Inquiries about the Financial Benefits Program and requests for application forms may be addressed to:
Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program
10th Floor, 10365 – 97 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7
To call toll-free from anywhere in Alberta outside the Edmonton calling area, dial 310-0000 and ask for the above number.
What are financial benefits?
The Financial Benefits Program recognizes or acknowledges victims who were injured as a direct result of a violent crime in Alberta. It provides direct assistance with a one-time financial benefit based on the severity of the victim's injuries. The benefit amount is set in the regulation to the Act.
Are costs and losses paid?
No. The Financial Benefits Program does not pay compensation for costs or losses. For example, it does not cover property damage, medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of wages or pain and suffering. Victims may seek restitution or take civil action for the recovery of costs or losses from the offender. Information on these processes may be obtained by contacting your nearest victim services program or police service. Information is also available on the Alberta government web site for victims at www.victims.gov.ab.ca
Who is eligible for financial benefits?
You may be eligible for financial benefits if:
- you have suffered physical or emotional injury as a direct result of being a victim of a violent crime that occurred in Alberta.
- the crime was reported to police within a reasonable period of time and the victim co-operates with the investigation into the incident.
- the application for financial benefits is received within two years of the date of the incident. Do not wait for a conviction or for charges to be laid.
- Additional time to apply may be considered under certain conditions or if the applicant was unable to apply due to circumstances. Examples include: a victim who was hospitalized for an extended period and suffering from a brain injury or if the victim was a child and the parent or guardian did not apply on the child's behalf.
- the applicant co-operates with the Financial Benefits Program and provides authorization to make inquiries and obtain the information necessary to make a decision on the application.
- the crime results in death, where a surviving family member or any other person acting on behalf of the deceased wishes to apply for a death benefit. There is only one benefit awarded for a deceased victim and it may be split among eligible survivors.
The program recognizes that child victims and significantly incapacitated adults are not in a position to apply on their own behalf. In those instances, a guardian or someone acting for the victim may apply in their stead.
The following are not eligible for benefits:
- individuals who are charged and convicted of an offence as a result of the incident
- secondary victims such as family members of the victim or witnesses to the crime
- victims of motor vehicle or property offenses, such as impaired driving or break and entry
Note: Alberta Justice may provide assistance to injury victims of motor vehicle crimes. Information about this program is available through the Alberta government web site or by calling Motor Vehicle Accident Claims at 780-427-8255.
How do I apply?
Application forms are available from the Financial Benefits Program, through local victim services programs associated with local police services or through the Government of Alberta web site. Although the form is available electronically through the web site, the program requires a paper application with original signatures to obtain the information necessary to verify the application.
What is the process?
In almost all cases, a completed application form is the only information you will need to submit. Financial Benefits Program staff will obtain any necessary police or medical records and reports to verify applications. All decisions on applications will be presented in writing.
How long does it take?
The average time for a decision is about four months, however, since no two applications are the same, this can vary greatly.
Is there a review process?
The Criminal Injuries Review Board is an appointed board with the authority to conduct independent reviews of the financial benefits decisions. The decision letter provided to applicants includes information on the review process.