In support of Indigenous communities across Canada, Class Counsel encourages reflection to honour the victims of Indian Residential Schools and Indian Day Schools. The trauma and grief of these schools continues to be felt. If you need to talk, you can call the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 or the Hope for Wellness Helpline at 1-855-242-3310 or, for online counselling support, visit hopeforwellness.ca.
Class Counsel would like to remind Claimants who have received Level Down assessments that they are able to apply for a Reconsideration through the Claims Administrator. We understand that receiving this decision might have taken a long time, but please know that timelines for Reconsideration responses are generally much shorter.
If you accept a Level Down assessment, it should take approximately 10-12 weeks to receive your cheque.
If you request a Reconsideration by the Claims Administrator, it should take approximately 12-14 weeks to receive a decision letter.
To discuss this with a representative or to receive advice in requesting a Reconsideration, please contact Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815.
It is with deep sadness that we share the untimely death of our good friend, Garry McLean, who served as the lead plaintiff in this case since its inception. Garry was a fierce advocate for Indian Day School Survivors and their families. He worked tirelessly on their behalf. Even in last few days, he remained engaged in the case and pushed for its progress.
We remain committed to helping Indian Day School survivors achieve justice for the harms they experienced. Garry has taught us much about this work being carried forward to resolution and reconciliation. We will miss his support, friendship, grace and gentle humour.
Some Claimants may be receiving a letter from the Claims Administrator about their Claim Form level assessment. These level assessment letters may indicate the narrative submitted demonstrates either a higher level or lower level when assessed against the Claim Form harms grid.
For those that have been assessed at a lower level, it’s important to know that this decision is not final. Claimants have 120 days from the time they receive the Claims Administrator’s notice to request a reconsideration of the assessed level. If you would like to request a reconsideration of a lower level assessment, it is highly recommended to reach out to Class Counsel for assistance at 1 (844) 539-3815.
The Claims Administrator has informed us of the most common Claim Form submission errors. The following is a list of the top 5 deficiencies that lead to delays in the Claim Form review process:
- Copy of ID is missing or unreadable; or the name on the ID does not match the name on the Claim Form.
- Please double check the copy of your ID before submitting your Claim Form
- Address is incomplete.
- In particular, please be sure to include P.O. Box, if applicable
- School Name and/or years of attendance is not on Schedule K.
- To be eligible for compensation, the Claimant must have attended a Schedule K School during the listed dates
- Missing signatures and dates.
- Please be sure to sign and date page 5 (Claimant and Witness) and, if applicable, page 12 (Claimant and Guarantor)
- Level of harm has not been selected.
- Although the Claims Administrator can move you up, down or provide compensation based on the level selected, the Claimant must still select a level of abuse/harm before their claim can be reviewed and assessed
To avoid unnecessary administrative delay, Claimants are strongly encouraged to carefully review their Claim Form before submitting it. If you would like one-on-one support filling out your Claim Form, please call Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the Claims Administrator nor Class Counsel will ever call a Claimant asking for financial information. If the Claims Administrator does call a Claimant, it will only be regarding specific details of the Claim Form and the Claims Process. The Claims Administrator will only ask for the following personal information to identify you as the Claimant:
- Full name and date of birth as it appears on your Claim Form and/or your ID;
- The last 3 digits of your SIN, Certificate of Indian Status or other ID provided;
- Phone number, email, and mailing address.
If you are not comfortable with providing such personal information over the phone (notably in consideration of possible identify theft) hang up and call the Claims Administrator directly at 1-888-221-2898.
We understand that Claimants are being approached for paid legal support by certain third party law firms (non-Class Counsel). Please note that any requested fee for services must be pursuant to Rule 334.4 of the Federal Courts Rules, 13.04 of the Settlement Agreement, and the Federal Court Order dated June 17, 2020.
What this means: Claimants can choose to retain their own lawyers; however, they will have to pay for non-Class Counsel legal fees and disbursements. Canada does not pay for the legal fees or disbursements of non-Class Counsel lawyers. Any fees or disbursements charged by a non-Class Counsel lawyer under a retainer or payment agreement must be approved by the Federal Court before the lawyer can require payment. Court approval is not intended to limit choice of counsel but to ensure that problems that developed in other class action settlements do not occur again. This includes the charging of unnecessary or unreasonable costs.
