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Your claim and mandatory documents

Mandatory documents and the Independent Assessment Process (IAP)

The IAP is an out of court, alternative dispute resolution process. Mandatory documents are important in this process.

The IAP is an out of court, alternative dispute resolution process. The IAP is part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (SA) which was implemented in September 2007. The Government of Canada signed this agreement with former IRS students and their lawyers as well as with legal counsel for the Assembly of First Nations and the churches which administered the schools.

Under the SA the Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS) independently administers IAP claims in a fair and impartial manner.

What are mandatory documents?

The SA requires you to provide information and consent so that certain mandatory documents can be collected and presented to the IRSAS.

Mandatory documents make your case for compensation through the IAP. They are intended to make the claims process easier than litigation. These documents help you tell your story about how the abuse you suffered has shaped your life.

Mandatory documents include:

  • relevant treatment records such as clinical, hospital and medical records (but not counseling records);
  • workers’ compensation records (if your claim involves a physical injury);
  • correction records such as in-take assessments, medical records, psychiatric and psychological records, parole hearing records, discipline records and presentencing reports (insofar as they relate to injuries or harms);
  • income tax records;
  • Employment Insurance records;
  • Canada Pension Plan records;
  • Non-residential secondary school records; and
  • Postsecondary school records.

What mandatory documents will support my claim?

The IRSAS will let you know in a letter what mandatory documents you need to submit.

The IRSAS decides what mandatory documents are needed based on the nature of your claim. Not all mandatory documents are required for every claim. The IAP’s compensation rules define what relevant documents are required according to five levels of consequential harms and loss of opportunity. In general, however, there is a minimum of three types of documents required for each claim.

The IRSAS also asks affected parties to provide mandatory documents. For example, the Government of Canada will provide documentation on matters such as the history of your IRS and the people named in your claim.

How are my mandatory records collected?

The decisions the IRSAS takes on the nature of your claim and what mandatory documents you must provide are based on complex legal concepts and processes.

This is why every party who signed the SA encourages you to hire a lawyer to help with your IAP claim. Once you have legal counsel, it is the lawyer’s responsibility to collect your mandatory records. To find a lawyer with experience working on IAP claims, go to

If you are representing yourself for your claim, the IRSAS will assign a Client Services Support Officer to assist you to collect and submit your mandatory documents. The assigned Support Officer will contact organizations on your behalf to obtain mandatory documents. The Support Officer will be available to provide non-legal advice throughout the IAP process.

How much time is there for submission of my mandatory documents?

The SA says you can get a hearing date in as little as nine months. But keep in mind the IRSAS will schedule a hearing only if it has received all required mandatory documents. All mandatory documents needed to support your claim need to be submitted within 175 days. If one or more documents cannot be provided, your lawyer or you (if you are representing yourself for your claim) will have to provide a written explanation.

What other documents will support my claim?

Other relevant documents may be required to support your claim. These documents may include social assistance documents, child/family services documents, school year mementos and newspaper articles.

What other help can I get?

You have access to a full range of support services such as Resolution Support Workers, the Crisis Line and the IAP Info Line:

  • Counseling is available on a 24-hour basis by calling 1-866-925-4419.
  • IAP application forms and other information are available at or by calling 1-877-635-2648.

June 2011