What is Crime Victim Compensation?

 

If you are a victim and need assistance, please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator:

Natasha Kocian
(979)732-8203 ext. 227
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The Texas Crime Victim's Compensation Fund assists victims of crime. Money in the fund comes from court costs paid by criminals.

Crime Victim's Compensation is a division of the Attorney General's Office. The program reimburses innocent victims of violent crime for some out-of-pocket expenses they suffer as a result of the crime.

The Crime Victim's Compensation fund is "the payer of last resort". Primary sources of payment may include health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, auto insurance or Texas Workers' Compensation.

If the Court orders the offender to pay restitution to the victim for an expense that Crime Victim's Compensation has already paid,the victim may be required to reimburse the Fund. If the victim or claimant recovers money through the settlement of a civil lawsuit against the offender or a third party, he or she may also have to reimburse the Fund.

To be eligible a person must:

  • Be a United States resident with the crime occurring in Texas or a Texas resident who becomes a victim in a state or country without a compensation program. United States citizenship is not required.
  • Report the crime to a 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.
  • File the application within three years of the date of the crime.

 

Who may qualify?

  • An innocent victim of crime who suffers a substantial threat of physical and/or emotional harm or death.
  • A dependent of a victim.
  • An authorized individual acting on behalf of a victim.
  • An intervenor who goes to the aid of the victim or peace officer.
  • A person who legally assumes the obligations or voluntarily pays certain expenses related to the crime on behalf of the victim.
  • Immediate family or household members related by blood or marriage who require counseling as a result of the crime.
  • A peace officer, firefighter or individual who has a duty to protect the public and who is injured in a crime.

 

Who is not eligible?

Benefits may be reduced or denied if the victim:

  • Participated in the crime
  • Engaged in illegal activity
  • Contributed to the crime
  • Was an inmate at the time of the crime
  • Knowingly or intentionally submitted false or forged information to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund
  • Did not cooperate with the appropriate law enforcement agencies

 

How do I apply?

You can call any law enforcement agency or the Colorado County Attorney's Office at (979) 732-8203 and ask for an application form to be mailed to you.

Every law enforcement agency and prosecutor's office in Texas is mandated to provide victims of crime with information and applications about the Crime Victim's Compensation program. When contacting these agencies, please ask for the victim assistance coordinators or liasons, who can provide assistance in completing the application. Hospitals and medical centers may also have applications and materials.

Applications can be obtained directly from the Crime Victim's Compensation Division of the Office of the Attorney General by calling 1-800-983-9933. Professional staff at the division are also available to answer any questions and provide assistance in completing the application.

 

What Crimes are covered?

Crimes covered by Crime Victim's Compensation are those in which the victim suffers a substantial threat of physical or emotional harm or death. These may include sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, assault, domestic violence, homicide and other violent crimes. Vehicular related crimes that are covered include failure to stop and render aid, DWI manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault, intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000.00. In the case of catastrophic injuries resulting in total and permanent disability, victims may be eligible for an additional $75,000.00 in benefits.

Upon approval, the following benefits may be awarded:

  • Medical, hospital, physical therapy or nursing care
  • Psychiatric care or counseling
  • One time relocation assistance for victims of domestic crime
  • Loss of earnings support
  • Loss of wages and travel reimbursement due to participation in, or attendance at, the investigation, prosecutorial and judicial processes
  • Care of a child or dependent
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Crime scene clean-up
  • Replacement costs for clothing, bedding or other property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as the result of the investigation
  • Attorney fees for assistance in filing the Crime Victim's Compensation
  • Application and in obtaining benefits, if the claim is approved
  • Loss of wages and travel to seek medical treatment or counseling

Additional benefits for victims who have suffered a catastrophic injury include:

  • Making a home or car accessible
  • Job training and vocational rehabilitation
  • Training in the use of special appliances
  • Home health care
  • Reimbursement of lost wages

Reimbursement for property damage or theft is not an eligible expense.

 

What are my rights when to appeal when my benefits have been reduced or denied?

If the Crime Victim's Compensation Division makes a decision with which the victim or claimant disagrees, he or she has the right under the law to ask that the decision be reconsidered. In order to appeal a decision the victim or claimant must notify Crime Victim's Compensation in writing within 30 days, stating the reason for dissatisfaction and are subject to administrative limits. If the outcome of the reconsideration process is not satisfactory, the vicitm or claimant has 30 days to request a final ruling hearing from the Crime Victim's Compensation Division. Should the victim or claimant not agree with the outcome of the hearing, he or she may file an appeal with the district court within 40 days of the final ruling.