The Memorial Grant Program for First Responders honours the dedication and suffering of first responders in ensuring the safety of Canadians. The program offers families of first responders who passed away while performing their duties the opportunity to receive a $300,000 maximum direct payment in a single lump sum that is tax-free.
All Canadians are served when firefighters, police officers, paramedics, correctional officers, parole officers, or probation officers put their safety in danger. The Memorial Grant Program for First Responders will give the beneficiaries of first responders who have passed away while performing their duties a one-time lump sum, a tax-free direct maximum payment in recognition of their crucial role in securing Canadians. The Memorial Grant is a non-economic benefit that honours the service and sacrifice of first responders rather than replacing their income or providing financial compensation to their beneficiaries.
Public Safety Canada has appointed Raymond Chabot Thornton Consulting Inc. to manage the Memorial Grant Program application procedure. The Canadian government supports those who put their lives in danger to keep us safe and their families safe when a tragedy occurs. The honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced today that the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders would be expanded to honour the service and sacrifice of correctional, parole, and probation officers who have died while performing their duties. Early in 2021, their families can submit an application to the Memorial Grant Program. The start date of this programme, April 1, 2018, will serve as the eligibility date.
Officers in charge of corrections, parole, and probation are crucial to maintaining public safety. Canadians trust them to impose custodial sentences safely and compassionately and set up inmates for a secure reintegration into society after their time in detention. This important initiative highlights how our nation supports those who risk their lives to protect us by honouring service and sacrifice for families who lost a loved one.
To determine whether it is necessary to extend this programme to other public safety personnel, the Canadian government is still working to enhance that support in partnership with the public safety community. The Canadian government will proceed with a focused consultation to consider the scope of this programme in the upcoming months.
Who Is Eligible to Apply?
Beneficiaries who are eligible:
- As described below, a person who can demonstrate and provide proof of a relationship to a deceased first responder is an eligible recipient. The following priority rankings are to be used to determine who is eligible for payment and in what order:
- The spouse or common-law partner; or, in the absence of a surviving spouse or common-law partner, to any surviving children, divided equally; or, in the absence of a surviving child, to any surviving parents; or, in the absence of a surviving parent, to any surviving siblings; or, in the absence of a surviving sibling, to the estate of the deceased.
For the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders to be valid, a death must be attributable to and result from the discharge of official duties in one of the following situations:
- death brought on by a fatal injury (such as a gunshot wound, stabbing, car accident, etc.) while performing first aid duties in Canada.
- Death from an occupational disease primarily results from working as a first responder, such as heart disease, leukemia, non-lymphoma, Hodgkin’s or lung cancer. Public Safety Canada will compile a presumptive list of occupational illnesses and related years of service based on accepted provincial and territorial procedures.
- Suicide deaths are caused by, or are reasonably attributable to, psychological impairment and are supported by a prior diagnosis or numerous independent affidavits.
What Are the Requirements for Applying?
Each Memorial Grant Program for First Responders application must be supported by documentary proof that demonstrates:
- identity of the deceased first responder; applicant’s identity; the relationship between the dead first responder and applicant (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption certificate, affidavits, statutory declarations, and any other similar documents as may be required to determine eligibility)
- A court-certified copy of the last will, letters of administration, or other comparable documentation may be necessary if such documentation is needed.
The application must also include the following information for deaths brought on by fatal injuries:
- An application form that has been appropriately filled out; attestation from a representative of the employer organization attesting and confirming that the first responder was employed or formally engaged by the police, paramedic, or firefighting service to perform tasks and acted in an official capacity at the time the fatal injury occurred. A description of the circumstances surrounding the fatal injury;
- medical records or other records that detail the first responder’s injury, including the primary cause of death and any additional contributing factors; a certified true copy of the death certificate;
- any additional documents or evidence that may be needed to confirm eligibility are all included in this attestation.
In addition to the information listed above, the application for death due to an occupational illness must also include:
- a properly filled out application form;
- an attestation from a representative of the employer organization that attests and confirms the duration of the person’s employment or formal engagement with the police, paramedic, or firefighting service;
- medical records or other records that document the first responder’s illness and diagnosis;
- medical reports or other records that document the primary cause of death and other contributing factors;
- a certifiable death certificate
The following information must also be included in the application for death brought on by psychological impairment:
- A properly filled out application; confirmation that the applicant was employed or formally engaged by the police, paramedic, or firefighting service to perform duties and acted in an official capacity; and an attestation from a representative authorized to speak for the employer organization.
- As a result of the first responder’s prior diagnosis of an operational stress injury as a result of their involvement and/or employment as a first responder, as shown by medical records or other records;
- multiple separate affidavits from family members residing in the same home; friends; an employer; and/or co-workers attesting to the first responder’s perceived mental state in the absence of a pre-existing diagnosis;
- a certified copy of the death certificate
How to Contact?
To reach one of their trained specialists, please contact:
TTY device: 1-888-362-5889
Email: [email protected]
Memorial Grant Program for First Responders
116 Albert St., Suite #1000
If you have any questions, please email Public Safety Canada: [email protected] or contact Service Canada toll-free at 1-800-622-6232 or TTY at 1-800-926-9105.
The Canadian government has pledged to give public safety workers priority support, and one example of this is the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders. Supporting Canada’s Public Safety Personnel: An Action Plan on Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries was made public by the Canadian government on April 8. a strategy to fund research, early intervention, prevention, stigma reduction, care, and treatment for all categories of public safety personnel nationwide. There are numerous resources available that can assist in identifying symptoms and provide a secure setting to speak with qualified professionals if you are experiencing mental health difficulties or know someone who is. These resources can be accessed online and over the phone and are accessible all the time.