Frequently asked questions (FAQS)


1. What is a class action?

In a class action, the Plaintiffs act as “Class Representatives” and sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. This group of people is called the “Class,” and the people in the Class are called “Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for people who exclude themselves from the Class. The Honourable Justice Fothergill of the Federal Courts is in charge of this case. The case is Sherry Heyder, Amy Graham and Nadine Schultz-Nielsen v. the Attorney General of Canada (“Heyder Class Action”) Court File Number T-2111-16 and Larry Beattie v. The Attorney General of Canada (“Beattie Class Action”) Court File Number T-460-17.

2. What is this class action about?

In 2016 and 2017 Seven former members of the Canadian Armed Forces (the “Representative Plaintiffs”) initiated class action lawsuits (“Heyder and Beattie Class Actions”) against the Government of Canada (“Canada”) alleging sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation (“Sexual Misconduct”) in connection with their military service and/or employment with the Department of National Defence (“DND”) and/or Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces (“SNPF”).

On consent of the parties, on November 25, 2019, the Federal Court certified the lawsuits as class proceedings and approved a settlement agreement that provides compensation to current and former members the Canadian Armed Forces (“CAF”) and current and former employees of the DND/SNPF who experienced Sexual Misconduct. The settlement is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Canada.

3. Has the settlement been approved?

The settlement agreement was approved on November 25, 2019, by the Federal Court following the Settlement Approval Hearings held on September 19, 2019, September 20, 2019 and October 3, 2019. The settlement is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Canada.

4. Who can receive compensation under this class action?

You are a Class Member, and are included in the settlement, if you are a current or former CAF member and/or DND/SNPF employee who has experienced Sexual Misconduct.

“CAF Class Members” have been defined as follows:

All current or former CAF members who experienced Sexual Misconduct up to and including November 25, 2019, who have not opted out of the Heyder or Beattie Class Actions.

“DND/SNPF Class Members” have been defined as follows:

All current and former employees of DND and of the Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces, who experienced Sexual Misconduct up to and including November 25, 2019, who have not Opted Out of the Heyder or Beattie Class Actions.

“Sexual Misconduct” means the following, in Connection with Military Service for the CAF Class and in Connection with Employment for the DND/SNPF Class:

  1. Sexual harassment;
  2. Sexual assault; and/or
  3. Discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

“Eligible Class Member” is defined as a Class Member who was alive as of March 15, 2019, and whose application for an Individual Payment is approved in accordance with the provisions of the Final Settlement Agreement.

5. What does the settlement provide?

The settlement provides:

  1. Financial compensation for certain Class Members who experienced Sexual Misconduct connected with their military service and/or employment for DND/SNPF.

    Upon assessment of the nature of the incidents of Sexual Misconduct and the severity of the harm suffered as a result of those incidents, Class Members may be eligible for an Individual Payment in relation to incidents of Sexual Misconduct occurring during the Class Period, that is comprised of the Financial Compensation Amounts for which they are assessed as eligible, as set out in the Financial Compensation Grid (the "Compensation Amounts") (see table below), subject to the limitations set out in Sections 7.11 - 7.15, 12.01, 12.02 and 12.03 of the settlement agreement.

  2. The option to participate in a restorative engagement program for survivors to share their experiences of Sexual Misconduct with senior CAF and/or DND representatives;

  3. Changes to CAF policies and other measures addressing Sexual Misconduct in the CAF; and

  4. Changes to Veteran’s Affairs Canada (VAC) policies related to eligibility for disability payments and reconsideration of claims by a dedicated unit of employees established to assist with these claims.


