Pearly rights

Pearly rights

July 28, 2015

28 July, 2015

A woman whose teeth had been damaged as a result of physical abuse by her partner years earlier contacted the Ombudsman for help in obtaining funds to have them fixed.

A woman whose teeth had been damaged as a result of physical abuse by her partner years earlier contacted the Ombudsman for help in obtaining funds to have them fixed. In 2009, she had been awarded $20,000 in compensation for pain and suffering by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, which helps ease the financial burden of victims of violent crime. At that time, the board told her it would consider providing additional compensation for future dental expenses, but when she applied, she was told it would only pay for dentures, not the other dental work she needed, including tooth extraction in order to fit the dentures, which would cost more than $5,000.

Ombudsman staff reviewed the board’s original decision, which found the woman’s broken, decayed teeth were related to domestic abuse – a conclusion supported by medical and police records. However, the board member who heard her subsequent application for funds to cover dental work said there was no medical evidence to support her claim.

Given the two contradicting decisions, our Office urged the board to reconsider, and within two days, it awarded her additional funds for her dental work and dentures.