Ever heard of Crime Victim Compensation? If not, you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard of it either, until today…
(from The National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards ):
“Crime victim compensation can help victims of violence pay for the costs of their recovery. Medical care, counseling, lost wages and support, funeral bills, and a host of miscellaneous expenses can be covered by these state programs. Victim compensation can be good news for victims who need financial assistance in the aftermath of crime”.
Facts about Texas Crime Victim Compensation:
Courtesy: Texas Attorney General Office
Basic Qualification Requirements- Residency
- The crime must occur in Texas to a Texas resident or a United States resident, or
The crime must involve a Texas resident who becomes a victim in another state or country that does not have crime victims’ compensation benefits for which the victim would be eligible.
Reporting the Crime
The crime must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency within a reasonable period of time, but not so late as to interfere with or hamper the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
Filing for Compensation
You must file the application within three years from the date of the crime. The time may be extended for good cause, including the age of the victim or the physical or mental incapacity of the victim.
A claim may be denied or reduced if the claimant or victim has not cooperated with the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Who May Qualify
- An innocent victim of crime who suffers physical and/or emotional harm or death
- an authorized individual acting on behalf of a victim
- a person who legally assumes the obligations or voluntarily pays certain expenses related to the crime on behalf of the victim
- a dependent of a victim
- an immediate family member or household members related by blood or marriage who require psychiatric care or counseling as a result of the crime
- an intervenor who goes to the aid of the victim or a peace officer
- a peace officer, fire fighter, or individual whose employment includes the duty of protecting the public
What Crimes Are Covered
Crimes involving “criminally injurious conduct,” which is defined as conduct that occurs or is attempted, poses a substantial threat of personal injury or death and is, or would be, punishable by fine, imprisonment or death. This includes sex offenses, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, assaultive offenses, arson, homicide and other violent crimes in which the victim suffers physical or emotional harm or death.
The following motor-vehicle-related crimes are also covered: Failure to Stop and Render Aid, DWI, Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Intoxication Manslaughter and Intoxication Assault.
Who Is Not Eligible
Benefits may be reduced or denied if the behavior of the victim contributed to the crime.
Benefits shall be denied if the victim or claimant:
- knowingly or willingly participated in the crime
- is the offender or accomplice of the offender
- was incarcerated in a penal institution at the time of the crime
- knowingly or intentionally submits false or forged information to the attorney general
- An award of compensation to the claimant or victim will be denied if it would benefit the offender or an accomplice of the offender.
How to Apply:
All law enforcement agencies in Texas are required to provide victims of crime with information about the Crime Victim Compensation program and an application. Applications are also available at hospitals, prosecutor offices or you may contact the Texas Attorney General directly to receive an application.