Category Category Description Financial Compensation Level (CAD) Harm Level
A
  • Sexual harassment, gender-based and LGBTQ2+ based discrimination
  • Limited to women and those who identify as LGBTQ2+
  • Limited to incidents occurring after April 17, 1985
$5,000.00 N/A
B1 Targeted or ongoing or severe sexual harassment and/or sexual assault in the form of unwanted sexual touching $5,000.00 Low Harm
$10,000.00 Medium Harm
$20,000.00 High Harm
B2 Sexual assault in the form of sexual attack or sexual activity where no consent or unable to consent $30,000.00 Low Harm
$40,000.00 Medium Harm
$50,000.00 High Harm
C Enhanced Payment: Class Members who suffer or suffered from PTSD or other diagnosed mental injuries, or physical injuries arising from sexual assault or sexual harassment for which, for CAF Class Members, VAC benefits have been applied for and denied and/or have sought reconsideration and been denied. $50,000.00 Low Harm
$75,000.00 Medium Harm
$100,000.00 High Harm
6. Can I apply for all categories for financial compensation?

If you are a Class Member, you may submit a claim under Category A, either Category B1 or B2 (but not both) and Category C.

7. Who is eligible for compensation under Category C?

To be eligible for a payment under Category C, a class member must:

  1. be approved for a Category B claim;
  2. provide records showing that they have a diagnosed medical condition with a duration of more than six months; and
  3. not be eligible for Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) disability benefits under the Pension Act and/or the Veterans Well-Being Act (disability pension, disability award, or pain and suffering compensation) in respect of the same diagnosed medical condition.

If you were denied entitlement to VAC benefits for the same diagnosed medical condition and the decision was prior to April 3, 2017,1 you will not be eligible for Category C compensation unless, where available, you have filed an application for VAC Departmental Review after that date and received a denial.

If you have entitlement to benefits through VAC for PTSD or other psychological or physical diagnosed medical conditions, regardless of whether the decision was made prior to April 3, 2017, you will not be eligible for Category C compensation for the same condition.

1April 3, 2017 is the date that VAC broadened its policies with respect to the standard of proof for sexual trauma and the relationship to service. The Departmental Review Application can be found here.

8. Why is Category C compensation tied to VAC benefit entitlement?

The eligibility criteria for compensation under the class action settlement are different for all three levels of compensation.

Category A compensation is available to women and LGBTQ2+ individuals who experienced certain forms of harassment and discrimination that occurred between April 17, 1985 when the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force and November 25, 2019, being the date the settlement was approved.

Category B compensation is available to both women and men for a wide range of incidents of sexual misconduct, occurring any time before November 25, 2019. The level of compensation depends on the nature of the incident and the extent of the harm experienced, which includes, but is not limited to, diagnosed medical conditions. Those who are not eligible for Category C may still be eligible for Category B.

Category C compensation is more limited. One of the goals of the agreement is to ensure that survivors apply for and receive the VAC benefits to which they are entitled. Category C compensation is intended to ensure that individuals who have diagnosed medical conditions but who are not eligible for or who have been denied entitlement to VAC disability benefits for one reason or another may receive some additional compensation for service-related medical conditions lasting more than six months. Category C payments will mostly be limited to current and former DND and SNPF employees who are not eligible for benefits through VAC. There may, however, be some exceptional circumstances where Category C compensation is payable to current or former CAF members who are not eligible for or who have been denied benefits from VAC for a medical condition that lasted more than six months.

9. If I do not already have entitlement for VAC disability benefits for my diagnosed condition, why do I have to apply for these benefits in order to qualify for Category C?

The parties to the agreement recognized that many currently serving members and veterans who had suffered physical or psychological injuries as a result of sexual misconduct were previously denied benefits, or had not been aware they could apply. As a result, many survivors have not accessed all of the disability benefits and treatment benefits that they are eligible to receive through Veterans Affairs Canada.

Historically, incidents of sexual trauma involving military members were not always accepted as being related to service. An important achievement of the settlement agreement was that VAC agreed to update their policies to clarify their revised approach to adjudicating applications for disability benefits involving sexual trauma, so that current and former service members with diagnosed medical conditions arising from service related sexual assault or sexual harassment can access the disability and treatment benefits they need.

