The Financial Benefits Program is a program that provides a financial payment to eligible victims who suffer physical or emotional injury as a direct result of a violent crime in Alberta. The Program also provides financial compensation to applicants who paid the funeral costs of a victim who died as a result of a violent crime. Legal authority for the Financial Benefits Program is the Victims of Crime Act and Victims of Crime Regulation.
Injury Benefit and Death Benefit
1. The Injury Application is to be completed if:
- The victim was injured as a direct result of a violent crime.
- The victim witnesses someone with whom they have a strong emotional attachment die as a result of a violent crime or are present in the immediate aftermath of the crime.
- The Death Benefit Application is to be completed if the applicant has paid the funeral costs of a victim who has died as a result of violent crime.
Programs in other parts of Canada and in other countries are often based on the idea of ‘compensation’ – repayment to compensate for actual expenses or damages caused by the crime. Alberta’s Financial Benefits Program is based on a different concept. It provides a financial benefit based on the injury rather than compensation for loss or damages. The injury benefit not intended to compensate for financial loss (for example, ambulance expenses, loss of earnings, etc.). Rather, it pays a one-time fixed sum of
money to acknowledge the injury that was done to the victim of a violent crime.
A victim who sustained an injury resulting in quadriplegia or traumatic brain damage and who is fully dependent on others to engage in activities of daily living (bathing, feeding, toileting, etc.) may be eligible for a monthly payment in addition to the Financial Benefits one-time fixed sum of money. An individual capable of performing some of these functions would not be eligible for the supplement.
If the crime resulted in death, funeral costs may be claimed by the person who paid the costs of the victim’s funeral. The applicant must provide original receipts that indicate, by name, that the applicant paid for funeral costs.
Reimbursement for funeral services may be paid up to $12,500.