Victims Compensation in PA Explained

Compensation for Victims of Crime Victims Compensation in PA Explained

How To Get Victims Compensation in PA—A Complete Guide

Besides physical and psychological harm, crime victims also experience financial hardship due to the expenses caused by the crime. Every state in the U.S. has a victim fund for violent crimes, but many people are not aware of that.

This article will provide all the information about the eligibility, requirements, and application process for obtaining victims compensation in PA.

All About the Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program

The Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) was established under the Office of Victims’ Services (OVS). The program reviews roughly 10,000 claims per year and pays around $13 million in crime victims compensation.


Victims Compensation Assistance Program can reimburse health insurance copays, out-of-network provider costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses that may occur as the result of the crime. VCAP—like any other crime victims compensation board—does not compensate victims for pain and suffering or property theft and damage.

There are limits to victims compensation amounts with the overall maximum award of $35,000 per case.

What Expenses Does PA Crime Victims Compensation Cover?

You can get crime victims compensation for the following costs:

  • Medical costs like hospital bills and rehabilitation expenses
  • Mental health counseling and psychological treatment
  • Funeral and burial costs for family members of deceased victims
  • Loss of earning due to the ongoing investigation or treatment
  • Loss of financial support
  • Childcare
  • Travel costs for investigation or treatment purposes
  • Cash that was stolen during the crime
  • Relocation expenses for victims of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault attacked in their homes
  • Crime scene clean-up
  • Other case-specific costs

Who Is Eligible for PA Victims Compensation?

The following table shows categories eligible for getting victims compensation, together with eligible claimants and compensable crimes:

Eligible To File Claims Eligible To Receive Victims Compensation Eligible Compensable Crimes
  • Victims
  • Intervenors
  • Family members of deceased victims
  • Dependents
  • Medical institutions
  • Parents or legal guardians for victims who are minors
  • Guardians or legal representatives for incapable adult victims
  • Direct victims
  • Intervenors
  • Surviving parents, spouses, or children of deceased victims or intervenors
  • Any person who assumes the responsibility or pays for burial, funeral, or crime scene clean-up expenses that resulted from the crime
  • Individuals who qualify for mental health counseling
  • Any person who is dependent on the deceased victim’s or intervenor’s financial support
  • Hospitals, medical centers, or other health care providers that request reimbursement of expenses that resulted from the forensic rape examination
  • Homicide and manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, or institutional sexual assault
  • Arson and related offenses
  • Corruption and sexual abuse of minors
  • Burglary and criminal trespass
  • Robbery
  • Theft and theft by deception
  • Assault, terrorist threats, stalking and harassment, reckless endangerment, and neglect of a care-dependent person
  • Intimidation of the victim and witness

There are exemptions to these categories—a person cannot get reimbursement if they:

  • Were responsible for the crime in question or acted as an accomplice
  • Are a family member of the person that committed the crime in case the offender and the direct victim are living in the same household

PA Victims Compensation Assistance Program Requirements

The requirements for filing a claim with the Victims Compensation Assistance Program in Pennsylvania include the following:

  • The crime happened in Pennsylvania
  • The victim, witness, or third person reported the crime to the proper law enforcement authorities within 72 hours
  • The person is filing a claim no later than two years after the crime
  • The crime that occurred is eligible for compensation
  • The victim is cooperating with the prosecutors, law enforcement, and the Victims Compensation Assistance Program
  • The victim did not participate in the crime that caused their injuries

If you meet all the requirements and eligibility criteria, you should file a claim with the Victims Compensation Assistance Program. The best way to do that is with the help of the world’s first robot lawyer—DoNotPay.

Get Crime Victims Compensation in Pennsylvania With Zero Effort Using DoNotPay

Many victims of violent crimes are not aware that victims compensation programs exist. Some individuals that do know prefer not to take action due to the usually overlong and complicated processes. DoNotPay’s goal is to change all that! 

That is why we created the Compensation for Crime Victims product—a service that enables victims and other claimants to apply for any state’s victims compensation program and file claims with the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund without hassle.

Here is everything you need to do:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Choose the Compensation for Crime Victims service
  3. Define whether you are the victim or another claimant
  4. Answer our chatbot’s questions about the crime and costs you need compensation for
  5. Verify your signature

Once you complete these steps, DoNotPay will automatically send the application to the officials at the Victims Compensation Assistance Program in Pennsylvania.

What if the Victims Compensation Assistance Program in PA Denies Your Claim?

Here is what can happen if the Victims Compensation Assistance Program rejects your claim:

  1. You request the reconsideration—Complete and send the Request for Reconsideration form within 30 days from the date of the decision
  2. The Claims Review Official who worked on your application decides whether to reconsider the claim or reaffirm the decision
  3. You request a hearing if the decision was reaffirmed—Complete and return the Request the Hearing form within 30 days from the decision’s date

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