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Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook

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Compensation for victims of crime

The Victim Quick Response Program+ (VQRP+) is a government program that may pay for certain expenses you have if you've been a victim of a violent crime in Ontario. Some examples of a violent crime include:

  • intimate partner violence
  • serious assaults
  • sexual abuse
  • criminal harassment
  • murder and attempted murder

The rules about who can qualify for help are very strict. For example, you must first report the crime to the police or to a community victim support agency within a certain time. And, in most cases, you must show that you:

  • have no money to pay for the expenses, and
  • there are no publicly-funded programs that can meet your needs.

The VQRP+ decides if you qualify and how much money you get. You will not have a court or tribunal hearing.

For more information or to apply to the VQRP+, search the Victim Services Directory to find the VQRP+ service delivery organizations in your community. Or you can call the Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2888 or 416-314-2447.

What can I get compensation for?

Some of the expenses that the VQRP+ pays for include the cost of:

  • emergency expenses related to home and personal safety, for example, replacing broken windows or locks, and adding dead bolts or window alarms
  • getting counselling or traditional Indigenous healing that gives immediate, short-term support, and travel costs to get there
  • a funeral
  • cleaning up the crime scene

There is more support available if you suffered a serious injury because of the crime.

The VQRP+ does not pay for:

  • pain and suffering, or
  • income you can't earn because you can't work as a result of the crime

How much can I get?

The VQRP+ has limits on how much it pays victims. For example, it pays:

  • emergency safety expenses up to $1,000
  • counselling fees up to $1,000, which covers about 10 sessions
  • funeral expenses up to $5,000
  • crime scene cleanup up to $1,500

You must keep all receipts to prove how much you paid.

When do I have to apply by?

In general, the deadlines to apply to the VQRP+ are:

  • 45 days from the date of the crime to help pay for your immediate needs, such as cleaning up the crime scene or adding emergency safety features to your home
  • 6 months from the date of the crime to help pay for any short-term counselling or traditional Indigenous health services
  • one year from the date of the crime to help pay for expenses related to a serious injury

When you report a crime to the police or to the community victim support agency, they will refer you to your local VQRP+ service delivery organization. These organizations offer Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services. They also help you apply to the VQRP+.

The VQRP+ says their goal is to process requests:

  • within 3 business days for funeral and emergency expenses
  • within 5 business days for counselling or traditional Indigenous healing expenses
  • within 10 business days for applications from those who were seriously injured by a violent crime