Decision #01/00 - Type: Victims' Rights
An Appeal Panel review was held on February 15, 2000, at the request of the claimant.
Whether or not the claim is acceptable.
That the claim is not acceptable.
In September 1999, the claimant submitted an application for benefits to the Manitoba Compensation for Victims of Crime. In an undated letter from the claimant, she stated that she had been emotionally abused by her husband and was requesting financial assistance to pay for counseling services.
Information obtained from the police services noted that the accused (claimant's husband) and the victim (claimant) had been married for 18 years and had 3 children together. On January 11, 1997, both were at home and became involved in an argument. The argument began in the living room and continued into the kitchen and escalated to the point that the accused pushed the victim into the kitchen counter. He then grabbed her wrists and began to twist. The claimant broke free and began to sweep the floor. The accused walked up to the victim and pushed her with his body into the wall. The victim showed no visible signs of injury but feared for her safety.
On October 27, 1999, an adjudicator with the Manitoba Compensation for Victims of Crime advised the claimant that her claim had been denied. Due to the limitation provision in The Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, a claim for compensation must be made within two years of the date of injury or within 2 years of the date when the victim becomes aware of or knows of the nature of the injuries and recognizes the effects of same. It was noted that the claimant reported the matter to the police in January 1997 and an application was not made to the program until September 1999. It was suggested to the claimant that she obtain counseling services through the University of Manitoba, Psychiatric Services, the Fort Garry Women's Resource Centre or Klinic Community Health Centre.
In a letter dated November 25, 1999, the claimant requested reconsideration of the above decision. The claimant stated that the above referenced agencies did not have Polish speaking female therapists. The claimant advised that she had been involved with a therapist since the spring of 1999 and wished to stay with this particular therapist because the therapist was familiar with the claimant's case and the claimant felt comfortable talking to her about her problems. The claimant had previously been involved with counseling, however, the counsellor died in the summer of 1998. The claimant indicated that the reason she did not apply for therapy sooner than January 1997, was because she tried to cope with her problems and did not know she could receive support from the Manitoba Compensation for Victims of Crime.
On December 1, 1999, the Director of the Manitoba Compensation for Victims of Crime denied the appeal based on the fact that the claimant's application was not received within the required time period under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act. The claimant appealed this decision to the Appeal Commission and a non-oral file review was arranged.
As the background notes indicate, the applicant filed an application for criminal injury compensation on September 15th, 1999. Her claim for compensation was based on physical and mental abuse on the part of her husband. The approximate dates of abuse were 1991, 1993, 1996 and February 1997.
Section 28(1) of the Victim's Rights and Consequential Amendments Act (the Act) states that an application for compensation must be made within one year after the date of the victim's injury. In accordance with section 28(2), an extension of time for filing may be granted where it is deemed appropriate.
The evidence does not disclose any extenuating circumstances in this particular case, which would allow the Panel to exercise our discretion and grant an extension of time to the applicant for the filing of her application. Regrettably, the claim is therefore not acceptable.
R. W. MacNeil, Presiding Officer
A. Finkel, Commissioner
R. Frisken, Commissioner
Recording Secretary, B. Miller
R. W. MacNeil - Presiding Officer
(on behalf of the panel)
Signed at Winnipeg this 27th day of March, 2000