How a Crime Victims Compensation Board Works

Compensation for Victims of Crime How a Crime Victims Compensation Board Works

How a Crime Victims’ Compensation Board Works

Violent crime affects over a million people in the U.S. every year, and victims don’t only suffer from physical and psychological trauma from the injuries they receive. They also face expenses to recover from the crime.

We understand this and are here to help secure compensation for crime victims. DoNotPay can help explain the workings of a crime victims’ compensation board and how you can benefit from it.

What Is a Crime Victims’ Compensation Board?

Each state has a crime victims’ compensation board that oversees and adjudicates claims for victim compensation.

The state boards are all members of a federal umbrella organization, the National Association of Crime Victims Compensation Boards (NACVCB). The NACVCB’s mission is to provide leadership, professional development, and opportunities for collaboration to state boards to help them deliver a better service.

The board in each state receives federal financial support through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund—known as the Crime Victims Fund—and many states supplement this with their own victim funds for violent crimes.

The revenue needed for victims’ compensation does not come from taxes but rather from penalties and fines issued to people convicted of crimes, as well as donations. The income sources can include:

  • Fines for criminal convictions
  • Forfeited bail bonds
  • Penalties

Each state’s crime victims’ compensation board is responsible for reviewing applications for compensation and disbursing funds as necessary.

Am I Eligible To Apply for Victims' Compensation?

You may be eligible for compensation from your local compensation board if you:

  1. Have been injured in a violent crime
  2. Are a dependent of a homicide victim
  3. Sustained injuries while trying to stop a crime
  4. Were injured in a car accident caused by DUI
  5. Have suffered severe mental trauma from witnessing a crime
  6. Are the victim of domestic violence and depend financially on the perpetrator
  7. Have incurred crime-related costs even though you are not the victim

Each state has different criteria, but most follow these guidelines.

In most states, you need to:

  • Report the crime within 48 hours (72 in some states or even more)
  • Cooperate fully with the police throughout their investigations
  • Have not been involved in the crime yourself
  • Have no insurance coverage to pay for the costs you are claiming compensation for

How Much Compensation Can I Get?

Your state’s compensation amounts will vary, but the average maximum compensation amount across the nation is around $25,000.

You can generally get compensation for the following:

Area of Compensation


Medical expensesThese can include:

  • Hospital care
  • Dental work to repair injuries caused in the crime
  • Post-hospital care and rehab
  • Mental welfare counseling
Financial lossesCompensation for financial losses can include:

  • Loss of earnings as a result of crime-related injuries
  • Loss of financial support for the dependents of a homicide victim
Direct expensesCompensation may be available for funeral and burial costs or relocation costs and emergency funds for the victims of domestic violence

You generally won’t receive compensation for the following:

Type of Loss


PropertyYou can normally not get compensation for items of personal property that have been lost, stolen, or damaged as a result of a crime
Expenses covered by other sourcesYou cannot claim compensation for expenses that are covered by your medical insurance, car insurance, disability insurance, or workers’ compensation

Your state compensation board usually pays either directly to providers if you present an unpaid bill or to you if the expenses have already been paid. The board pays the loss of earnings or loss of support compensation directly to you.

Can DoNotPay Help Me File for Compensation?

As a crime victim, you have enough to deal with without having to go through lengthy claims processes for compensation.

If you have been the direct or indirect victim of violent crime, DoNotPay can help you claim compensation.

We are here to help anybody affected by violent crime—from 9/11 victims to assault victims, victims of domestic abuse, or homicide victims’ families.

We have developed a Compensation for Crime Victims feature that can help you apply for compensation with just a few clicks.

To start your application, follow these steps:

  1. Go to DoNotPay in your web browser and sign up
  2. Look for the Compensation for Crime Victims feature
  3. Tell us whether you’re the victim or another claimant
  4. Give us the information about the crime we ask you for

What Happens With My Claim?

Once the crime victims’ compensation board has received your claim, it will assess and adjudicate it as quickly as possible.

Whether or not you receive compensation is not dependent on whether the perpetrator of the crime is caught, so you don’t have to wait for justice to take its course.

Most states aim to deal with your claim within 90 days at most, but there are many systems in place to help you with emergency funding if your situation is desperate.

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