Even with these changes, it was recognized that some individuals may not be entitled to VAC benefits. Category C compensation was included in the settlement to provide Assessors the ability to award enhanced compensation to current or former DND and SNPF employees who are not eligible for VAC benefits, and to current and former CAF members who do not meet VAC disability benefits eligibility criteria.

10. Does my eligibility for Category C affect my entitlement to compensation under Category B?

No. While you must qualify under Category B to receive enhanced compensation under Category C, the reverse is not true. You are still eligible for compensation under Category B for the harm arising from incidents of sexual misconduct even if you do not qualify under Category C.

Entitlement to VAC disability benefits only affects Category C entitlement. You may still be eligible for compensation under Category A or B regardless of what VAC benefits you receive.

11. I am in receipt of VAC benefits for PTSD, but have since been diagnosed with another psychological disorder related to sexual trauma. Do I still need to submit an application to VAC and receive a denial decision for this condition to qualify for compensation under Category C?

If you hold disability entitlement for PTSD and the additional condition is listed in Section B of VAC’s Entitlement Eligibility Guidelines for PTSD, which can be found here you are not required to submit another application to VAC.

This is because the additional conditions are already included in the entitlement and assessment of PTSD.

For example, if you were awarded benefits for PTSD related to service in Afghanistan and you are later diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder as a result of sexual trauma, you are not required to apply to VAC for the diagnosed condition of Major Depressive Disorder as it is already included in the entitlement for your PTSD. However, this entitlement will likely mean that you are not eligible for a Category C payment as you already have access to VAC benefits for your diagnosed conditions.

12. What if my existing condition has worsened as a result of a service related incident involving sexual misconduct?

If your condition has worsened since you were first entitled, you may want to apply for reassessment. A decision maintaining your award at its current level is not a denial for purposes of Category C. If you have questions about VAC benefit entitlement or reassessments, please contact VAC at 1-800-487-7797.

13. If I already hold VAC disability benefit entitlement at the 100% assessment level, do I still need to apply for VAC benefit entitlement for any new conditions(s) relating to sexual trauma to be eligible for Category C?

Yes. You should still apply for VAC disability benefits for the condition for which you are seeking compensation under Category C, unless it is an included psychological condition (see the above question and answer). This is because you may be eligible for additional treatment benefits if you are granted disability benefit entitlement for a new medical condition.

However, in most cases, you will not be eligible for Category C unless you have applied for, and been denied, entitlement to VAC disability benefits.

14. I was previously granted VAC disability benefit entitlement for the same condition for which I am applying for Category C, but I did not mention incidents of sexual misconduct in that application. Do I need to ask VAC to review my decision in relation to these incidents?

No. VAC awards disability benefits in relation to diagnosed medical conditions, and the relationship to service. If you have been granted entitlement to VAC disability benefits for a specific diagnosed condition, you do not need to submit a new application to VAC for the same condition.

15. How long will I have to wait for VAC to render a decision on my disability benefits application so that the Category C claim can proceed?

As part of the settlement agreement VAC has established a Dedicated Unit to support priority processing of First Applications and Departmental Reviews for potential class members. Where all required information is received, applications are generally decided within 30 days of receipt. To ensure your VAC application is processed on a priority basis by the Dedicated Unit, please indicate in your VAC application that you are a member of the Class action.

Of the applications received by VAC to date, almost all of the applications processed have been favourable.

Regardless of whether you have included a claim for Category C compensation in your claim form, you are encouraged to apply to VAC for benefits if you have a diagnosis of a disabling medical condition that is related to your service. There are no time limits on when you can apply for VAC disability benefits.

If you need help completing your application for VAC disability benefits, please contact VAC at: 1-800-487-7797, or the Royal Canadian Legion at 1-877-534-4666.

16. How is VAC involved in the Category C compensation process?

VAC has set up a Dedicated Unit to expedite the processing of applications for disability benefits made by individuals who have service related injuries arising from a sexual assault or sexual harassment. This unit also provides information regarding VAC disability benefit entitlement to the Administrator and the Assessors upon request.

