Financial Assistance and other Benefits
If you are a victim, immediate family member, or a witness to a crime who has been injured physically or emotionally, you may be eligible for financial assistance or benefits to help with costs and your recovery. Victim service workers can help you apply through the Crime Victim Assistance Program.
Financial Support and Benefits – Crime Victim Assistance Program
Victims, their immediate family members, and witnesses dealing with the effects of violent crime may suffer financial losses or injury. The Crime Victim Assistance Program, offers financial assistance to help with some of the costs and services needed to assist in recovering from or coping with the effects.
Benefits which may be available include:
- medical, dental and prescription drugs;
- protective measures;
- replacement of damaged or destroyed eyeglasses, clothing, disability aids;
- income support or lost earning capacity;
- transportation and related expenses; and/or
- funeral expenses.
The Crime Victim Assistance Program does NOT cover:
- injuries or loss sustained by motor vehicles accidents;
- injuries or loss sustained out of, or during the course of employment where benefits are payable through WorkSafeBC;
- claims for pain and suffering; and/or
- loss of personal property (other than damaged/destroyed eyeglasses, clothing or disability aids).
Assistance is available whether or not a perpetrator is charged.
The crime itself must have occurred within British Columbia after July 1, 1972, regardless of where you live. (Victims of crimes committed outside B.C. should contact victim services in the place where the crime occurred.)
In most cases applications must be received within one year of the date the crime occurred. Exceptions include:
- applications from victims of sexual offences – no time limit
- minors – no time limit for sexual offences; for all other offences applicants must apply before turning 20
- exceptional circumstances – late applications may be allowed
How to Apply
Call VictimLink BC to be connected to a Victim Service Worker near you who can assist you with an application. The following information sheets will also assist with the completion of the application form (you may download and complete):
The Crime Victim Assistance Program is governed by the Crime Victim Assistance Act and the corresponding regulations ( B.C. Reg. 161 and B.C. Reg. 162). For more information contact the Crime Victim Assistance Program directly (see Contact Us).
Victim Travel Assistance
In the event that you need to attend justice-related proceedings, there are two sources of travel assistance that you may be eligible for:
- Crime Victim Assistance Program: In the event of the death of a victim, this program may provide travel assistance to immediate family members so they may attend justice-related proceedings. To apply, call VictimLink BC to be connected to a Victim Service Worker near you who can help. For more information on the Crime Victim Assistance Program, see above.
- Victim Travel Fund: travel assistance to attend justice-related proceedings may be available to the victim through this fund. Immediate family members may also be eligible if funds are not provided through the Crime Victim Assistance Program. For more information on the Victim Travel Fund, see below.
Victim Travel Fund
The Victim Travel Fund provides funding to a maximum of $3,000.00 per family/victim to help attend and participate in justice-related proceedings. Eligible expenses may include meals, accommodation and the most economical form of travel.
- Victims and non-subpoenaed witnesses who have suffered significant physical or emotional trauma as a result of a serious criminal offence.
- Victims and non-subpoenaed witnesses who require a support person in order to attend and participate in the justice proceeding (the one support person may also be eligible).
- Immediate family members of deceased victims – parents, spouse, children, and siblings as defined in the Victims of Crime Act.
Subpoenaed Witnesses: The Victim Travel Fund is not available to help subpoenaed witnesses attend court. In some instances, witnesses may be able to claim expenses for travel and/or childcare through the Crown counsel office. For more information, speak to Crown counsel or the 'witness notifier' in the case (the person who works for Crown counsel whose job it is to ensure witnesses know the trial date). See B.C. Prosecution Services website – www.ag.gov.bc.ca/prosecution-service
Applicants for the Victim Travel Fund must also meet the following criteria . . .
- Applications should be made prior to the justice proceeding.
- To the eligible, the applicant has to travel more than 100 km one way to attend the justice proceeding.
- The justice proceeding will take place in B.C. and the proceeding is expected to impact the outcome disposition or results of the proceeding or hearing. (This excludes provincial parole and federal hearings, see note below)
- Travel and related expenses are not being covered by Crown counsel, the Crime Victim Assistance Program or any other source.
Note for victims attending provincial parole and federal hearings: victims requesting assistance to attend these types of proceedings, should contact the federal Policy Centre for Victim Issues at 1-866-544-1007 for more information.
How to Apply
There are two ways to apply:
- Call VictimLink BC to be connected to a Victim Service Worker near you who can help you apply for travel assistance.
- Contact the Victim Safety Unit directly (see Contact Us) to request a Victim Travel Fund application form.