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Criminal Injuries Compensation

This fact sheet is a summary of general information about criminal injuries compensation. For more information, or to make an application, contact Victim Services in your area.

The Law

On Prince Edward Island, criminal injuries compensation is available to victims of crime who are eligible as set out in the Victims of Crime Act. The Victims of Crime Act came into effect on September 30, 1989.

You or someone acting on your behalf, may apply if:

  • you were injuried; or
  • your parent or dependent (e.g., child) was killed as a result of an eligible crime which occurred after September 30, 1989.
Before applying, you must have reported the crime to the police and cooperated in the investigation.

"Injury" includes:

  • actual bodily harm
  • emotional trauma resulting from sexual assault; and
  • mental or nervous shock.
Eligible crimes include:
  • assault
  • sexual assault
  • murder
  • robbery
  • criminal negligence
  • arson
  • impaired driving (since amendment August 7, 1999)
You may obtain a complete list of eligible offences from Victim Services.

You may receive compensation for certain expenses and losses, including:

  • wages or salary lost because of injury or death
  • funeral expenses
  • pain and suffering
  • maintenance of a child born as a result of sexual assault
  • medical or dental expenses
  • other reasonable expenses, except for property loss or damage.
The maximum amount of compensation for the injury or death of one victim is $15,000. The maximum amount for one crime which results in injury or death to more than one victim is $30,000. Example: an incident of impaired driving results in injury to four victims. The maximum amount which could be divided among the four victims is $30,000.

How to Apply

You do not need a lawyer in order to apply for criminal injuries compensation. Victim Services will help you apply and can tell you what information you need to support your claim.

You must apply within one year after the crime occurred but you may be able to obtain an extension in special circumstances.

After You Apply
  • It will probably take at least two years before your compensation claim is dealt with. Your Victim Services Worker has to gather all the relevant information, such as:
    • medical reports
    • letters from employers or counsellors
    • receipts
    • information from the court process.
    Your Victim Services Worker will then write a report to the Provincial Manager of Victim Services.
  • If your claim is for less than $1,000, the Provincial Manager or the designated lawyer in the Legal Services Division can decide whether you will receive compensation and the amount.
  • For all claims above $1,000, the Provincial Manager or the lawyer must write a report, with recommendations, to the Attorney General. The Attorney General then decides whether to approve your claim and the amount of any award.
  • If you are in immediate financial need and your claim is likely to be approved, you may be able to receive interim payments for financial expenses resulting from the crime.
  • If you provoked or were partly to blame for the offence, or if you were doing something unlawful, your award may be reduced or denied.
  • The person deciding the amount of your claim will deduct any costs you have recovered from sources such as:
    • the offender
    • insurance
    • employment insurance
    • workers’ compensation
    • a civil suit
    • social assistance
  • You must inform Victim Services of any changes in your address or telephone number. If you move to a new address without informing Victim Services, your application shall be considered withdrawn after one year from the last date of contact.
  • If you sue the offender, you must notify Victim Services.
After Your Claim is Decided
  • Sometimes additional information about an injury becomes known after a claim has been decided. In this case, you may apply within two years for a variation. You must give all supporting information to your Victim Services worker within one year after you apply for a variation of your award.
  • If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Attorney General regarding your claim, you may appeal to the Supreme Court on any question of law.
The above information is not a complete statement of the law. For further details, please refer to the Victims of Crime Act, Part IV, and Regulations.
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