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