Crime victim compensation programs, which operate in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, offer financial assistance to victims of violent crime. Funds come from offender fees and fines and can be used to cover health and mental health care costs, funeral expenses, travel costs, lost wages, crime-scene cleanup, moving expenses, and other expenses that victims and their loved ones incur. Each state operates under its own law, but all compensation programs have much of the same basic criteria to determine eligibility for benefits, which generally include (a) reporting the crime to law enforcement and cooperating with authorities; (b) submitting a timely application; (c) having a cost or loss not covered by another benefit program; and (d) not having committed a criminal act that contributed to the crime. Maximum benefits average $25,000, with some states offering more and some states having lower limits. Additionally, lower caps within the maximum are common for some types of benefits, like funeral costs, counseling, or lost wages. Visit the association’s Web site for more information about the crime victim compensation process.
To apply for victim compensation, contact the program in the state where the crime occurred. There is no national or federal victim compensation program, except for U.S. residents who are victims of terrorism in foreign countries. The Program Directory links to state compensation programs and provides highlights on the benefits, requirements, and procedures of these programs, as well as contact information. Also see the General Information page for links to a Crime Victim Compensation Brochure that provides information about how these programs operate, basic information on crime victim compensation, a summary of state requirements and maximum benefits, and other pertinent information.
NAVAA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose mission (according to it's website) is "to advance education, research, and public service to assure accessible quality services for crime victims nationwide, to strengthen exchange of information and communication among it's members and to provide it's members with training and technical assistance to effectively respond to the issues and challenges of supporting those services." Visit the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators’ Web site for a directory of VOCA Assistance Programs.