Crime Victim Assistance Program

Last updated on January 1, 2024

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

Expanded support through the Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP)

In December 2023, amendments to the legislation and regulation that guide CVAP were approved and will expand the support available through the program (news release). Changes to certain eligibility criteria and access to benefits come into force on January 1, 2024, and will apply to those applications where a crime occurred on or after January 1, 2024.

An increase in the rates CVAP is able to pay for counselling will apply to all applications where counselling services are provided on or after January 1, 2024.

Additional information is being developed to support applicants and partners in understanding these changes, including updates to CVAP’s application forms. While this is underway, please see the following Q&A documents and use the existing application forms which can be accessed through the link below.

Applying for Benefits

Application forms are also available from victim service programs or through the Crime Victim Assistance Program. You do not have to wait for charges to be laid or for the offender to be convicted before applying for benefits. 

Please note that, in most cases, there is a time limit for making an application to CVAP:

  • If the crime took place before January 1, 2024: the application must be received within one year from the date the crime occurred;
  • If the crime took place after January 1, 2024: the application must be received within two years from the date the crime occurred. 

Extensions to the time limit may be considered in the following situations:

  • If the applicant is under 19: in this case, the time limit does not begin until they turn 19 years old. Minors can apply on their own or a parent or guardian can apply on their behalf.
  • If the crime occurred after July 1, 1972, and is based on sexual misconduct that occurred while the victim was under 19 years of age, or the crime is or includes a sexual assault: in this case, the victim (including minors) can apply at any time. Applications by the victim’s immediate family members are still subject to a time limit.
  • If the program provides an extension because the applicant could not, for a variety of reasons, reasonably have been expected to complete an application within the time limit.


Criminal Justice Glossary

Check our alphabetical list of criminal justice terms along with their definitions.

Contact information

The Crime Victim Assistance Program assists victims, immediate family members and some witnesses in coping with the effects of violent crime.

PO Box 5550 Station Terminal, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 1H1