IVAC (Indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels or crime victim compensation) is a program that helps victims of crime in Quebec. Victims of crime can apply to IVAC for financial compensation for lost income or other expenses related to the crime.
IVAC offers financial assistance to victims
Financial assistance from IVAC helps to compensate for lost income or other expenses that are related to crime.
After assessing your case, IVAC will prepare a treatment plan based on your needs. For example, IVAC may reimburse costs for:
- psychotherapy or psychosocial follow-up
- moving expenses
- cleaning up a crime scene.
When the victim is deceased, IVAC can, among other things:
- compensate the victim’s relatives, such as their children and/or spouse
- pay part of the funeral expenses.
To find out more about the financial supports that are available, you can visit the IVAC website.
Qualifying for IVAC
There are two conditions to qualify for IVAC:
- the crime committed must be covered by IVAC, and
- you must be recognised as a victim.
You must be the victim of a crime that affects your physical or psychological integrity. The programme does not cover property crimes, such as theft or fraud, even if you suffered a loss.
Filing a complaint with the police is not required. You are even admissible if you don’t know the identity of the person who committed the crime.
Being recognised as a victim
If the crime was committed directly against you, IVAC will consider you a victim. People who suffer injuries or other harm while trying to prevent a crime or stop someone who has committed a crime are also considered direct victims of the crime.
If the crime was not directly committed against you, IVAC may also consider you a victim. For example, if you are:
- the father or mother, child, spouse or a person close to the person who is the direct victim of the crime.
- a witness to the crime or to the intact crime scene.
Please note! For crimes committed before October 13, 2021, the criteria are different. For more information, you can consult the IVAC website.
You have three years to apply to IVAC
This period starts from the moment you become aware of the consequences the harm you suffered from the crime. In some cases, the time limit starts from the time of the victim’s death. If you miss the deadline, you will have to show that you had reasonable grounds for not applying in time.
Please note. Deadlines are shorter for crimes committed before October 13, 2021.
In all cases, there is no time limit for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence or child abuse to apply to IVAC. If the crime was committed after March 1st, 1972, you can apply regardless of how many years have passed.
How to apply to IVAC
You need to fill in a form which is available on the IVAC website. You will need to provide certain information, such as
- the date of the crime or the period during which it occurred
- the description of the crime and the location
- the names of witnesses and people involved
- the consequences of the crime on you, such as physical and psychological injuries.
You can choose to submit a health assessment if you have one, but it is not required. However, IVAC may ask you for an assessment if you are applying for certain financial support.
If your application is successful, IVAC will contact you to assess your needs and the financial support you are entitled to.
If your application is refused (in whole or in part), you can appeal against the decision of the IVAC.
You have 90 days to challenge the IVAC decision from the time you receive it. You will need to make a written request to challenge the decision. To do this, you can use the “Application for Review” form which is available on the IVAC website.