However, VAC does not determine eligibility for Category C compensation. VAC will provide a Summary of Assessment to the Assessor reviewing your claim. The Summary of Assessment lists all of the conditions for which VAC benefits have been awarded to you and the conditions that were not approved by VAC.  It also includes reassessments, VRAB and Departmental reviews. The Assessors are then responsible for determining who is eligible for compensation under Category B and C and if eligible, what amount is payable.

17. What if I am not sure whether I am eligible for compensation under Category C?

If you are unsure if you are eligible, there is no harm in including a claim for Category C on your claim form. The Administrator and Assessors will review your claim and will determine if you are eligible. If you still have questions, please contact Class Counsel using the information found here.

18. Where can I get more information?

You can obtain more information about the claims process by contacting the Court appointed Claims Administrator:

Epiq Class Action Services Canada Inc.
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
P.O. Box 507 STN B
Ottawa ON K1P 5P6
Email: info@caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca
Tel: 1-888-626-2611
TTY: 1-877-627-7027
Fax: 1-866-262-0816

You may also seek legal advice from the lawyers for the Class Members concerning your claim at any time at no cost to you.

The lawyers for the Plaintiffs (Class Counsel) are:

Koskie Minsky LLP
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
900–20 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M5H 3R3
Tel: 1-888-502-7455
Email: militaryassaultclassaction@kmlaw.ca

Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
220 Laurier Ave West Suite 1600
Ottawa ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: 613-567-2901
Email: armedforcesclassaction@ravenlaw.com

Wagners of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
1869 Upper Water St, Suite PH 301 3rd Floor, Pontac House Historic Properties
Halifax NS B3J 1S9
Tel: 902-425-7330
Email: ClassAction@wagners.co

Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota LLP of Victoria, British Columbia
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
300-376 Harbour Road
Victoria BC V9A 3S1
Tel: 250-384-6262
Email: info@achesonlaw.ca

Quessy Henry St-Hilaire, avocats of Quebec City, Quebec.
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
1415 Frank-Carrel Street Office 201
Québec QC G1N 4N7
Tel: 418-682-8924 ext. 224
Email: jd@quessyavocats.ca

If you have questions about VAC benefit entitlement or reassessments ONLY, please contact VAC at 1-800-487-7797.

19. What are the changes to Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) policies?

Veterans Affairs Canada (“VAC”) has updated several policies to clarify its approach to claims for disability arising in whole or in part from sexual assault and harassment connected to military service.

The changes that have been made to VAC’s policies relating to injuries arising from service, which include clarification that:

  1. the occurrence of sexual trauma may be established on the basis of the claimant’s own evidence, without the need for corroborating evidence; and
  2. a claim for sexual trauma will not be rejected solely on the basis that it occurred off CAF property or at an event that the claimant was not required to attend.

POLICY CLARIFICATION - CLAIMS FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS INVOLVING MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA

As a result of the settlement of the CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct class action, VAC has updated the three (3) policies to provide clarifications regarding the revised approach taken by VAC in recent years when adjudicating applications for disability benefits involving claims of Military Sexual Trauma (Sexual Trauma), which is defined by VAC as including sexual assault or sexual harassment.

These policies include the following changes:

  1. Clarification that, when determining a claim for benefits involving an injury or disease resulting from sexual trauma, the occurrence of the sexual trauma may be established on the basis of the claimant’s own testimony; and,
  2. Additional clarification that, for the purposes of determining a claim for benefits, an injury or disease resulting from an incident of sexual trauma involving CAF members will not be rejected solely on the basis that it occurred off CAF property or at an event that the claimant was not required to attend. It is acknowledged that each decision as to whether or not an injury or disease is connected to military service is made by VAC having regard to all relevant contextual evidentiary factors.

