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Frequently asked questions about the application process

IAP Application Deadline

When is the deadline to submit my application to the IAP?

The deadline to submit your application to the IAP has passed.

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What if I sent in my application on September 19, but it was not received at the IAP offices until a few days later?

As long as your application is postmarked or electronically dated by 11:59 on September 19, 2012, it will be considered.

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Do all of the documents have to be submitted by September 19, 2012 in order for my application to be considered?

No, you do not have to submit all your documents by September 19. By submitting just an application before the deadline of September 19, it will be considered received into the IAP.

If it is incomplete, the Secretariat will contact you about any missing information. Other documents related to your claim can be submitted at a later date. If you are contacted by the Secretariat about your application please read all correspondence carefully and if you require clarification, speak to your lawyer or call the IAP info line at 1-866-879-4913.

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After the deadline

The following Questions and Answers address a number of issues that may come after the deadline for submitting a claim to the Independent Assessment Process has passed.

Applying after the deadline

My application was sent just a few days after the deadline. Will it be considered?

No. Applications must be postmarked no later than September 19, 2012, to be considered.

What will happen if I apply after the deadline?

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline, we cannot accept it. We will send you a letter saying that your application has not been accepted.

Will you return my application if it is not accepted?

We cannot return original documents. However, on request we will provide you with a copy of the documents you submitted.

If I apply after the deadline, will you tell me if I have an eligible IAP claim?

No. We do not review applications postmarked after the application deadline.

Can I appeal to the Chief Adjudicator?

If your application is not accepted because it was postmarked after the deadline, the Chief Adjudicator cannot hear your appeal.

Other options

What other options do I have to get compensation for my residential school experience? Can I sue?

We cannot give legal advice. You should consult a lawyer to discuss the options that may be available to you.

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What is the Independent Assessment Process (IAP)?

The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement – the largest class action settlement in Canadian history.

The IAP is a way for a former student who was abused to settle out of court. It is the only way you can make a claim, unless you opted out of the Settlement Agreement. (People who opted out have to go to court.)

The deadline to apply for the IAP has passed. Under the terms of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), applications are no longer being accepted.

The person who makes a decision about your claim is called an Adjudicator. The Adjudicator is neutral and independent. The money to pay for the claim comes from the Government of Canada. The money is called a compensation award.

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Should I get a lawyer?

It is recommended that you get a lawyer to help you through the process, because it is complex and involves legal concepts.

If you are awarded compensation, Canada will add 15% to your compensation to help pay your legal fees.

Your lawyer should not charge more than 30% of your compensation award for legal fees. You can ask the Adjudicator to review the lawyer's fees to make sure that they do not exceed 30% of the award.

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Which schools are covered by the Settlement Agreement?

The Settlement Agreement lists more than 130 residential schools across Canada. If your school is not on the list, you must get it added before the IAP will look at your claim. Click here (size: 78 KB – format: PDF) for the criteria for adding a school to the list. Send the name of the school and any information you have about it to:

https://fmwa.classactionservices.ca/IRS/phase2/addrecord_s.php

Or write to:
Residential Schools Settlement
Suite 3-505, 133 Weber St. North
Waterloo, Ontario
N2J 3G9.

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Who decides if I am eligible for the Independent Assessment Process?

The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat decides if your claim should be part of this process. The Adjudication Secretariat is independent of the Government of Canada. The head of the Secretariat, who is called the Chief Adjudicator, reports to the courts, not to the government.

If the Secretariat decides that your claim should not go through the Independent Assessment Process:

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How does the Independent Assessment Process work?

The deadline for application to the IAP has passed. Under the terms of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), applications are no longer being accepted.

Applications that are submitted prior to the deadline will be processed as follows:

  1. The Secretariat reviews your application to see if you are eligible.
  2. If your claim is eligible, they ask you to send documents in support of your claim.
  3. The Government of Canada submits its research about the people named in the claim.
  4. The Secretariat contacts the people you have accused and tells them about your allegations – what you say they did. They have the right to send a statement and, if they wish, to have their own hearing with the Adjudicator. You will not have to come face-to-face with your alleged abuser.
  5. You may be asked to see a medical doctor or psychologist, who will make a report.
  6. The Government of Canada may contact you and your lawyer to try to resolve the claim by negotiating with you, and settle your claim without a hearing. Or, the Adjudicator may ask you to attend a private hearing, where the Adjudicator will ask you questions. At a separate hearing, the Adjudicator will also question the people you have accused, your witnesses, their witnesses, and medical experts.
  7. The Adjudicator makes a binding decision. It takes about 30 days or longer if there are numerous documents and reports to gather.

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What is the role of the Adjudicator?

All Adjudicators have formal training and experience. They are chosen by an Oversight Committee. They report to the Chief Adjudicator. Their job is to review claims and preside over hearings in a fair and impartial way. They decide whether there should be compensation for a claim under the IAP. They also decide how much the award should be.

The Adjudicator's job is to make the hearing a place where there is trust and safety, so that everyone can be heard, even when people have to talk about hurt and pain. The Adjudicators are also trained as facilitators. They look for any chance to help with healing and reconciliation during the hearing.

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How does the Adjudicator decide if a claim is valid?

The Adjudicator looks at the evidence. Most of the evidence is testimony – what you and others say at the hearing.

But the Adjudicator also looks at the documents required for each claim. These might include:

The Adjudicator checks to make sure that these documents line up with what people are saying in their testimony.

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How does the Adjudicator decide how much to award?

