The Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate will provide you with a Victim Compensation form if you have been the victim of a “compensable crime”. A compensable crime is defined as any intentional, knowing, reckless, or criminally negligent act, and any drunk or impaired driving, which results in residential property damage, bodily injury or death of another person.
How Do I qualify?
If you are victim of a compensable crime, you must report the crime to a law enforcement agency within 72 hours, cooperate fully with the law enforcement agency and prosecution, and you must apply for compensation within twelve (12) months of the loss or injury.
Why Should I apply?
Many people are reluctant to apply for victim compensation because they think it is a form of charity. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the money is paid from a fund established by Court assessments against convicted criminals. It is only fitting that criminals pay for the harm they cause you and other victims. The funds expended on your behalf will be replaced by an order against the defendant in your case upon his or her conviction.
What Can be Paid?
*Mental health counseling
*Reasonable medical and hospital expenses
*Homemaker and home health services
*Loss of support to dependants
*Loss of wages
*Repair or replacement of damaged residential property, such as windows, doors and locks
*Insurance deductibles on residential property
*Any modification, repair or replacement to a residence that is necessary for victim safety, such as windows, doors and locks
*Eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aides, or prosthetic devices
What Can’t Be Paid?
*Pain and suffering claims
*Non-residential property claims
*Aggregate damages in excess of $20,000.00
*Aggregate damages of less than $25.00
*The injury or death resulting totally or in part from the victim’s own wrongdoing or contributory behavior
How Are Claims Considered?
Victim compensation claims are considered by a three-member panel selected bt the District Attorney. Decisions are make by the panel after reviewing the applications and all necessary reports. You will be notified within 60 days whether the claim has been accepted or not. In the event that you have an emergency need for funds for the authorized services, you may request up to $1,000.00 in advance. Victim compensation is payer of last resort. It is not intended for expenses that can be paid by any other source.
Is This The Same As Restitution?
It is a form of restitution, but is more limited. You have a broad right to restitution for any and all financial losses. The Court MUST base its restitution order on the Victim Impact Statement submitted by the prosecution. The Victim Impact Statement will be mailed to you in all cases and it is critical that you complete this form and return it to be paid the funds.
Can I Get Help With Filling Out This Form?
Your local Sheriff’s Victim Advocate or District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Coordinator will be happy to assist you.