Member News and Information
The mission of the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards is to provide leadership, professional development, and collaborative opportunities to our members to strengthen their capacity to improve services to crime victims and survivors. We share a vision of working together so that every victim compensation program is fully funded, optimally staffed, and functioning effectively to help victims cope with the costs of crime.
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1. What are the eligibility requirements?
While each state's eligibility requirements vary slightly, victims are generally required to:
1) Report the crime promptly to law enforcement. Many states have a 72-hour reporting requirement, but quite a few have longer periods of time.
2) Cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
3) Be innocent of any criminal activity or substantial misconduct causing the crime, or leading to the victim's injury or death.
4) File a timely application with the compensation program in the state where the crime occurred, and provide any information requested. Many states require that the application be filed within 1 year from the date of the crime, but a number of states have shorter or longer periods.
It's also important to remember that crime victim compensation programs are "payers of last resort," which means that other insurance benefits or government programs, like Medicaid or Social Security, must be accessed first, and these collateral resources will be deducted from any victim compensation award.
- 2. Who may get financial help?
- Those eligible for crime victim compensation include:
1) A crime victim who has been personally injured. In most states, this includes physical or emotional injury, or both. Victims of assault, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, drunk driving, and other violent crimes, as well as family members of murder victims are the primary categories of eligible victims.
2) Child victims file through their parents or through legal guardians.
3) Family members of a deceased victim, and in some states, any individual who pays for expenses resulting from a victim's injury or death.
- 3. Does the offender have to caught and convicted?
- No. Generally, the victim must cooperate with police and prosecutors in any investigation and prosecution, but compensation eligibility does not depend on apprehension or conviction of an offender.