The specific changes are in the following policies:

  1. Disability Benefits in Respect of Peacetime Military Service - The Compensation Principle
  2. Disability Benefits in Respect of Wartime and Special Duty Service – The Insurance Principle
  3. Benefit of Doubt

VAC has also updated its internal “Adjudication Manual” to reflect and facilitate these policy clarifications.

20. What are the available options for reconsideration and review of past VAC decisions?

Veterans and CAF members who applied for disability benefits and received an unfavorable decision prior to April 3, 2017 (the date VAC last revised its approach to these cases) are encouraged to identify themselves to VAC or, where possible, submit an application for departmental review to VAC.

Where possible VAC will review these decisions, taking into account the revised approach for adjudicating applications for disability benefits involving claims of sexual trauma. VAC is able to revisit past decisions in the following limited circumstances:

  • Where the initial decision contains an error with respect to a finding of fact, or the interpretation of any law (including where a decision is contrary to the revised approach), and Veterans Affairs Canada’s decision has not been reviewed by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB);
  • On application, where new evidence is provided in support of the claim (note that for disability award entitlement decisions, there is a limit of one such application for departmental review), and VAC’s decision has not been reviewed by the VRAB;
  • If VAC’s decision has been reviewed by the VRAB, where the applicant has obtained the VRAB’s permission to return the application to VAC.
  • Where the Entitlement Review Panel of the VRAB refers the matter back to the Minister for reconsideration
21. What is Restorative Engagement?

Restorative Engagement provides class members with an opportunity to share their sexual misconduct experiences with a Senior Defence Representative. This process will be facilitated by specially-trained civilian Restorative Practitioners. Participation in, and information shared within the Restorative Engagement program will be confidential within legal limitations.

The purpose of Restorative Engagement is to:

  • create a safe space to allow class members’ lived experiences of sexual misconduct to be heard, responded to, and acknowledged by the Department of National Defence (DND)/Canadian Armed Forces (CAF);
  • contribute to culture change within the military workplace by increasing awareness and understanding of the experiences of class members and the context within which harm has occurred; and,
  • begin the process of restoring the relationship between class members and the CAF and DND.

Restorative Engagement is a new and innovative program currently being developed by the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) in collaboration with Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (ICCM), and in consultation with internal and external subject matter experts and stakeholders, including persons who have been affected by sexual misconduct.

22. How do I participate in Restorative Engagement?

In order to participate in Restorative Engagement you must be a Class Member that submitted an Individual Application/Claim Form to the Claims Administrator during the claims period between May 25, 2020 and November 24, 2021 (or January 23, 2022 for individuals who submitted a late claim due to a disability on the part of the Class Member or due to other exceptional circumstances).

If you indicated your interest for the RE program on your claim form, your request will be sent to the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) who will contact you directly to provide further information about the program.

If you wish to participate in the Restorative Engagement program, and did not indicate this on your claim form, you must send a written request to the claims Administrator at info@caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca within 30 days of the date of your initial claim Decision.

If you received a claim decision before April 30, 2022, your deadline to indicate interest in the RE program is May 31, 2022.

Participation in Restorative Engagement is completely voluntary, and claimants can change their mind about participating at any time.

Claimant contact information is only shared with the Restorative Engagement program team. Claim information is only shared with the Restorative Engagement program team if there is express consent to do so. Participation in the Restorative Engagement program is intended to be confidential and information shared within the program is kept confidential unless the participants agree to disclosure or as might be required by law in exceptional circumstances.

23. Where can I get more information about Restorative Engagement?

To learn more about Restorative Engagement, visit canada.ca/restorative-engagement, email RE-DR@forces.gc.ca or call 1-833-998-2048 (toll-free).'

24. Do I need to submit a claim in order to seek to participate in the Restorative Engagement program?

Yes. If you are a Class Member, you will have to complete an Individual Application/Claim Form and send it to the Claims Administrator during the claims period starting May 25, 2020, and ending no later than November 24, 2021.

