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Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the settlement. The Notice of Settlement Approval – Long Form contains even more detailed information, and we encourage everyone to review it carefully.
The Gowling WLG team is also here to help answer any questions you may have – and our support is free.
Claim Form and Claims Process
Q: I have moved since registering, do I need to do anything to update my address before submitting my claim form?
Q: I did not receive confirmation my Class Registration was received. Can I still complete my Claim Form?
Q: Will direct deposit for compensation be available as an option?
Q: Will the Claim Form be emailed to me or available at my Band Office?
Q: How do I access records from doctors/dentists hired by Indian Affairs?
If you cannot obtain any medical, dental, nursing, or therapy records, you can provide a Sworn Declaration included on Part 5F of the Claim Form.
Q: Is it possible to send a “draft” copy of claim form narratives for feedback/legal advice on what might be missing in narratives?
Q: What’s the difference between my Class Registration and my Claim Form submission?
Q: What if I also attended a Residential School and received a Common Experience Payment from the Residential School settlement? Can I still apply?
Q: What is the Federal Indian Day School settlement all about?
In August 19th 2019, the federal court approved a nation-wide class action settlement to compensate survivors for harms suffered while attending federally controlled Day Schools.
Q: The term “Indian” is outdated, not inclusive, and even offensive. Why use it?
Q: What rights do I give up, if any, by agreeing to the settlement?
Nothing in the proposed settlement agreement prohibits you from bringing a suit against any other entity or organization for harms you experienced.
Q: Who is eligible for the settlement?
Q: Are deceased class members who attended a Federal Indian Day School or Federal Day School eligible for compensation?
Deceased lived on reserve
To start this process, you will need a copy of the Death Certificate. If the deceased claimant lived on reserve prior to passing away, we recommend you call the Regional Office in your area to be appointed as the Estate Administrator.
Regional Office Numbers – only for deceased who lived on reserve:
1-800-567-9604 OR 1-902-661-6200
1-800-567-9604 OR 1-800-263-5592
1-604-775-7114 OR 1-604-775-5100
INAC Public Enquiries Contact Centre – This is a resource for estates of individuals who lived on reserve.
Representatives of estates should begin the estate administration process as soon as possible. The deadline to submit a Claim Form is July 13, 2022. If a Survivor passed away between July 31, 2007 and today, the estate of that person can make a claim on their behalf. If you have questions about the Claims process, please call us: 1-844-539-3815. Please note that Gowling WLG does not provide estate litigation advice to Class Members.
Deceased lived off reserve
If the deceased claimant lived off-reserve, the representative will need to be appointed as an executor or administrator. It may be that the local Public Trustee Office is already administering the deceased’s estate. You may wish to contact them before taking further steps. The appointment of an executor or administrator is a process governed by your local jurisdiction (i.e. provincial or territorial courts). You will need to start the appointment process with the court to become the estate executor or administrator. As Class Counsel for the McLean Day School Class Action, our role is to assist claimants in applying for compensation. We do not handle any estate disputes or estate litigation. Independent legal advice is recommended prior to taking steps to start a court process for the executor or administrator appointment.
Q: Why does it only go back as far as July 31, 2007?
Q: I attended an Indian Day School, but I’m not sure who ran it. Am I eligible?
Q: What if I objected to the terms of the settlement before the settlement was approved? Am I still eligible for compensation?
Opting out means choosing to remove yourself from the Class. Those who choose to opt out will receive no compensation under this settlement. They will however retain the right to bring their own action against Canada for harms suffered while in a Federal Indian Day School or a Federal Day School should they so wish.
If you have any questions, please call Class Counsel directly or at the following toll-free phone number: 1 (844) 539-3815.
Q: If I am eligible for compensation and do not opt-out of this settlement, can I still sue a provincial or religious institution?
Q: What if I have already started my own legal proceeding against Canada for harms I suffered while attending a Federal Day School? Am I still eligible for compensation under the terms of this settlement?
Q: Are Level 1 payments made on a “first come, first served” policy? Are all payments made on a “first come, first served” policy?
Payments of Level 2 to 5 claims are made by Canada to the Claims Administrator for direct deposit to the claimants after approval.
Q: What does the settlement include in terms of compensation?
The settlement recognizes that harm was experienced not only by individual people, but also by families and whole communities. That is why it also includes a $200M Legacy Fund to support commemoration projects, health and wellness programs, as well as language and culture initiatives for Indigenous communities.
Q: How long will people have to apply for compensation?
Q: When can I expect to receive compensation?
Once the claims process has started, Class Members will have two and a half (2.5) years to complete the Claim Form. To be eligible for compensation, Survivor Class Members must have attended one of the identified Day Schools listed on Schedule K.
Q: How do I make a claim for compensation?
The Claim Form is available for review here or by contacting Gowling WLG. Right now, we encourage people to review the Claim Form and requirements. Information about how to make a claim will become available on this website in the coming weeks.
Once the claims process has started, Class Members will have two and a half (2.5) years to complete the Claim Form.
As a reminder, to be eligible for compensation, Survivor Class Members must have attended one of the identified Day Schools listed on Schedule K. Claim forms will be available in English, French, Ojibway, Dene, Cree, Inuktitut and Mi’kmaq.
Q: What is the Implementation Date?
The Implementation Date is January 13, 2020.
Q: Will the Claims Process be complicated or difficult?
The Claim Form will be available in English, French, Ojibway, Dene, Cree, Inuktitut and Mi’kmaq.
