Victim Compensation Fund is Scrapped in New Budget

April 16, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The Budget last week contained many key changes that will impact Ontario citizen’s ability to access certain legal benefits and services. A key change was he announcement that repealing of the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. This Act was established to help compensate victims of crime. It allowed for a lump sum payment of up to $25,000 or monthly payments of up to $1000 for the families of people killed during a crime, or to people injured during a criminal offence such as assault, domestic assault, or sexual assault.

The budget also eliminated the Ontario Criminal Injury Compensation Board which was established in 1971 and gave money to assist crime victims with funeral costs, physical therapy or loss of income. Attorney General Caroline Mulroney indicated that the changes have been made due to the long waiting periods to receive compensation from the Board. The Board had come under harsh criticism of how slowly it moved and in 2007 the average victim waited three years for compensation.

The CBC news reported the following statement from Mulroney, “Instead of having to appear before an adjudicator to decide how much compensation should be paid, a claimant would submit his or her paperwork and receipts to the Ministry or another administrative body who would issue its payment quicker".

The government indicated that these moves will reform victim compensation services by removing a slow adjudicative process with an administrative one. It hopes the move will provide victims with assistance more efficiently and more quickly. They hope to save $23 million annually and pledge to re-invest $6 million of that into compensating victims. The change however means that compensation for “pain and suffering’ will be capped at $5,000. The maximum lump sum payments to victims would increase from $25,000 to $30,000.

The timely compensation of any victims of crime, or for car accident victims has been a long-standing issue with the adjudicated board system in Ontario. Waiting times to be heard and the complex bureaucratic process have been identified impediments to compensation. It has meant that many victims of crime and car accidents have felt victimized twice, once by the crime and once by the system that was meant to help them.

 

Posted under Accident Benefit News

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

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