Memorial Grant Program for First Responders Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the effective date for eligibility?
The effective date for the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders is April 1, 2018. For eligibility, the date of death must be on or after April 1, 2018. The Grant will not be retroactive. You may apply for the Memorial Grant any time after the date of death.
Why aren’t line of duty deaths that occurred prior to April 1, 2018 considered eligible under this Program?
The Government of Canada has a profound appreciation for all Canadian first responders. We ask first responders to stand in harm’s way to protect Canadians and keep us safe.
This recognition of service and sacrifice for beneficiaries of first responders who lost a loved one in the line of duty is an important advancement in how our country supports those who keep us safe.
The funding for the Memorial Grant Program was provided in Budget 2017 and was established for beneficiaries of first responders who died as a result of their duties in 2018-2019. As such, the effective date is April 1, 2018, with no provision for retroactivity.
Who qualifies as a First Responder?
Qualifying First Responders include:
- Police officers
- Correctional Officers
- Parole Officers
- Probation Officers
To qualify as a police, firefighter or paramedic, an individual must be employed or formally engaged to carry out the duties by a Canadian emergency service in Canada in the above mentioned groups. This includes all volunteers, auxiliary, reservists and cross-trained personnel.
First responders could have worked for a province or territory, a municipality, a district or region, an indigenous emergency service or the federal government.
To qualify as a correctional, parole or probation officer, an individual must be employed by a federal, provincial, territorial, regional, municipal, or indigenous correctional service. They must further have been responsible for:
- the custody, safety, security and supervision of persons whom have been arrested, are awaiting trial; or
- inmates in a penitentiary, prison or any other correctional facility or institution; or
- individuals on conditional release.
Who is eligible for the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders?
Beneficiaries of first responders who die as a result of their duties are eligible to receive a one-time lump-sum direct payment of $300,000, based upon the following order of priority:
- The spouse or common law partner; or
- If there is no surviving spouse or common law partner, to a surviving child or children divided in equal amounts; or
- If there is no surviving child, to a surviving parent or parents divided in equal amounts; or
- If there is no surviving parent, to surviving brothers and sisters divided in equal amounts; or
- If there are no surviving brothers and sisters, to the deceased's estate.
What is a line of duty death?
Line of duty deaths includes any death attributable to, and resulting from, the performance of official duties in the following circumstances:
- Death resulting from a fatal injury (e.g., gunshot wound, stabbing, car accident, etc.) while actively engaged in the duties of a first responder in Canada.
- Death resulting from an occupational illness primarily resulting from employment as a first responder (e.g., lung cancer, leukemia, non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, heart injury, COVID-19 or other illness).
- Death resulting from, or reasonably attributable to, psychological impairment, specifically suicide, based on a pre-existing diagnosis or other evidence of an operational stress injury.
How do I apply for the Memorial Grant Program?
To begin the application process, or for questions related to eligibility, please contact Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc.:
By mail: Memorial Grant Program for First Responders
116 Albert St., Suite #1000
Is the Memorial Grant Tax-free?
Yes, the Memorial Grant is tax-free. It will be paid as a one-time lump-sum payment to eligible families of first responders who have died as a result of their duties in recognition of their service and sacrifice in protecting Canadians.
Any Grant payment will not need to be entered into your taxes as income.
Do I qualify for the Memorial Grant Program if I have been permanently disabled in the line of duty?
The Memorial Grant Program for First Responders recognizes the service and sacrifice of Canada’s police officers, firefighters, paramedics, correctional, parole and probation officers who died as a result of their duties, with a grant payment to eligible beneficiaries. It does not presently cover those who have been permanently disabled in the line of duty.
Why has the Government hired a third-party to handle the administration of the Memorial Grant Program?
Assessing applications requires highly specialized expertise that Public Safety Canada does not have in-house. Contracting a third-party administrator to deliver these services at arms-length from the Government also demonstrates a fair and transparent decision-making process.
The emphasis on a sensitive, client-service approach in dealing with Memorial Grant Program applications responds to concerns raised by the Auditor General about government services; the program is being tailored to recognize and respond to the needs of grieving families.
Will my personal information be protected?
Public Safety Canada and Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc. will make all legally required arrangements to safeguard the personal information in its control by protecting it against such risks as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or disposal.
The information you provide as part of the applications process will be retained and disposed of in compliance with the Treasury Board Policy on Government Security and in accordance with both the Privacy Act and the Library and Archives of Canada Act.
What is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that is part of the eligibility requirements?
The Government of Canada is asking provinces and territories to sign bilateral agreements to undertake best efforts to make certain the Memorial Grant payment remains whole, exempting it from potential reductions, claw-backs or offsets that may occur through existing provincial and territorial compensation and benefit programs payable to the beneficiaries of first responders.
The absence of a signed bilateral agreement will not delay a payment to an eligible beneficiary.
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