling
  • Prescription drugs
  • Transportation to attend counselling
  • Crime scene cleaning

Services the Program is Unable to Cover

Where services or expenses can be covered by some other source, such as a health insurance plan, make your claims against that source first. If there are additional, eligible costs not covered by other sources, the Crime Victim Assistance Program can provide reimbursement. 

Funding provided by other sources, such as Employment Insurance, is deducted from benefits provided under the Crime Victim Assistance Act.

The program cannot cover the following types of losses:

  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Property-related offences, including stolen or lost items or money
  • Injury or loss from motor vehicle accidents
  • Injury or loss from work-related incidents covered by workers’ compensation

Applying for Benefits

Application forms are also available from victim service programs or through the Crime Victim Assistance Program.

In most cases, the application must be received within one year from the date the crime took place. You do not have to wait for charges to be laid or for the offender to be conviction before applying for benefits.

Extensions to the one-year time limit are made in the following situations:

  • The applicant is under 19. In this case, the victim has until they turn 20 to apply. Minors can apply on their own or a parent or guardian can apply on their behalf
  • The crime is a sexual offence that occurred after July 1, 1972. In this case, the victim (including minors) can apply at any time. The victim’s immediate family members must apply within one year of the date the crime took place or when the crime became known to them
  • The program provides an extension because the applicant could not, for a variety of reasons, reasonably have been expected to complete an application within one year