Per Canada.com: the government is offering a grant of $350 a week for parents who had to take time off because their children have been murdered or gone missing. You have to apply for it and it only lasts for a maximum of 35 weeks, or eight or nine months. This program is in its early stages and so far the number of applicants has been “modest.”
From the article:
In order for parents to be eligible, they must have made at least $6,500 income the previous calendar year and be on leave from all employment. The child must be less than 18 years old and have been missing or deceased “as a result of a probable Criminal Code offence” and, in the case of death, the child must not have been a “willing party” to the crime.
A victim advocate said lack of awareness is most likely the reason for the modest participation in the program.
$350 a week isn’t much — that sum is almost insultingly low. Dollar per dollar, Canadian and U.S. money are worth about the same amount. I don’t know how that income level works in Canada — maybe things are cheaper there, I dunno — but $350 a week is only about minimum wage in the U.S., and minimum wage isn’t even designed to be enough to live on.
On the other hand, it is SOMETHING at least, and I don’t think the U.S. offers any compensation at all in these situations. I know there are funds run by individual states that compensate crime victims for actual expenses, such as medical bills, but I don’t know that they compensate relatives of crime victims or missing persons, and I don’t know if “lost work time due to emotional earthquake from having missing/murdered child” would fit the compensation criteria.
I’d love to hear what my Canadian readers think of this.