Q.1. What are the Common Experience Payment and the Independent Assessment Process?
A.1. The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) includes two components that provide financial compensation: the Common Experience Payment (CEP) and Independent Assessment Process (IAP). The CEP is paid to eligible former students who resided at a recognized Indian residential school.
The IRSSA provides for an enhanced alternative dispute resolution process called the IAP. The IAP is the only way a former student may pursue a sexual or serious physical abuse claim, unless he or she has formally opted out of the IRSSA. Compensation through the IAP will be paid at 100% by the government in all cases, following validation of the claim by an independent adjudicator.
Q.2. I thought the CEP deadline had passed yet eligible former students can still apply?
A.2. The CEP deadline has passed. However, in accordance with the IRSSA, applications will be accepted until September 19, 2012, in cases of disability, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances, and must include a written reason for the delay. For more information, you can call the CEP line at 1-866-699-1742 or visit Service Canada's website . In accordance with the IRSSA, applications will not be accepted after this deadline unless ordered by the court.
Q.3. When can I make a claim in the Independent Assessment Process?
A.3. The IAP application form and guide are available online or by calling: 1-866-879-4913. Former students can apply until September 19, 2012. In accordance with the IRSSA, applications will not be accepted after this deadline.
Q.4. Will I need a lawyer to make a claim in the Independent Assessment Process?
A.4. The IAP process can be complex, and you are encouraged to have a lawyer assist you. Canada pays 15% of the amount awarded as a contribution towards legal fees. However, lawyers may charge you additional fees for IAP compensation you receive; up to an additional 15% of the award. Fee arrangements made between former students and their lawyers are private matters in which the government cannot interfere. Schedule "D" of the IRSSA outlines provisions for the review of legal fees where former students are represented by a lawyer.
Q.5. Can a former student apply for IAP after September 19, 2012? Are there any extenuating circumstances?
A.5. Unless directed by the Courts, no IAP applications will be considered if filed after September 19, 2012. The IRSSA was approved by nine provincial and territorial courts. Canada is only one of many parties that negotiated and agreed to the IRSSA, and Canada must respect the terms of the original agreement.