Memo: New Compensation Process for Sexual and Serious Physical Abuse – November 24, 2005
To: Association for Survivors of Shubenacadie Residential School
From: John A. McKiggan
Date: November 24, 2005
Re: Memo: New Compensation Process for sexual and serious physical abuse
New Compensation Process for sexual and serious physical abuseWhat does it pay for?
The new compensation process will pay compensation for sexual abuse and serious physical abuse. It will also pay compensation for the effects of the abuse, including any serious psychological effects. I have included a form that lists the effects that they will pay for. Please check any that apply and provide some details.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount you will be entitled to receive depends on the abuse that you suffered. It depends on the facts of each case. The more abuse that you suffered; the more you are entitled to receive. People who suffered more serious abuse will get more than people who suffered less serious abuse. People who suffered sexual abuse may get more than people who suffered physical abuse. Also, the amount of compensation depends on the effects that the abuse had on your life. I have enclosed a checklist of the effects that the program will pay compensation for. The maximum amount of compensation has been increased from $195,000.00 to $275,000.00 (for the people who suffered the most serious physical and sexual abuse). If you can prove that the abuse you suffered affected your ability to get a job or work, the compensation program will also pay for loss of income up to a maximum of $250,000.00.
What information do I have to provide?
The compensation process still requires a great amount of detail. New application forms are going to be prepared by Canada. If you do not provide enough detail, your claim may be denied (or delayed). I will review all applications to make sure all necessary information is included. After the application form is submitted, Canada will provide any records they have about your time in the school. In order to avoid delay, I have enclosed a form for you to sign so we can get the school records in advance. Canada may request further records or documents for you. (For example, Hospital records, school records, employment records, prison records etc.). I have enclosed a Release form for you to sign so I can get copies of your records.
Do I have to go to Court?
You do NOT have to go to court to get compensation. If Canada agrees with the details of your claim and the amount you have claimed, they can settle your claim without a hearing. But if Canada does not agree with the amount of compensation claimed, a hearing will be scheduled in front of a neutral person called an “adjudicator”. Here in Atlantic the adjudicator is Brian Bruce (a lawyer and law professor from New Brunswick). Canada will be hiring a female adjudicator to hear claims for those that prefer to talk to a woman.
What happens at the hearing?
You tell the adjudicator your story about the abuse you suffered in the school. No one is allowed to “cross-examine” you to try to confuse you or trip you up. I will be with you at the hearing. You are also allowed to have a family member or other support person with you at the hearing. After the adjudicator listens to your story and reviews any school records or medical records or any other information you want to provide, the adjudicator makes a decision about how much compensation you should receive.
How long will the process take?
Canada has committed that the process will take approximately 9 months from the time your application is submitted until a hearing is scheduled. Church Participation in the Compensation program: The Catholic Church has finally agreed to participate in the compensation program. This means that compensation awards will be increased from 70% to 100% of any compensation awarded. You do not have to sue the Catholic Church in Court to get all your compensation.
Safety and Support:
There is a 1-800 number for you to call for crisis support during the application process. You can bring a support person to the hearing before the adjudicator. (Canada will pay). You can also bring an interpreter to the hearing. (Canada will pay).
Any Questions? Call John McKiggan or Andrew House at902-423-2050
We will post further updates on our website.
Yours truly, JOHN A. McKIGGAN
McKiggan Hebert Lawyers