Who Is Eligible?
Victims of violent crimes may be eligible for financial assistance under the Victims of Crime Act, Financial Benefit Fund which provides direct assistance with a one-time financial benefit based on the severity of the victim’s injuries. In order to qualify you must have been injured as a direct result of a violent crime in Alberta. If the crime results in death, a surviving family member or any other person acting on behalf of the deceased may apply for a death benefit. There is only one benefit awarded for a deceased victim and it may be split among eligible survivors. A guardian, or someone acting on the victim’s behalf, may apply if the victim is a minor or significantly incapacitated. You are not eligible for benefits if you are charged and convicted of an offence as a result of the incident, if you are a victim of motor vehicle or property offenses such as impaired driving or break and entry, if you have an extensive criminal history or if you are secondary victims such as family members of the victim or witnesses to the crime.
You may be eligible for financial benefits if you have suffered physical or emotional injury as a direct result of being a victim of violent crime that occurred in Alberta. The crime must have been reported to the police within a reasonable period of time and the victim cooperated with the investigation into the incident. The application for financial benefits must be received within two years of the date of the incident. You should not wait for a conviction or for charges to be laid. Additional time to apply may be considered under certain conditions if the applicant was unable to apply due to circumstances (for example; a victim who was hospitalized for an extended period suffering from a brain injury or if the victim was a child and the parent or guardian did not apply on the child’s behalf). The Financial Benefits Program does not pay compensation for costs or losses. It does not cover property damage, medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of wages, or pain and suffering. Victims may seek restitution or take civil action for the recovery of costs or losses from the offender.
How Do I Apply?
Application forms are available through local victim service programs associated with police services or through the Government of Alberta website (See Legal and Community Resources section). In almost all cases, a completed application form is the only information you will need to submit. Additional information on the process is provided after the application is submitted. The average time for a decision is about four to six months but this can vary greatly.
You can appeal the decision to Criminal Injuries Review Board.