25. What do I need to do now?

If you wish to receive benefits and/or seek to participate in the restorative engagement program, you may submit a claim. The period to submit a claim is from May 25, 2020 until no later than November 24, 2021. You must submit your claim no later than November 24, 2021 via online, mail or email.

You may also do nothing. If you did not opt out and do not submit a claim, you will not receive any benefits from the Settlement and you will have given up the right to sue Canada or others on your own or bring a Human Rights complaint in relation to any sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination you experienced while serving in the military or as a DND/SNPF employee.

26. How do I submit a claim?

The deadline to file a claim expired on November 24, 2021.

In order to submit a claim for financial compensation, and/or seek to participate in the restorative engagement program, you must submit an Individual Application/Claim Form together with all supporting documentation to the Claims Administrator starting on May 25, 2020 and no later than November 24, 2021.

27. Is it possible to amend claim selections?

Every Class Member may submit only one (1) Individual Application (claim) and yes, it is possible to amend claim selections initially submitted.

For this reason, it may be important to carefully reconsider all of the selections made when the claim was initially submitted. For example, a Class Member may want to add or withdraw a category (A, B, C).

A Class Member must immediately contact the Claims Administrator if a claim submission does not reflect the category(ies) intended to be claimed.

Please contact the Claims Administrator (Epiq) at 1-888-626-2611 or info@caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca

Class Members may also contact Class Counsel for legal advice relating to the various compensation categories, at no charge.

28. Is there a deadline for amending claim selections?

The deadline to add a category to a claim expired on November 24, 2021.

Yes, there are two ways a deadline can affect a Class Member’s ability to amend the initial claim selection(s) and they are outlined below.

Deadline #1
Once a Class Member receives a Decision Letter and the thirty (30) day period allowed to request a Reconsideration has expired, they may no longer add any category(ies) or submit new information and the claim will be processed based on the initial selection(s).

A Request for Reconsideration Form must be submitted or post-marked within 30 days of the date of your claim Decision. If you are unable to provide your response within these timeframes, you may ask the Lead Assessor to grant an extension of time. The Lead Assessor may extend the time periods where she deems an extension necessary, subject to the requirement that all decisions be completed within fourteen (14) months of the Individual Application Deadline.

-OR-

Deadline #2
Once a Class Member receives a Reconsideration Decision Letter, they may no longer add any category(ies) or submit new information. The Reconsideration Decision is a final decision and cannot be appealed or reviewed.

-OR-

Deadline #3
All claim categories must be added by the Claims Deadline on November 24, 2021. The Administrator can accept changes made before January 23, 2022 if you could not add a claim category because of a disability or other exceptional circumstance. After January 23, 2022, you must get permission from the Federal Court to add a new category to your claim.

It is important that you explain why you were unable to meet the deadline if you file a late Request for Reconsideration or would like to add a further category claim after the deadline has expired.

If you have any legal questions and require assistance from a lawyer, you may contact Class Counsel in your region who can assist you free of charge. You will find Class Counsel’s contact information here.

29. How will my compensation be calculated?

Your payment will depend on the type of Sexual Misconduct you experienced in connection with your military service and/or DND/SNPF employment and an assessment of the harm you suffered. It will also depend on how many Class Members submit claims.

The range of individual compensation for most Class Members could be between five thousand dollars ($5,000.00 CAD) and fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000.00 CAD).

Class Members who experienced exceptional harm (and in the case of those who are denied VAC benefits in respect of that harm, including those who have previously been denied VAC benefits in respect of that harm and whose application for reconsideration is also denied), may be eligible for amounts up to one hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars ($155,000.00 CAD). Details are explained in the settlement agreement. A copy of the agreement is available here.

Total Amount available for Individual Compensation for CAF Class

The total amount payable by Canada in respect of individual compensation in respect of the CAF Class is limited to the sum of all Individual Payments assessed as payable to Eligible Class Members as defined in the settlement agreement, and shall not in any circumstances exceed the sum of eight hundred million dollars ($800,000,000.00 CAD) (“Aggregate Compensation Cap – CAF Class”).