The Adjudicator uses a compensation framework that is set out in the Settlement Agreement and approved by the courts. The framework has 4 principles:

  1. Rates of compensation have to be consistent all over Canada.
  2. There has to be a clearly understood system of compensation levels for different types of abuse and harms.
  3. There must be fairness in recognizing the abuse and harms for each individual person.
  4. The compensation must compare to what the courts would award.

The framework assigns points for the types of abuse, the harms flowing from this abuse, factors that make the abuse worse (aggravating factors), and Loss of Opportunity. These points translate into dollar awards.

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How does the Secretariat schedule hearings?

Change in Process:

As of December 5, 2011 changes to hearing dates and locales will be handled differently.

Qs and As for all hearing participants

The Secretariat schedules hearings according to Schedule D of the IRS Settlement Agreement, based on the availability of parties, counsel and the adjudicator and on the cost effectiveness of the location. The Secretariat asks for adjudicator and claimant counsel availability for IAP hearings on a regular basis. If your availability changes, it is important that you let the Secretariat as soon as possible.

Click here for a PDF version (Size: 24 KB - updated: 2011-11-29)

I can’t make the hearing date – what should I do?

Self-Represented Claimants

Call 1-877-635-2648 and let your IAP Support Officer know as soon as possible if you cannot attend your hearing.

Claimant Counsel

If you cannot attend your client’s hearing date, the first thing you should consider is whether you have a qualified colleague who could attend on your behalf or find another way to preserve your client’s hearing date. If there are no options, or if it is your client that cannot attend the scheduled date, you should email all of the hearing participants, the Scheduler who set the hearing date via email and copy the Registry Officer as well at postponement-reporter@irsad-sapi.gc.ca".
If the hearing date is within 24 hours you should also call the adjudicator. Do not rely on email if the hearing date is within 24 hours.

Defendant (POI/Canada/Church Counsel)

If you cannot attend a hearing, the first thing you should consider is whether you have a qualified colleague who could attend on your behalf or find another way to preserve the hearing date. If there are no options, you should email all of the hearing participants, the Scheduler who set the hearing date via email and copy the Registry Officer as well at postponement-reporter@irsad-sapi.gc.ca".

If the hearing date is within 24 hours you should also call the adjudicator. Do not rely on email if the hearing date is within 24 hours.

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Can I reschedule the hearing?

Self-Represented Claimants

Yes. If you cannot attend the hearing as scheduled, please let your IAP Support Officer know as soon as possible. Keep in mind that rescheduling your hearing might result in a long delay before your hearing will occur.

Claimant Counsel

Yes. You have until 10 weeks prior to the hearing date to reschedule the hearing. The Hearing Set Notification will tell you the expiry date the rescheduling period. Keep in mind that requesting a different date will likely cause your client’s hearing to be delayed.

Defendant (POI/Canada/Church Counsel)

In limited circumstances. You have up to ten weeks prior to the hearing date to request that a hearing be rescheduled. The Hearing Set Notification will tell you the expiry date of the rescheduling period. Requesting that a claimant’s hearing be rescheduled is a serious matter as it delays the claim. Alternatives to rescheduling such as sending a qualified colleague to attend on your behalf should be considered in advance of requesting that the hearing be rescheduled.

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What if the hearing is less than ten weeks in the future, and I just received notification?

Self-Represented Claimants

N/A

Claimant Counsel

You will have ten days to request that the hearing be rescheduled. The Hearing Set Notification will tell you the expiry date of the rescheduling period.

Defendant (POI/Canada/Church Counsel)

You will have ten days to request that the hearing be rescheduled. The Hearing Set Notification will tell you the expiry date of the rescheduling period.

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What if I need to reschedule my client’s hearing, but it is after the deadline for rescheduling?

Self-Represented Claimants

N/A

Claimant Counsel

If you want to change your client’s hearing date after the rescheduling period, the adjudicator will review the request. The adjudicator will decide whether or not your client’s hearing can be postponed. The adjudicator will take into account how reasonable and timely your request is.

Defendant (POI/Canada/Church Counsel)

If you want to change a hearing date after the rescheduling period, the adjudicator will review the request. The adjudicator will decide whether or not the hearing will proceed. The adjudicator will take into account how reasonable and timely your request is.

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What happens if I, (or my client) miss the hearing?

Self-Represented Claimants

Failing to attend the IAP hearing is a serious matter. However if you cannot attend your hearing, please let your IAP Support Officer know as soon as possible. If you feel like the memories of Residential School are affecting you too much to be able to attend your hearing, there are supports available for students who attended the schools. If you require help please call the 24-Hour Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419.

Claimant Counsel

Failing to attend an IAP hearing is a serious matter and it could result in serious consequences to your client’s claim. The adjudicator will review the reasons why you or your client missed the hearing. If the adjudicator determines that you or your client did not have a good reason to miss their hearing the adjudicator may apply one of the penalties set out in the Guidance Paper.

Defendant (POI/Canada/Church Counsel)

Failing to attend an IAP hearing is a serious matter and it could result in serious consequences for your participation in the claim. The adjudicator will review the reasons why you missed the hearing. If the adjudicator determines that you did not have a good reason to miss the hearing the adjudicator may apply one of the penalties set out in the Guidance Paper.

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I have another client would could use the hearing date. Can they take over the hearing date from my client who cannot make it?

Self-Represented Claimants

N/A

Claimant Counsel

In limited circumstances. If the hearing is ten weeks or more in the future, and the other client is willing to have their hearing in the same locale, another client can use that hearing date. You will need to get your client’s hearing preferences to the Secretariat immediately in order to do a substitution. If the hearing is fewer than ten weeks in the future, another client cannot be substituted in as this does not provide sufficient time to arrange the hearing.

Defendant (POI/Canada/Church Counsel)

N/A


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