In Quebec, the government program to compensate victims of crimes (IVAC) allows some victims who have been physically or psychologically injured to receive services or financial compensation. To qualify for compensation, the victim must meet specific conditions.
Choosing the right program
Victims won’t get compensation under the IVAC program if they can get compensation under another program.
For example, if a person is injured because of a crime that happened at work, the victim must usually ask for compensation from the CNESST (labour standards, pay equity and workplace health and safety board).
If a person is hurt because of a crime involving a car, the victim must usually apply to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
No complaint to police needed
Victims don’t have to file a complaint with the police to get compensation from IVAC. Also, it’s not necessary to identify the person who committed the crime or was charged with the crime or was found guilty. But victims must still convince IVAC they were victims of a crime.
Injury caused by a crime
IVAC will only pay compensation if the victim was injured. The injury must be physical or psychological. Depending on the situation, these people can also get compensation from IVAC:
- witnesses who were hurt, even if the crime didn’t target them directly
- the victim’s dependents, such as children or a spouse, if the victim died
Crime recognized by IVAC
The crime must be recognized by IVAC, for example, sexual assault and robbery with violence. But the program doesn’t cover victims of criminal harassment or fraud.
The crimes on this list are recognized by IVAC.
Crime happened in Quebec
Victims who live in another province or country can get compensation from IVAC if the crime happened in Quebec.
Important! If the crime happened before March 1972, the victim can’t get compensation because the program didn’t exist at that time.
Usually, the victim has up to two years after the injury to apply for compensation.
But sometimes the victim can’t apply for compensation before this deadline. Here are examples:
- The victim was under 18.
- The victim learned that the crime caused the injury only after the deadline.
- The victim had a serious reason for not applying earlier.
Victims in these situations must prove to IVAC they weren’t able to file the application when they were injured. If the victim isn’t in one of these situations, the two-year deadline applies. Important: If the crime was committed before May 23, 2013, the time limit is one year.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.