Total Amount available for Individual Compensation for DND/SNPF Class

The total amount payable by Canada in respect of individual compensation in respect of the DND/SNPF Class is limited to the sum of all Individual Payments assessed as payable to Eligible Class Members as defined in the settlement agreement, and shall not in any circumstances exceed the sum of one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000.00 CAD) (“Aggregate Compensation Cap – DND/SNPF Class”).

30. What if I don’t agree with the settlement agreement or Class Counsel fees or disbursements?

The settlement agreement was approved by the Federal Court following the Settlement Approval Hearings held on September 19, 2019, September 20, 2019 and October 3, 2019.

The deadline to object to the settlement was August 30, 2019.

31. What if I do not want to participate in the settlement?

The deadline to opt out of the settlement was February 24, 2020.

32. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Yes. The following law firms represent you and other Class Members in the class action.

The lawyers for the Plaintiffs (Class Counsel) are:

Koskie Minsky LLP
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
900–20 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M5H 3R3

Jonathan Ptak

Nathalie Gondek

Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
220 Laurier Ave West Suite 1600
Ottawa ON K1P 5Z9

Andrew Raven

Andrew Astritis

Amanda Montague-Reinholdt

Wagners of Halifax, Nova Scotia
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
1869 Upper Water St, Suite PH 301 3rd Floor, Pontac House Historic Properties
Halifax NS B3J 1S9

Raymond F. Wagner Q.C.

Maddy Carter

Kate Boyle

Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota LLP of Victoria, British Columbia
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
300-376 Harbour Road
Victoria BC V9A 3S1

Rajinder Sahota

Patrick Dudding

Quessy Henry St-Hilaire, avocats of Quebec City, Quebec.
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
1415 Frank-Carrel Street Office 201
Québec QC G1N 4N7

Jean-Daniel Quessy

Simon St-Gelais

33. How will the lawyers be paid?

As part of the settlement, Canada agreed to pay Class Counsel’s legal fees in the amount of $26.56 million CAD, plus reasonable disbursements and applicable tax. The Federal Court determined that the legal fees are fair and reasonable. These amounts will be paid directly by Canada and will not be deducted from any amounts that eligible Class Members may receive.

34. How do I obtain more information?

You can obtain more information about this class action by contacting the Court appointed Claims Administrator:

Epiq Class Action Services Canada Inc.
Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
P.O. Box 507 STN B
Ottawa ON K1P 5P6
Email: info@caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca
Tel: 1-888-626-2611
TTY: 1-877-627-7027
Fax: 1-866-262-0816

You may also seek legal advice from the lawyers for the Class Members concerning the settlement and your claim at any time at no cost to you.

35. What if I do not remember my CAF, PRI or other employment identification number?

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces who do not remember their CAF Service Number can contact the Claims Administrator at 1-888-626-2611 for assistance (Please note that CAF Service Numbers as they exist today have only been in existence since the 1980s. Prior to this, CAF members were identified using their SIN (1960s-1980s), or pre-1968 by their unique Army, Air Force or Navy numbers which contain different sequences and numbers of numerals and letters than today’s Service Numbers).

Civilian Employees and Former Civilian Employees of DND who do not know their Primary Record Identifier (PRI) can call HR Connect RH at 1-833-RHR-MDND (1-833-747-6363) for assistance.

SNPF employees who do not remember their employment identification number can contact the Claims Administrator at 1-888-626-2611 for assistance.

36. Can I dispute a claim decision?

Yes, you may dispute a claim Decision made by the Administrator or an Assessor. You must complete a Request for Reconsideration Form if you wish to request reconsideration of:

  1. The Administrator’s Decision of a Category A claim; OR
  2. An Assessor’s Decision of a Category B and/or C claim.

Request for Reconsideration Form must be submitted or post-marked within 30 days of the date of your claim Decision. If you are unable to provide your response within these timeframes, you may ask the Lead Assessor to grant an extension of time. The Lead Assessor may extend the time periods where she deems an extension necessary, subject to the requirement that all decisions be completed within fourteen (14) months of the Individual Application Deadline.