The retainer of non-Class Counsel must outline the consequences that a retainer with them will have on the usual duties and responsibilities owed by Class Counsel to the Claimant. By signing a separate retainer agreement and/or choosing to use a lawyer other than Class Counsel, the Claimant will be deemed to have given up their access to free legal services from Class Counsel and will be deemed to have released Class Counsel from their obligations to support that particular Claimant.
An Indian Day Schools Claims Assistance Program is currently being developed to provide in-person support in communities across the country to help Claimants complete Claim Forms. This assistance program will be organized by Argyle Communications Inc. (“Argyle”). Their role will be to create and execute a plan to safely and effectively reach as many Claimants as possible.
There will be a limited number of Community Assistance Sessions delivered, so Argyle’s Indian Day Schools (“IDS”) Claims Assistance Team is currently reviewing requests and developing a plan to safely and effectively reach as many Claimants as possible.
To request an in-person claims assistance session for your community, or to be provided with an update on the Claims Assistance Program progress, please contact the Argyle IDS Claims Assistance Team at information@IDScommunitysessions.com.
Additional Live Support Still Available
One-on-one support remains available from Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 . Additional assistance and information is also available through online Community Assistance Sessions. For more information click here.
On July 7, 2020, the Federal Court appointed Argyle Communications Inc. (“Argyle”) to assist in the delivery of Notice by implementing the Claimant Assistance Program. Effectively, Argyle will be organizing community visits and assisting Claimants, in-person, with their Claim Forms. Class Counsel will continue to be available to provide legal advice during these community visits – once travel recommences. Details on this program will be posted in the coming months. Click here for the July 7, 2020 Court Order.
On July 10, 2020, the Federal Court appointed Reva E. Devins as the Independent Assessor for the Claims Process. Ms. Devins has served as an assessor in a number of class actions and has provided meditation and arbitration services since 1998. As the Independent Assessor, Ms. Devins will conduct independent reviews and assessments of claims after Reconsiderations are performed by the Claims Administrator and where elected by Claimants. The Independent Assessor may on occasion refer a claim to the Exceptions Committee. Decisions made by the Independent Assessor or the Exceptions Committee are final. Click here for the July 10, 2020 Court Order.
There is an update from the Claims Administrator with next steps for those who recently received a letter requesting additional information. If you receive such a letter:
- Review the list of information needed to complete your submission in the Missing Information Form attached to your letter.
- Contact Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 if you have questions about the documentary requirements.
- Complete the “Missing Information” Form, sign and send it to the Claims Administrator.
Please note, the Claims Administrator has posted the following update here concerning anticipated time estimates.
- Receipt of Claim: Please confirm with the Claims Administrator’s Call Centre, at 1.888.221.2898, that your Claim Form was received. The Claims Administrator is asking Claimants to wait 6 weeks from the time a Claim Form is sent to them before calling to confirm it has been received and registered into their system.
- Level 1 Claims: The Claims Administrator is reporting that it can take up to 6 months to review and approve a complete and eligible Level 1 Claim Form. Eligible Claimants will receive a payment letter to confirm a claim has been approved.
- Level 2-5 Claims: After registering a Claim Form, the Claims Administrator sends it to the Government of Canada for review of eligibility. Canada has 60 days to review Levels 2-3, and 90 days to review Levels 4-5, starting from when the claim is received from the Claims Administrator. You will be notified by the Claims Administrator, in writing, when a claim has been sent to Canada for review. Once Canada’s review is complete, the Claims Administrator begins the process of substantively reviewing the claim. There is no set time period to do so. The Claims Administrator is reporting that, since each individual experience is being considered, some Level 2-5 claims may take up to 12 months for the entire review and approval process to be completed. Please note that Class Counsel does not have direct access to the Claim Form status details.
To avoid unnecessary administrative delay, for example due to incomplete Claim Forms, Claimants are strongly encouraged to carefully complete and take time to review their Claim Form before submitting it. If you would like one-on-one support filling out your Claim Form, please call Class Counsel at 1-844-539-3815 or email email@example.com.