Just a quick update to share that interim payments for Eligible Class Members have begun to go out today. People should shortly begin to receive these payments either by cheque or, if previously requested, by direct deposit.
We wanted to provide you with a brief update on interim payments to Eligible Class Members (those who have previously been sent a “Notice of Eligible Class Member” letter). The majority of payments to Eligible Class Members have now gone out. We are still working on issuing some payments where there are unique circumstances. If we need more information from you—for example banking or address information— to issue your payment, we will be in touch with you directly by email.
Also, we want to let you know that we are receiving a high volume of calls right now. If you cannot get through immediately, please leave us a message with your full name and phone number. We will return your call within three business days.
Here are the answers to a few common questions about interim payments that you may find useful:
I requested direct deposit, so why did I receive a cheque?
In some cases a direct deposit wasn’t possible because the banking information didn’t match the information in our files. For example, we can’t issue a direct deposit to a joint account (an account in two peoples’ names), when only one of those people is an Eligible Class Member. In a case like that, we would have to issue a cheque instead.
I requested a direct deposit and it hasn’t happened yet. What do I need to do?
It is rare though we have had some situations where we’ve tried to issue a direct deposit, but it hasn’t gone through. We are actively and urgently working with banking institutions to solve this. If, for some reason, we need additional information from you to process your direct deposit we will be in touch with you directly by email.
I haven’t received my cheque yet. How do I know it hasn’t gotten lost in the mail?
We know that it can take as long as four weeks for mail delivery to certain parts of Canada. If you have not received your cheque in the mail by July 15th please let us know and we will take action.
My loved one, an Eligible Class Member, passed away. Who will receive the interim payment?
Please let us know if you are in this situation. We will issue the interim payment to your loved one’s Estate Executor.
Please see our FAQ for more information.
We have heard a few questions from Applicants regarding the interim payment to Eligible Class Members and wanted to provide the following answers for clarification.
How will I get my payment?
You will get your payment by cheque via regular mail through Canada Post unless you have made other arrangements with the Administrator. If your address has changed from the one submitted to the Administrator as part of your claims application and have not since updated this, we strongly suggest you give us a call at 1-844-287-4270 to ensure we have the right information. Requests for payments by direct deposit made by email, mail or fax to the Administrator received by Friday, noon EST, on June 5th has been processed as such.
What if I get a call requesting my banking information. What should I do?
Please do not give anyone your banking information over the phone. Collectiva is not asking for your banking information by phone. If you receive such a call, please hang up immediately. It’s a scam.
Will payments I receive impact my ability to get social benefits?
We expect that a number of benefit programs will not count these payments as “income” that would affect your benefits. However, we do strongly recommend reaching out to your benefits program directly to confirm this. It may help to share this letter from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that explains their assessment of these payments as not taxable income. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact Class Counsel.
Following Monday’s announcement by the Federal Court, we are pleased to announce that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has approved a similar interim payment order today. Now that both Courts have approved the order, this means that we can begin issuing an interim payment of $21,000 to all Eligible Class Members. All Eligible Class Members will be receiving this interim payment in the coming weeks.
Today, the Federal Court of Canada approved an order allowing us to issue interim payments of $21,000 to all Eligible Class Members. To date, over 12,500 individuals have been deemed eligible for individual payment as part of a national settlement between the Government of Canada and plaintiffs representing Sixties Scoop Survivors. We understand that a similar order to issue interim payments is also being put in front of the Ontario Superior Court, which also presides over the Settlement. We anticipate hearing a decision soon.
This announcement comes in the wake of delays to the claims process resulting from COVID-19. To protect public health, a number of provincial archives have closed. These archives contain important information that we need in order to verify some people’s claims. Further, social distancing has created barriers for Applicants seeking information and support to back up claims that we have flagged as incomplete.
Under these circumstances, the fair and necessary thing to do was to make sure no one’s application is denied while we’re still in this period of uncertainty. Because of this decision, it will take a little longer to determine the total number of eligible applications and, therefore, the final individual payment amount that each person will ultimately receive.
We recognize the huge emotional toll this delay has had on Applicants. Please know that it is our highest priority to get Eligible Class members the payments they are owed as quickly as possible.
The approval process is still moving forward
For Applicants still awaiting a decision on their application, we understand your anxiety and frustration. We want you to know that, while we are not denying claims right now, we are still doing the work to approve them. Those efforts are more difficult because of the pandemic, but they are ongoing.
We can also confirm that Applicants whose applications are approved in the weeks and months ahead will also receive the interim payment of $21,000.
The pause on application denials and timelines is a critical opportunity for Applicants who received a “Notice of Intent to Reject” letter dated in February or March of 2020. Our strong advice to Applicants is to get in touch with Class Counsel, who can review your claim and offer guidance. Applicants have the right to legal support from the four law firms involved in the settlement. The cost of these legal services is paid for by the settlement and you can access them at no additional cost to you. Please find contact information on this page below.
