People may have acquired Hep C through blood transfusions in Canada prior to 1990. Since 1990, the Canadian blood supply has been tested for hepatitis C, so the likelihood of becoming infected through blood products is very low.
Major lawsuits have resulted in compensation packages for people (or their families) who were first infected with hepatitis C from the blood supply.
The compensation packages may provide lump sum payments, a subsidy for lost income, or repayment of medical expenses. It is worth noting that few people who have used injection drug-use equipment have ever received a compensation award.
The deadline for first claims of alive persons for the first two settlements is, in most cases, June 30, 2010, although people can still claim up to one year after reaching age of majority, or within three years of learning of their hepatitis C infection.
More information on the deadlines and the application process is available on the websites below, which are differentiated based on year of infection. The following action settlements are still open
The Pre-1986/Post-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement is for the benefit of people infected with hepatitis C through the blood system in Canada prior to January 1, 1986 or between July 2, 1990 and September 28, 1998, and certain members of their families.
The Hepatitis C January 1, 1986–July 1, 1990 Class Actions Settlement is for the benefit of people who were infected with hepatitis C for the first time through blood, blood products or blood transfusions during this period, and certain members of their families.
Provincial Hepatitis Assistance Plans
Five provinces set up provincial assistance plans to provide financial compensation to people infected by Hep C through the blood supply. They are Ontario, BC, Manitoba, Alberta and Québec. The Québec program ended in 2010.
If a resident of Ontario believes he or she may have become infected with hepatitis C through the blood supply in Ontario before January 1, 1986 or between July 2, 1990 and September 28, 1998, they may be able to receive financial compensation from the Ontario government. The provincial compensation program is called the Ontario Hepatitis C Assistance Plan (OHCAP) and is available to people who became infected directly through the blood supply, through a spouse, partner or mother who was infected through the blood supply or to the personal representative of an estate of an individual who contracted hepatitis C through the blood system in Ontario during the period covered by the Ontario Plan.
To apply for compensation, people need to fill out an Applicant Form and send it to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, OHCAP at: P.O. Box 40009, Station BRM-B, Toronto, Ontario, M7Y 5J9. Applicants must also have their doctor complete and submit a Physician Form and send it to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
If a person disagrees with a decision about their application, they have the right to file an appeal to the Review Committee within 45 days of receiving the ineligible letter. Instructions on how to file an appeal will be mailed to applicants when they receive notification about their ineligibility for compensation.
For more information about OHCAP or to receive an application form, people can call the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care toll-free at 1-877-222-4977 or TTY at 1-800-387-5559.
If a resident of Manitoba believes he or she may have become infected with hepatitis C through the Canadian blood supply in Manitoba before January 1, 1986 or between July 1, 1990 and September 28, 1998, they may be able to receive financial compensation from the Manitoba government. The provincial compensation program is called the Manitoba Hepatitis C Compassionate Assistance Program (MHCAP). Applicants may need assistance completing the application forms, which are quite long. If a person qualifies for compensation through the pre-1986/post-1990 or 1986-1990 federal compensation settlements, they cannot apply to receive money from MHCAP. For more information about the program, call 1-866-357-0196 or visit the MHCAP website.
If a person disagrees with a decision about their application, they have the right to file an appeal. Instructions on how to file an appeal will be mailed to applicants when they receive notification about their request for compensation.
Albertans who initially became infected with hepatitis C through the blood supply in Alberta before January 1, 1986 or between July 2, 1990 and September 28, 1998 AND were approved for compensation from the federal class action settlement may be eligible for a one-time lump sum payment through the Alberta Settlement Agreement. People do not need to apply for this compensation as the Administrator for the Alberta Settlement will review people’s Federal Settlement applications to determine if they are eligible for the Alberta Settlement. The Administrator will notify people in writing about their eligibility. Estates are not eligible for compensation; however, spouses, infected Class Members’ children under the age of 21 and the dependants of infected Class Members whose death was caused by their hepatitis C infection may be eligible. The amount of compensation provided to claimants is based on the claimant’s age, current disease level and the probability of disease progression.
For more information about the Alberta Pre-1986/Post-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement, contact the Administrator at 1-866-334-3361.
People who contracted hepatitis C through the Canadian blood supply before January 1, 1986 or after July 1, 1990 may be eligible to receive compensation payments from the federal government. On June 8, 2007, the Supreme Court of British Columbia approved the final settlement agreement which set out the guidelines for providing these payments to BC residents. For Employment and Income Assistance clients in BC this means:
- A payment received for pain and suffering will not affect a client’s eligibility for income, disability and hardship assistance
- A payment received for income replacement may affect a client’s eligibility for income, disability and hardship assistance
If people would like more information about the Hep C Compensation Exemption in BC, they can call The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation Info Line at: 1-866-866-0800.
The following compensation programs and settlements are now closed:
This is the Canadian Red Cross settlement for people infected with hepatitis C through the blood system before January 1, 1986 or between July 2, 1990 and September 28, 1998. The deadline for completing or submitting a claim passed in 2011. This means new claims will not be accepted.
Québec's financial assistance program for people infected with hepatitis C ended in 2010.
Under this program, Québec residents infected with the hepatitis C virus as a result of a blood transfusion or blood products received in Québec before January 1, 1986 or between July 2, 1990 and September 28, 1998, were eligible to receive financial compensation from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec. This program ended in 2010.