Japanese Canadian Survivors Health and Wellness Fund Society

Welcome to the Japanese Canadian Survivors Health & Wellness Fund, a program created to distribute health support grants to assist individual Survivors with their health care needs.

Two grants are available:

  • Grant 1 ($650): For Survivors who did not receive the 2021 Grant that was offered between September 1 to October 31, 2021
  • Grant 2 ($4500): A new grant to support living Survivors with their individual Health & Wellness needs

The Japanese Canadian Survivors Health and Wellness Fund is now open for online applications and will remain open until March 31, 2025.

Visit our Apply page to find out more information about the available grants, eligibility criteria and to make your online application. 

Outreach Workers are available across Canada to support survivors with making their online applications over the phone, through a virtual call or at an in-person event. 

After making an application, the next step is to have your application validated by an Outreach Worker. Please see the Apply page for more details.

Background to this Fund

British Columbia Government policies prior to, during, and after World War II resulted in the forced removal of nearly 22,000 Japanese Canadians from their homes on the West Coast, and their displacement, confinement, and permanent dispossession. The majority were born in Canada.

Overnight, lives were shattered and entire communities eradicated. Japanese Canadians trusted they would one day return to their homes. Instead, their properties and possessions were sold without their consent.

Following the end of the war in 1945, restrictions prevented Japanese Canadians from returning to the coast. The government offered Japanese Canadians two choices: relocate east of the Rockies or face deportation to Japan. The restrictions were lifted in 1949, but many never returned. Those that did had nothing to return to.

On May 21, 2022, the BC Government acknowledged the historical wrongs perpetuated against Japanese Canadians in BC during the 1940s and made a pledge to support a 2019-2022 community built $100 million legacy initiatives package recommended by the National Association of Japanese Canadians BC Redress Project and administered by the Japanese Canadian Legacies Society (JCLS).

The Japanese Canadian Survivors Health and Wellness Fund Society (JCSHWFS) operates the fund, under the umbrella of the JCLS. The JCSHWFS will be distributing $28 million in the form of two health support grants for individual Japanese Canadian survivors of the BC Government’s actions (1942 -1949). The JCSHWFS has a Canada-wide, regionally representative Board that includes community members who work with seniors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for this Fund?

The Japanese Canadian Survivor Health and Wellness Fund (JCSHWF) provides individual health support grants for Japanese Canadian Survivors. To meet the eligibility criteria, applicants must:

  • be of Japanese descent
  • be born before April 1, 1949
  • have lived in BC before April 1, 1949 OR had parents or grandparents who lived in BC before April 1, 1949
  • have been directly impacted by the actions of the BC government between 1942-1949

Additionally, for Grant 2:

  •  On or after February 1st, 2024, the Survivor must be alive at the time of submitting the application (online or through an Outreach Worker)

When and how can I apply for these grants?

We thank you for your patience. Grant applications will be accepted as of February 1, 2024 until March 31, 2025. Please visit our Apply page for more information on how to apply.

I was not forcibly displaced to an internment camp during the 1940s, am I still eligible to apply?

According to our Survivor definition, Survivors do not have to have been in an internment camp to qualify. They may have been sent to self-supporting camps, road camps, or POW camps, already lived somewhere else in BC outside the 100-mile radius, were sent to sugar beets farms out of province, were born outside of BC after their family left BC, or repatriated to Japan, etc.

Who is a Survivor?

A living person of Japanese descent born prior to April 1, 1949 who was directly impacted by BC Government actions in the 1940s. Survivors include persons who were not displaced but were living in BC, and persons who, after their families left BC, were born prior to April 1, 1949, which was the day Japanese Canadians were given full voting rights and the legal restrictions used to control the movement of Japanese Canadians were removed.

How much money can I expect from the two grants?

Grant 1 is $650 and is intended for those who did not receive the grant in 2021. Grant 2 is $4,500 to help with individual health support needs.

I received a grant in 2021. Do I have to reapply for Grant 2?

You will need to complete a new application and reapply for Grant 2. Thank you for your understanding.

I received an amount less than $650 from the 2021 JCSHWF initiative. Am I entitled to receive the difference?

Yes, however you will not need to apply for the balance. The balance owing will be topped up by our staff.

I applied online. Now what happens?

Once you apply online and receive your reference number (Survivor Request Number, SR#), your application is registered into the program.  The validation process will take time to complete due to the volume of applications.

Priority will be given to those designated as high priority (self reported or by the Outreach Worker) and with age considerations.  Your ongoing patience is appreciated.

I applied online and have been waiting. Will the Outreach Worker arrive unannounced at my door?

An Outreach Worker will never arrive at your door unannounced.  The Outreach Worker will contact you in advance to arrange a convenient day and time to visit (if necessary).  The Outreach Worker will always provide their business card before entering your home.  You should always ask for identification.  Please take precautions to protect your security and safety.

I applied online. Do I have to call an Outreach Worker to validate my documents?

You can wait for an Outreach Worker in your area to contact you.  However, due to the volume of applications, it may take several weeks from when you submitted your application.  It is faster to find a regional event near you on our website.  Outreach Workers will be at the event to validate your application.  See www.jcwellness.org/events/

I am unable to drive and cannot get a ride to an event. What can I do?

If you are unable to attend an event, there are other options to have your identification validated, including:  virtual interview (Zoom or Microsoft Teams), a Declaration Form (coming soon!) and, under special circumstances, a home/site visit can be arranged (under special circumstances).  These home/site visits can only be considered for Survivors living in some regions of Canada.  If a home/site visit is not feasible, the Survivor will be directed to the Declaration Form (coming soon!).

