Restitution Services for holocaust survivors
Toronto is home to over 10,000 Holocaust survivors. Most are in their mid-80s, many coping with isolation and deteriorating health. Some of the survivors are still not aware of their entitlement to restitution and therefore do not receive these funds from Germany and Poland. Receipt of restitution payments not only improves the quality of the Survivors` lives but also grants them the official status of “Holocaust Survivor / Jewish Nazi Victim”. This status enables them to be found eligible for various community services and supports for which they may be entitled.
The Holocaust Survivors’ Restitution program is responsible for providing information and acting as a resource for Holocaust Survivors and their spouses seeking restitution and compensation funds and social security pensions from Germany and Poland.
• Documentation: interviewing clients, hearing and documenting their stories, providing support to those who feel overwhelmed recalling their persecution history.
• Application: checking clients` eligibility for restitution and Holocaust services, assisting in applying for restitution funds based upon the individual history and following up with all relevant bodies along the process, until the client receives funding. Assistance is also provided for heirs (spouses and children) of Survivors who may be eligible to inherit applicable pensions.
• Appeal: assistance in appealing any negative responses to ensure that all of the Survivors receive the benefits for which they are eligible.
• Translation: helping clients understand correspondence from Germany and Poland (communication is rarely in English).
• Advocacy: corresponding with the Claims Conference, German and Polish restitution and pensions institutions on behalf of the clients
• Referrals: clients will be provided with an explanation of the full scope of services available to Survivors and may be referred to different services and agencies in the community based upon their eligibility
• Languages: services are provided in English, Hebrew and Russian.