Currently, we are closely monitoring provincial public health updates and are in discussion with our Indigenous partners to determine a threshold for when it will be safe and fair to reinstate timelines for incomplete applications and to resume the process of issuing denials, where appropriate.
We don’t yet know when we’ll be able to issue final payments for Eligible Class Members, but we do know that all parties are planning to return to court to seek an order that will answer that question. We’ll provide an update on that as soon as one is available.
We truly hope that today’s announcement offers a glimmer of optimism for Applicants. We are fully committed to keeping you as informed as possible in this evolving situation and we are grateful for your patience.
Top Four Questions
Here are answers to some questions you may have about this update:
- How soon will I get an interim payment?
Right now we are still waiting for the Ontario Court to approve the interim payment order (it is in the process of being put before the Court). As soon as the order is approved, we will start issuing payments to Eligible Class Members.
- I haven’t gotten an approval notice. What should I do?
We know how difficult and stressful this waiting period is. We want you to know that we are still doing the hard work to review claims and we are still sending out approvals as quickly as we can. We are grateful for your patience.
- What if I got a “notice of intent to reject” letter or an “Official Rejection” letter? What should I do?
If you received one of these letters dated in February or March of 2020, the good news is that you now have more time to respond. We strongly recommend that you connect with Class Counsel for their guidance, which is your right and is already paid for by settlement.
- If my application is approved later, can I still get an Interim Payment? Will the money run out?
Yes, you will be able to get an interim payment if your application is approved in the weeks or months ahead. The money will not run out. Given the total number of outstanding claims, the interim payment will not deplete the total available funds.
For more information, please see today’s news release: CLICK HERE
Below are statistics on the administration of the Sixties Scoop Settlement:
- Total number of Individual Payment Applications filed – 34,767
- Total number of Eligible Class Members processed to date – 12,551
Please note that the Administrator is currently in the process of actively reviewing applications.
Implications of Court Order
The Sixties Scoop settlement provides for each Eligible Class Member to receive an equal share of the Settlement Fund. For this reason, it is necessary for all application forms to be reviewed and determined to be either eligible or rejected prior to calculating individual payment amounts. As process of resolving incomplete applications, including consultation with provincial and territorial government agencies, has taken more time than originally estimated, the Federal Court has ordered that the distribution of payments may proceed once more than 4,767 applications have been fully and finally rejected.
Regrettably, the suspension of the time limits referred to below has resulted in a delay in the rejection of applications. For this reason, payments to Eligible Class Members are currently on hold.
COVID-19 – Administrator Operations
Collectiva has returned to full operating capacity. We are currently responding to telephone and email inquiries and are working remotely to process claims.
COVID-19 – Suspension of Time Limits
COVID-19 may have affected the ability of Applicants to respond to Notices received from us dated in February and March, 2020. For this reason, the time limits in those notice letters have been suspended.
This suspension does not apply to you if you received an Official Rejection letter prior to February 14, 2020 date and you did not seek a reconsideration.
Once the suspension of time limits has been lifted, you will be sent a notice advising you of the new time limit to respond.
Given these are unprecedented times, the duration of the suspension of time limits is not known. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation.
Scam Alert – Requests for Banking Information
Applicants may be receiving unsolicited calls or emails from individuals requesting banking information. If you receive such a call it is a scam. We do not request banking information over the telephone. If you receive such a call please let us know.
The Federal and Provincial public health authorities have issued recommendations and requirements. As a result, our office is operating with a reduced staff for a period of time in an effort to maintain social distancing, limit health risks to our employees, and manage the spread of COVID-19. We do not know how long this situation will last.
Due to these extraordinary circumstances, if you have received a Notice of Intent to Reject or a Reminder Letter (for your Notice of Intent to Reject) or an Official Rejection, there is now an agreement in place that the time limits set out in those notices or letters are suspended, or in other words, are not applicable to your file at this time. For this reason, applicant submissions will not be adversely affected by the situation which is unfolding across the country.
You will be sent a further letter, once the time period for you to either provide additional information or contact Class Counsel has resumed, including a revised deadline for you to respond.
During this exceptional period please expect delays in receiving replies.
If you are experiencing emotional distress and would like to receive free counselling and crisis intervention services, then please contact the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, or online at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time for all Canadians.
Throughout the administration process, you are invited to contact one of the following lawyers who will give you advice and help on what to do for free.
Select the lawyer listed beside the province or territory from where you were removed from your birth family:
|Klein Lawyers – 1-604-874-7171
|Merchant Law Group – 1-888-567-7777
|Merchant Law Group – 1-888-567-7777
|Merchant Law Group – 1-888-567-7777
|Koskie Minsky – 1 855-595-2626 or Burrison Hudani Doris LLP (BHD) – 1-866-360-5952
|NWT and all Eastern Provinces:
|Koskie Minsky – 1-855-595-2626