Class Members can receive assistance completing their Claim Form, at no cost to them, by calling the Gowling WLG call center at 1-844-539-3815. Further, Class Counsel is currently working with the Claims Administrator, Deloitte, to schedule a series of information sessions in communities across the country. A list of information sessions will be available on this website in the coming weeks.
Q: What is a Sworn Declaration? Do I need to submit one?
Guarantors can include Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths, a Chief, Councillor, or Inuit Community Leader, lawyers, doctors/physicians, accountants or police officers. The Guarantor is only required to see you sign the Sworn Declaration. The Guarantor is not required to read the Sworn Declaration or verify the accuracy of the events described by you.
You are only required to complete a Sworn Declaration if you are missing one or more of the required documents in support of your claim for compensation. More information on these documents can be found in the Claim Form.
Q: How will compensation be distributed?
Claims for compensation will begin to be processed for compensation from January 13, 2020. Compensation will not be issued until after the implementation date. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
Please do not send Class Counsel your banking information. Compensation under the Settlement will flow directly from the Claims Administrator to the Class Member/claimant.
Q: Will my compensation be taxed or have an impact on insurance payments, pensions, social assistance, etc.?
The Settlement Agreement provides that there should not be an impact on benefits including social assistance, OAS, and CPP. (See 5.06 of Settlement Agreement)
The Government of Canada has committed to working with provincial and territorial governments, and federal departments to ensure that any payment that claimants receive will not affect the amount, nature, or duration of any social benefits received. Similar efforts were successful with respect to the Indian Residential School Settlement payments and we will continue to raise this issue with Canada.
Payments from this lawsuit are not taxable. Payments from the McLean Day School Class Action compensate for abuse and harms at Federal Day Schools. The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) makes it clear that litigation damages for personal injuries are not taxable income. Further, they will not impact social benefits.
Old Age Security and its Supplement
There will be no impact. The Old Act Security Act defines income in accordance with the Income Tax Act. Litigation payments for personal injury, including psychological harm, are exempt from the Canadian Revenue Agency’s definition of income.
The OAS pension is a monthly payment available to seniors aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. Low-income seniors are also eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement which is added to OAS. Neither will be impacted.
There will be no impact. Eligibility for CPP is based on age and contribution to CPP by working in Canada. It is not based on present income levels but contributions over the beneficiaries’ lifetime.
Q: What assistance will be provided to support me or my community in the Claims Process?
Further, Class Counsel is currently working with the Claims Administrator, Deloitte, to schedule a series of information sessions in communities across the country. A list of information sessions will be available on this website in the coming weeks.
Mental health counselling and crisis support is available to Class Members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through Hope for Wellness Hotline. Contact Hope for Wellness at 1-855-242-3310 or through their online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca. Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut, on request.
Q: Who decides what level of compensation I am eligible for under the Settlement?
If you are an Eligible Class Member and have not previously been compensated for your attendance at a Federal Indian Day School or Federal Day School, the Claims Administrator will assess your Claim and approve a level of compensation in accordance with the Harms Assessment Grid.
If the Claims Administrator approves your claim for a lower level of compensation and you believe you are entitled to receive a higher level of compensation under the Harms Assessment Grid, you have the option to provide further information and to have your claim reconsidered. You will then be notified of the Claims Administrator’s reconsideration.
If the Claims Administrator confirms its initial assessment of a lower level of compensation, you will have the option of having your claim reviewed by a Third-Party Assessor. The decision of the Third-Party Assessor is final.
The Third-Party Assessor may occasionally refer a Claim to the Exceptions Committee for consideration. In these situations, the Exceptions Committee will make the final determination of your Claim.
Q: Can I sign a Claim Form for a family member who is applying for compensation?
If you are acting as a Personal Representative, you must attach documentation to verify your eligibility to act on the Claimant’s behalf, including evidence that you have Power of Attorney of the Claimant’s finances.
Please visit https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100032357/1100100032361#chp7 for more information on how to become a Personal Representative of someone under disability.
Q: What if I’m not satisfied with the amount of compensation that I’m getting?
More information on this process can be found in Schedule B of the Settlement Agreement.
Q: Are there any fees or costs associated with participating in this settlement?
Q: How are the lawyers getting paid?
Q: What is the Legacy Fund?
Q: How do I apply for the Legacy Fund?
The McLean Day Schools Settlement Corporation is now in the early stages of set up. The Corporation will soon develop and make available the guidelines and procedures for organizations to follow in applying for grants under the Legacy Fund. More information will be available in the weeks to come.
Schedule K – List of Federal Indian Day Schools
Q: What if I don’t see the school I attended on the list of eligible schools?
Q: Do you have a list of which Day school(s) I attended?
Q: How can I differentiate a Federal and a Provincial Day school?
If your school is not on the list, it is likely a Provincial Day School or another type of institution.
Q: Where can I locate my school records?
If you cannot obtain school records, you can provide a Sworn Declaration included on the Part 5F Claim Form.
Q: Where can I locate medical, dental, nursing or therapy records?
If you cannot obtain medical, dental, nursing, or therapy records, you can provide a Sworn Declaration included on Part 5F of the Claim Form.
Q: There is a 90-day opt-out period. What does it mean if I choose to opt out?
Q: What’s the difference between objecting and opting out?
Opting out means choosing to remove yourself from the Class. Those who choose to opt out will receive no compensation under this settlement. They will however retain the right to bring their own action against Canada at their own cost for harms suffered while in a Federal Indian Day School or a Federal Day School should they so wish.
If you have any questions, please call Class Counsel directly or at the following toll-free phone number: 1 (844) 539-3815.