How To File for Crime Victims Compensation With Zero Hassle
There is nothing easy about being a victim of a violent crime or having your loved ones experience it. Unexpected expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and mental health counseling can make the situation so much worse.
DoNotPay can help you get crime victims compensation regardless of where you live, and this article will explain how.
What Is a Crime Victims Compensation Program?
Every state has a crime victims compensation program that serves to reimburse victims of a crime or victims’ family members for costs that may occur as a follow-up to a violent crime.
Victims compensation programs are established in all U.S. states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
State compensation programs are independent. Some rules and regulations may vary from one state to another, but the benefits and eligibility qualifications are more or less the same everywhere.
Where Does the Victim Compensation Money Come From?
Victims of crime compensation amounts depend on the state—each program has a limit on the total amount that they can pay per case. Sometimes there are limits per expense category. Most states choose the fees that convicted offenders have to pay as revenue for crime compensation programs instead of using taxpayers' money.
Besides perpetrators’ fees, state and federal victim funds for violent crimes provide money for victim compensation. One of the main sources is the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), but there are more specialized funds, like the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
Crime Victims Fund Eligibility and Requirements
Every state has specific rules and regulations regarding the crime victims’ compensation, and it is always best to check with your state’s crime victim compensation board.
You can check the most common eligibility criteria in the following table:
|Who Can Get Financial Help?||
Who Is Eligible?
|Crime Victims||Victims of rape, assault, drunk driving, domestic violence, and other violent crimes|
|Child Victims||Victims of child abuse and other violent crimes who apply through their parents or legal guardians|
|Deceased Victims’ Family Members||Family members or, in some states, anyone in charge of paying for burial and funeral expenses|
Victims or other claimants are usually required to:
- Report the crime to law enforcement according to the state’s deadline—The reporting requirement is 72 hours in most states, but some have longer deadlines
- Cooperate in the ongoing investigation
- Prove innocent of any criminal activity causing the crime
- Be innocent of any criminal misconduct causing the injury or death of the victim, in case they are the claimants
- Provide the supporting documentation, like medical bills and police reports
- Apply for the victim compensation program in the state where the crime occurred—Usually, the states require the victims or family members to apply for compensation within a year from the date of the crime, but the application deadline can vary
The easiest way to apply for any state’s victim compensation program is with DoNotPay.
What Costs Can Victim Compensation Program Cover?
Crime victims compensation programs pay for various crime-related expenses due to injuries and homicide. Depending on the state’s program, you may have more or fewer benefits. The most common compensable costs include:
- Medical, hospital, and nursing care
- Physical therapy
- Psychiatric care and mental health counseling
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of wages due to ongoing investigation or medical treatment
Many states cover some additional expenses that may occur as a result of a violent crime, such as:
- Crime scene clean-up
- Travel costs to receive treatment
- Care of a child or dependent
- Replacement of clothing, property, or other items seized as evidence
- Relocation expenses for domestic violence victims, human trafficking victims, stalking victims, and sexual assault victims attacked in their residence
According to the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVCB), the maximum average benefit from the state is $25,000, with some states being able to offer more.
How Long Does It Take To Get Crime Victims Compensation?
When you get the crime victims compensation depends on the state where you’ve submitted your application. In most cases, you can expect the reimbursement within 90 days of applying.
Apply for Crime Victim Compensation With DoNotPay’s Assistance
Being a victim of a violent crime or losing a loved one to it is devastating enough without having to think about financial repercussions.
States offer to cover expenses resulting from violent crimes, but not everyone is aware of this opportunity. Even the victims that are familiar with victim compensation programs sometimes decide not to apply because the process seems too complicated.
DoNotPay created the Compensation for Crime Victims product—a service that offers a completely automatic application process for victims compensation programs in any state.
You don’t have to go through any more trouble—apply for crime victims compensation by following these steps:
- Access DoNotPay from a preferred web browser
- Open the Compensation for Crime Victims product
- Specify whether you are the victim of a crime or your loved ones
- Answer a series of questions about the crime and expenses that you need to cover
- Verify your signature
We will generate and submit the application on your behalf to the appropriate office in your state.
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