Victim Funds for Violent Crimes Explained

Compensation for Victims of Crime Victim Funds for Violent Crimes Explained

Victim Funds for Violent Crimes—From A to Z

Violent crimes affect victims in many other ways besides physical injuries—they can have dire emotional and financial consequences. Coping with emotional and physical harm affects the victims’ finances the most. To manage that, survivors of violent crimes or families of deceased victims can apply for their state’s victim compensation programs.

If you want to learn more about victim funds for violent crimes, this article is the right place to start.

What Is a Victim of a Violent Crime Fund?

Victim compensation represents a certain amount of money that violent crime victims or their families get to cover the expenses resulting from the crime, such as medical bills, physical and mental health therapy, and others.

Every state in the U.S. has its violent crime victims fund that administers compensation based on rules and guidelines that the state specifies.

The federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund is in charge of all victim funds for violent crimes. Congress established the Crime Victims Fund in 1984 to provide financial assistance to local crime victim compensation funds.

Where Does the Money for Victims of Violent Crimes Funds Come From?

According to the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVCB), the average benefits per state are $25,000, but the crime victim compensation amount depends on and differs significantly from one state to another.

One of the main sources of funding is the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). The purpose of the CVF is to obtain funding from various sources, which it later distributes to the local crime victim compensation boards.

The money that the CVF collects is not taxpayer money—it comes from the penalties that the offenders have to pay, forfeited bail bonds, and other penalties, as well as from gifts and donations by private parties. Specialized crime victim compensation organizations, like the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, may have different funding sources.

Who Can Apply for Homicide Victims Compensation?

Each state’s victim of violent crimes fund regulates eligibility requirements separately. In the following table, you can find the most common eligibility categories and necessary actions:

Who Is Eligible?What Are They Required To Do?
  • Personally injured victims of violent crimes, suffering both physical and emotional harm
  • Parents or legal guardians of child victims of sexual assault, child pornography, homicide, and other crimes
  • Personal representatives of incapable adult victims
  • Family members or other representatives of deceased victims who are in charge of paying injury or funeral expenses
  1. Report the crime to law enforcement, usually within the first 72 hours from when the crime occurred
  2. Work side by side with prosecutors and law enforcement on the investigation
  3. Prove innocent of any criminal activity and misconduct causing the crime and later injury or death of a victim
  4. Apply for the local victim compensation program before the state’s deadline

While every state must reimburse victims for any crime-related cost, this rule is applicable only if the victims’ insurance benefits, offender restitution, or other government programs don’t cover those expenses.

What Expenses Do Victim Funds for Violent Crimes Cover?

What costs are compensable depends solely on the state where the crime happened. Almost every state will cover the following costs:

  • Medical care and hospital bills
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Psychological assessment and counseling
  • Loss of wages caused by medical treatments or an ongoing investigation
  • Burial and funeral costs

Additional expenses that many states offer to reimburse include:

  • Travel expenses for investigation and medical treatment purposes
  • Relocation costs for domestic violence, human trafficking, or rape victims assaulted in their homes
  • Substitution for the personal property that the investigators keep as evidence

Should You File a Claim for Compensation From a Victim Fund for Violent Crimes?

Before applying for your state’s victim compensation program, you should inform yourself about their rules, regulations, and application procedures. Filling out application forms and submitting them to the local violent crime victim fund office is the usual course of action. 

While it’s not mandatory to have an attorney for this process, having assistance is useful if you want to ensure getting compensation for everything you went through.

Getting the best assistance makes the application process way easier, and that’s why you should use DoNotPay.

Apply for Homicide Victims Compensation Hastily With DoNotPay

There are no silver linings when you are a victim of a violent crime or a family member of a deceased victim. On top of enduring physical and emotional harm, you have to pay all of those crime-related expenses.

The world’s best virtual assistant makes sure that you get compensated for the unexpected financial loss. DoNotPay created the Compensation for Crime Victims product—an easy-to-use service that helps crime victims file a claim with their state’s victim fund with zero hassle.

Here is everything you have to do:

  1. Access our app from your web browser
  2. Find the Compensation for Crime Victims feature
  3. Specify if you are the victim or another claimant
  4. Provide answers to a set of questions regarding the crime

Once you verify your signature, we will fill out your application and submit it to your local victim fund’s office.

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