Be sure to read the instructions provided on the Request for Reconsideration Form carefully.

Once completed, you must return your Request for Reconsideration Form, with any new information and/or documentation to the Administrator, one of three (3) ways:

  1. Email: info@caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca
  2. Fax: 1-866-262-0816
  3. Mail:
    Attention: CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement
    P.O. Box 507 STN B
    Ottawa ON K1P 5P6

The Administrator will give Canada a complete copy of your request for reconsideration submission and any documentation you submitted. Canada will review the information you submitted and may or may not provide a written response within 60 days. If Canada provides a written response, you will receive a copy and you may reply to Canada’s response by submitting documents and/or a written letter (no longer than one (1) page) within 30 days of being notified of Canada’s response.

The Lead Assessor will issue a Reconsideration Decision within 120 days of receiving your request for reconsideration.  The Administrator will provide you with a copy of the Reconsideration Decision, which is final and binding and cannot be appealed or reviewed by a court or other tribunal.

37. Who will be told about what I'm writing in my claim?

The information and documents you provide in your claim will be kept confidential, except for the purpose of processing your claim. The alleged perpetrators will not be notified that they have been named in your claim. Only those people who need to review your claim will have access to this information. Safeguards have been put in place by Epiq and by CAF/DND/SNPF to ensure that both the information and documents provided by you, and the fact that you have filed a claim under the Settlement Agreement, will not be disclosed to your co-workers, supervisors or DND/CAF/SNPF leadership.

38. Can I choose how/when to receive my decision?

When you completed the application, you selected to receive communications by email or mail, which also applies to the decision letter, which will be sent to you when it is complete.  If you wish to change this selection, or if you feel you would like to receive advance notice prior to receiving the decision, please contact the Administrator to advise.  You can email info@caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca or call 1-888-626-2611.

It is recommended that you contact the Administrator as soon as possible if you wish to change the method of delivery or request advance notice, as decisions are issued regularly.

You might want to plan to be in a safe space before opening your decision letter, or have someone else read it for you, as reading it may bring back difficult memories and emotions. Please note that a support line is also available 24/7 (1-844-750-1648).

39. What is the status of my claim?

If you received confirmation of your claim being filed, you can rest assured that your claim is being processed or is in line to be processed. The timeline for processing claims is particular to each claim. Some may take longer to process than others, and is not an indication that there are any concerns. The Administrator and Assessors are working to ensure everyone’s claim is decided fairly and efficiently.

40. When will my claim be processed?

Your claim is processed by the Administrator as soon as all of the information is received, and must go through various stages before a decision is ultimately reached. Each claim is assessed individually and the timeline for processing each claim may differ. Given the volume of claims submitted, the processing of a claim could take many months. The Administrator and Assessors are working to ensure a fair and efficient process. We appreciate your patience.

If you applied for Category A, the Administrator will issue a decision with respect to that category. If you applied for Category B or C, a court-appointed Assessor will review the entirety of your claim submission and issue a decision. Category B and C decisions will take longer to be issued than Category A decisions.

41. When will I receive my payment?

If you are approved for Category A, you will first receive an Initial Payment of $5,000 shortly after your Category A decision is issued. Payments for additional Category B and C compensation awarded will be made once it is determined that there are sufficient funds to do so.

If you did not apply for Category A, but were approved for Category B and/or C, you will also receive an Initial Payment of $5,000 shortly after your decision(s) is issued. Payments for the remainder of the compensation awarded will be made once it is determined that there are sufficient funds to do so.

If you applied for both Category B and C, decisions for both categories will be issued at the same time. As Category C decisions involve a complicated assessment of medical documents, your Category B decision may be delayed by the processing of your Category C claim.