At an event, why do I have to fill out a Survivor Contact Form if I completed it online?

The Outreach Worker will confirm your identity and record your document validation by using the Survivor Contact Form.  As well, your signature on the paper form confirms that you have met with the Outreach Worker in person.  We appreciate your patience in filling out the paper form.

If the Survivor is not mobile, lives in care or at home and can't attend an event, how is the Survivor validated?

If the Survivor is immobile or unable to attend an event in person, the following options are available to validate the application:

  1. If the Survivor lives in a care home and is immobile:
    • a signed letter from the health care facility on letterhead can be accepted as proof of life as well as proof of residence.
    • virtual interview
    • completed Declaration Form by a guarantor (non-family member) – coming soon
    • site/home visit (available for special circumstances)
  2. If the Survivor lives at home and is immobile:
    • virtual interview
    • completed Declaration Form by a guarantor (non-family member) – coming soon
    • site/home visit (available for special circumstances)

Can I receive a paper copy of the application and mail it in?

No, applications by mail or email are not available or accepted.  All applications must be made online from our website:  https://jcwellness.org/apply/

If you need support making an online application, Outreach Workers are available to help you over the phone, through a video call or at one of the in-person events they will be hosting.
To find an Outreach Worker in your region and their contact information, please visit our website and click on your region:  https://jcwellness.org/outreachworkers/.

My friend does not know how to use a computer. Can I put an application in for them? 

A representative of the Survivor may be used if the Survivor has provided consent. The representative may have Power of Attorney (with proper documentation), may be a designated family member, or a trusted friend. The representative will be asked to provide their information in case the Outreach Worker needs to follow up.

Can the status of the application be checked online?

No, please contact an Outreach Worker, https://jcwellness.org/outreachworkers/

For Grant 2, Health & Wellness: Do I have to provide a quote to apply?

No, no quote or documents are required.

For Grant 2, Health & Wellness: Do I have to provide receipts on how I spent the grant?

No, no report or receipts are required.

How do I change a Survivor's mailing address to mine, as I do the banking?

A mailing address can only be changed from the Survivor’s address to that of a Power of Attorney (POA). POA documentation and POA ID that confirms the POA’s identity and address must be validated by the Outreach Worker.

What is the wait time to receive the grant cheque?

It could take up to 12 weeks to receive your cheque. i.e. February applicants should receive cheques in April or May.  However, due to the volume of applications received to date, the wait time could increase.  We appreciate your patience.

Does the Survivor need to be alive at the time of application?

For Grant 1, the Survivor must have been living at the time of the initial grant (Sept-Oct 2021). If the Survivor passed away after October 31, 2021, the executor of their estate can apply to receive the funds to the Survivor’s estate.

For Grant 2: The Survivor must be alive at the time of submitting the application. The application is registered in the program if the Survivor has a Survivor Request reference number (SR#). If they pass away after receiving the SR#, their application will still be processed.

What if the Survivor passes away after submitting their Grant 2 application?

If a Survivor passes away after submitting their Grant 2 application but before receiving their cheque, their application will continue to be processed. If we are notified that an individual has passed away, the processing may be paused as we are trying to clear as many cheques as possible to those that are still alive to benefit their health and wellness.  Rest assured all applications will be processed. The program is open until March 31, 2025.

Please note:  If a Survivor passes away before receiving a cheque, the cheque will still be issued in the name of the Survivor (for Grant 2).  It is issued “to the estate of” only in the case of Grant 1 applications for deceased Survivors.  Please ensure that the estate account is not closed to enable the cheque to be deposited.  As there is a risk that families may close an estate account, we are trying to deal with all cheques as quickly as possible.

Can people apply if they reside outside of Canada?

Yes, they can apply online, and the validation of identification will be a virtual interview (Zoom or Microsoft Teams).

Please note:  Cheques are issued in Canadian Funds.  We bank with the TD Canada Trust Bank, www.td.com

Can I receive the grant by direct deposit to my bank account?

No, this requires the collection of sensitive and private personal information.  To ensure the privacy and security of your personal information only cheques in Canadian dollars will be issued and mailed to the Survivor’s mailing address.

Are the Grants considered taxable income in Canada?

No, our Auditors assure us that the Grant monies are not taxable and do not need to be reported to the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).

Is Japanese translation assistance available?

Yes, we have Outreach Workers who are fluent in Japanese.

Is there a Japanese brochure?

Yes, see the website https://jcwellness.org/apply/

I’m not a Survivor but am a Japanese Canadian. Are there any grants available that I may be eligible for? 

There are no other grants available from the Japanese Canadian Survivors Health and Wellness Fund Society.  

Please visit www.jclegacies.com to find information about the Japanese Canadian Legacies Society, who have several grants available to the Japanese Canadian community including grants for community organizations, intergenerational wellness, artists, students and more. 

How do I know my information is kept safe? 

To keep the information you give us safe, JCSHWFS must comply with privacy laws.  These privacy laws are enforced by regulators. Anyone who handles your information must follow our privacy policy and related procedures.  We will also let you know if anything happens to your information, what steps we have taken and what you may need to do.  Keeping your information safe is a high priority at JCSHWFS.  If you want more information, please contact us at :  help@jcwellness.org .  You can also read our website privacy statement here Privacy Policy – Japanese Canadian Survivors Health & Wellness Fund (jcwellness.org)