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1 This webinar is brought to you by CLEONet CLEONet is a web site of legal information for community workers and advocates who work with low-income and disadvantaged communities in Ontario.

2 About our presenter Sharon Powell is a Law Clerk/Advocate at The Community Advocacy & Legal Centre (CALC), a non-profit community legal clinic. CALC serves low income residents of Hastings, Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties. Sharon joined CALC in 2002, as an intake worker. In 2004, she assisted in developing the clinic s case management system for Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) claims. Her primary role within the clinic is handling all of the CICB files.

3 Your community legal clinic 158 George Street, Level 1 Belleville, ON K8N 3H2 Tele: (613) Toll Free: Fax: (613) TTY: (613)

4 Overview This presentation is designed to provide you with an understanding of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board process.

5 What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB)? The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) is a program funded by the Ontario government to provide compensation to survivors of violent crime

6 What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB)? A person can apply for CICB if they have suffered physical, mental, emotional or psychological injuries as a result of a crime of violence such as: Assault Sexual assault Criminal harassment Child abuse Domestic violence The crime must have taken place in Ontario

7 What Expenses or Compensation Can Be Applied For? CICB can cover expenses incurred as a result of the injuries suffered. Expenses that will be covered include: Medical bills Prescription and other drug costs Funeral expenses Lost wages Lost income support Support for a child born as a result of a sexual assault Costs of therapy and counseling and other healing therapies including massage

8 CICB will not pay for damage to property. They will award an amount for pain and suffering. In abuse and assault cases, this is usually the biggest part of the compensation awarded after a hearing. The amount for pain and suffering will normally be awarded based on the extent of the emotional, physical and psychological damages. Therapy Reports from treatment providers are extremely important in this regard

9 Must Offender Have Been Charged or Convicted of a Criminal Offence? CICB does not require that a charge has been laid against an offender. Nor is a conviction required if charges were laid However the Applicant needs to show that it is more likely than not that a crime of violence occurred, and that their injuries are a result of that crime of violence If the offender was convicted, CICB will assume that the crime of violence occurred

10 How to Apply Write or phone CICB and ask for an application. The Applicant will need to provide: Detailed information of when the crime of violence occurred The name of the offender Location of the crime If they received medical treatment or counselling

11 Is a Lawyer Required When Making a CICB Claim? A lawyer is not required when making a claim Our Clinic provides full representation in cases of child abuse, sexual assault or domestic violence to client s who meet our financial guidelines

12 What is the Timeline for an Application? An application to the CICB must usually be started within 2 years of the crime. The CICB often grants extension of this time limit when there is a good reason (for example, for adult survivors of child sexual abuse, for people who did not know about the CICB, when one is too badly injured/emotionally upset to apply). The 2-year limitation period is met once an application has been requested (not completed).

13 The CICB has discretion not to grant the extension of time and therefore, if possible, applicants should apply within the 2-year time limit For people who were injured as children, the limitation period does not start to run until they turn 18

14 We advise clients who have a criminal case that is still before the courts to wait until the criminal case is complete before bringing an application to the CICB as it may prejudice their criminal case If the limitation will run out prior to the criminal case being resolved, they can request a CICB application but then ask that the application be put on hold until the criminal case is resolved

15 What Happens After Someone Applies? The CICB will look over the Application. A compensation analyst will be assigned to the claim. They will ask for documents that support the claim such as: Medical reports Therapy reports Hospital records Expense receipts Lost wages Witness statement or statement from someone the client told about the abuse

16 Who pays for the records During the application process, CICB will only pay for records they request At the hearing stage, the Applicant can ask for a full reimbursement for any reports CICB will pay full costs for hospital records and up to $100 for medical, dental, or therapy reports

17 Will CICB Notify the Offender? CICB has the right to notify the offender. In cases of sexual assault, child abuse, domestic assault, elder abuse or homicide, the CICB will not notify the offender if there has been a conviction. If there has not been a conviction but there are special circumstances, i.e., safety concerns, the Applicant can ask for a waiver for the offender not to be notified. If the offender is notified, the Applicant can request that the CICB hold an electronic hearing.

18 Hearing Process There are two types of hearings a documentary hearing, and an oral hearing

19 The CICB will decide whether to hold a documentary or an oral hearing A documentary hearing is based on the documents in the file only. The client does not attend. One Board member will make a decision based on all of the documents that have been provided. Therapy Reports are extremely important in supporting the Applicant s claim for pain and suffering in documentary hearings because the Board member will only have paper evidence and no oral testimony If the client is dissatisfied with the decision made at a documentary hearing, they can request an oral hearing (but would have to wait approximately 6 months and return the CICB cheque!)

20 Oral Hearings Hearings in child abuse, sexual abuse and domestic violence cases are private and a publication ban is ordered Informal hearings before two Board Members The hearing is divided into three parts; incident, injuries, expenses The Board Members are familiar with the facts and tend to be very sympathetic and compassionate

21 Factors that can reduce the award The Board can reduce or refuse an award in three circumstances: The victim s conduct contributed to the assault The victim failed to report the crime promptly or refused to co-operate with the criminal investigation The victim has received collateral benefits (WSIB, EI)

22 When is the decision received The Board members will send a written decision within 2 4 months after the hearing. If compensation has been awarded, the cheque will be included

23 Does the CICB Award Affect Ontario Works or ODSP Assistance? CICB awards for pain and suffering are exempt under Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program. The clinic writes a letter to the caseworker explaining the award and that it is exempt. Interest on the award, if the award is not spent, may be considered as income for social assistance purposes.

24 Compensation The maximum award is $25,000 per occurrence Compensation for minors is placed in trust until the victim is 18 years old Most applicants are not given the maximum award Awards vary depending on the severity of the injuries

25 How Long Does the Entire Process Take? The process is quite long. It takes approximately 2 years. In more complex cases it may take more than 2 years.

26 What do Clients Need to Know Before Bringing a CICB Application? Lengthy, stressful process Need to be able to discuss the crime repeatedly Clients need counseling support

27 Why Should Clients do a CICB Claim? Money for low income people Closure for victims Acknowledgement that a crime occurred Apology from the Government of Ontario verbally and/or in writing

28 Contact Us Our Service Area and Contact Information Legal Aid Ontario funds a number of free community legal clinics throughout Ontario for people living on a low income. To find the clinic closest to you, visit: You can also find us in the Yellow Pages.

29 This webinar was brought to you by CLEONet For more information visit the Criminal Law or Abuse and Family Violence sections of CLEONet at For more legal information webinars visit:

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