The Ontario Hepatitis C Assistance Plan (OHCAP)

Questions and Answers

Am I eligible for the Ontario plan for financial assistance?

You are eligible if, before January 1, 1986, or between July 2, 1990 to September 28, 1998 :

  • you contracted hepatitis C virus (HCV) through the blood system in Ontario;
  • you were infected with HCV by a spouse (must meet OHCAP policy requirements), partner (must meet  OHCAP policy requirements) or mother ( through vertical transmission during gestation or childbirth) who contracted hepatitis C virus (HCV) through the blood system in Ontario; or
  • you are the personal representative of an estate of an individual who contracted hepatitis C virus (HCV) through the blood system in Ontario during the period covered by the Ontario Plan.
How do I apply for assistance?

The application for assistance has two forms. The Applicant Form and the Physician Form.

On the Applicant form, you provide personal information, including your address and phone number, the names of doctors who know about your hepatitis C infection, and the name of the hospital(s) where you received the blood transfusion or blood product.

You must sign the form to authorize the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to verify and obtain information, such as transfusion records and whether you have tested positive for HCV. You must consent to the ministry collecting, using and disclosing such information to determine your eligibility. On your behalf, an official at the ministry will ask the hospital to search through its transfusion records. The ministry will check with Canadian Blood Services CBS to see if the hepatitis C virus was in any of the blood you may have received.

If records are incomplete or unavailable, the ministry may contact your doctor for further information.

Send the signed Applicant form in the enclosed postage paid return envelope to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, OHCAP, P.O.Box 40009, Station BRM-B, Toronto, Ontario, M7Y 5J9.

You must provide the doctor who is most knowledgeable about your hepatitis C condition with the Physician form and the other return envelope. The doctor will fill it out, confirming that you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, and send the completed form to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The applicant must sign and date the top portion of the physician form.

Will the information I send to the ministry be kept confidential?

Yes. All of the information that you, or others on your behalf, send to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is subject to the strict confidentiality rules of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

How much will I receive?

Each person deemed eligible for compensation under OHCAP will receive assistance in the amount of $25,000.

How long does the process take?

After receiving all necessary documentation from the applicant and physician, the process takes an average of 12 months to complete for a Primary Applicant. The length of time for the entire process is primarily dependent on the availability of hospital records and the time required for the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) traceback.

Do I have to sign a release to receive the $25,000?

No, but if you are eligible for assistance, you will be asked to sign a form that acknowledges the Ontario government's payment to you. You will receive this agreement in the mail once your eligibility for assistance has been confirmed and it must be signed and returned to OHCAP before payment can be issued. The agreement confirms that you can still take any court action you may wish to pursue but it stipulates that the $25,000 assistance payment will be deducted from any future court award against the government.

What if I contracted hepatitis C between January 1, 1986 and July 1, 1990?

If the relevant source of infection was the blood system between January 1, 1986 – July 1, 1990, you should contact the Hepatitis C January 1, 1986 – July 1, 1990 Class Action Settlement. For additional information regarding this plan, please call 1 (877) 434-0944 or see their web site at

Will the money affect provincial programs like social assistance, Trillium drug benefits or family benefits?

No. This payment will not affect your eligibility for other programs such as social assistance, Trillium drug benefits or family benefits.

Is this money taxable?

No. These funds are not considered income by Revenue Canada and are not taxable.

Can someone apply for a deceased family member?

Only the legal representative of the estate can apply on behalf of a deceased individual. The estate’s legal representative is often specified in the individual’s will.

What if I contracted HCV from another person, not directly through the blood system? Can I apply for assistance?

Yes, however, the primary infected individual (your spouse/partner or mother):

  1. must have been infected with hepatitis C through the blood system in Ontario during the OHCAP time periods
  2. must have applied to the program
  3. and must have been deemed eligible

before a secondary applicant’s case will be considered.

What if I am denied eligibility?

Your application can be independently reviewed by forwarding your file to the Review Committee within 45 days of receipt of the ineligible letter. A letter from the Ministry explaining the appeal process will be included if your claim is deemed ineligible by OHCAP.

Do I need a lawyer to fill out the forms?

No, a lawyer is not required to fill out the forms or to process your application. However, the decision is yours as to whether or not you would find it helpful to consult a lawyer regarding your application.

Web Links

For more information about hepatitis C and liver disease, visit these web sites :

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
In Toronto, 416-314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
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