Changes to IVAC
The reform of the compensation system for crime victims (IVAC) came into effect on October 13, 2021, with the introduction of the new Act to assist persons who are victims of criminal offences and to facilitate their recovery (LAPVIC). According to Simon Jolin-Barrette, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec, this law “marks an important turning point for support for victims.”
More than 30 years overdue, this new legislation includes several major changes that will improve the services available to victims, including the expansion of the list of eligible offences to include any criminal offence under the Criminal Code (affecting a person’s physical or psychological integrity) and the broadening of the definition of victim to include indirect victims.
What is the compensation used for in sexual assault cases?
IVAC offers a wide range of compensation and services to victims and their loved ones, including for temporary or permanent disability; the replacement of objects or glasses broken during a crime; paramedical services such as psychotherapy or physiotherapy; moving expenses, etc. Also, in the case of a victim without a RAMQ card who was sexually assaulted in Quebec, IVAC could pay the costs related to services received at a designated centre.
To apply for compensation, victims must complete the application for qualification form and submit a document providing objective proof of injury. Assistance preparing the application is available during the medico-social intervention.
What are the major changes introduced by the LAPVIC?
There is no longer a time limit for filing an application for compensation in cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence and violence suffered during childhood.
A person who is the victim of a crime committed outside of Quebec or Canada can receive benefits, provided the offence is listed in the Criminal Code. Previously, the crime had to have been committed in Quebec for the victim to be eligible for compensation under IVAC.
A minor who is over the age of 14 can now file an application for assistance on their own behalf.
Did you know that IVAC covers the cost of prophylactics?
The Support Service has received several requests for information on the procedure for prescribing prophylactics to victims. Many counsellors appear to be unaware that these drugs are covered by IVAC.
The IVAC website clearly states that “the Direction générale de l’IVAC covers the cost of prophylactic drugs prescribed as a result of exposure to bodily fluids during a criminal offence or an act of good citizenship in order to prevent infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B (HBV)" (see the “Médicaments prophylactiques” section, in French). The website also describes the procedure that pharmacists must follow to file a claim. There is no cost to the victim for prophylactics (according to the IVAC eligibility criteria). It is the responsibility of the pharmacy to make a request for reimbursement directly to IVAC.
If you’d like to learn more about the changes made to IVAC, the Ministry of Justice has developed a series of training and information tools in the form of videos (in French).
The Support Service is available to answer any questions related to IVAC programs. If you have specific questions concerning one of your cases or if you need clarification on protocols in your region, please don’t hesitate to contact us: