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Chapter 5 Financial Assistance for Victims of Crime

Section 3, Compensation


Crime victim compensation provides greatly needed financial assistance for crime victims in the aftermath of victimization. All fifty states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, have compensation programs that can pay for medical and counseling expenses, lost wages and support, funeral bills, and a variety of other costs. While each state operates under its own law, the basic requirements, benefits, and procedures are quite similar. Every person who works in law enforcement and victim services has a professional responsibility to tell victims about compensation opportunities so that they can gain access to this important resource in the recovery process.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this section, students will understand the following concepts:

  • The importance of financial assistance to crime victims.

  • Basic eligibility requirements found in all states.

  • Primary compensation costs covered by all victim compensation programs.

  • Standard procedures followed by state compensation programs in evaluating applications and making decisions.

  • The crucial role that every professional in victim services and law enforcement must play in assisting victims to learn about compensation opportunities as well as mandated responsibilities under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to provide information and assistance in filing for compensation.

  • Funding and administration of compensation programs.

  • Promising practices that are improving compensation programs.

Statistical Overview

  • State crime victim compensation programs pay approximately $250 million to more than 120,000 victims of violent crimes each year (OVC 1998).

  • About half of the amounts paid by victim compensation programs are for medical care. Mental health counseling accounts for about a fifth of all payments. Replacing lost wages and support for victims who are disabled or killed, and paying for funeral bills are the other major expenses (Ibid).

  • About a third of all the recipients of crime victim compensation are children, most of whom are victims of sexual abuse (Ibid).

  • Maximum benefits available to victims from state programs generally range between $10,000 and $25,000, though a number of states have higher maximums. However, since the large majority of victims applying for benefits do not have large expenses or losses, national statistics show that the average amount paid to each victim applying for compensation is about $2,000 (NACVCB 1999).

  • The median annual pay out per state is just under $2 million. The range of total payments among states is considerable, with California paying close to $75 million each year, and about nine of the smallest states paying less than $500,000 annually (OVC 1998).

  • While there is no federal crime victim compensation program, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) provides grant funds of approximately $70 million each year to supplement state funds of more than $165 million paid to victims (Ibid.).


It is well known that victims of violent crime suffer physical injury and emotional trauma. What may be less recognized is that many victims also face serious financial setbacks as they struggle to pay for the costs of recovery. For some victims the most important victim assistance they can receive is help in paying for medical care, counseling, and lost income in the aftermath of crime.

The good news is that every state has a crime victim compensation program that can provide substantial financial assistance to crime victims and their families. Victim compensation programs serve as the primary means of financial aid for thousands of crime victims each year. And while no amount of money can erase the trauma and grief that victims suffer, this aid can be crucial in the recovery process. By paying for care that restores victims' physical and mental health, and by replacing lost income for victims who cannot work or for families who lose a breadwinner, compensation programs are helping victims regain their lives and their financial stability.

Compensation for victims of crime is one of the earliest types of assistance for victims. Ancient history traces the idea of victim compensation to the Babylonian civilization before 2380 B.C. In the 1950s, Margery Fry, a member of parliament in Great Britain, initiated legislation to establish the first compensation programs in modern society, which began operating in Great Britain and New Zealand in the early 1960s.

Crime victim compensation was the first type of victim service established in this country. California began operating the first program in 1965, seven years before the original two victim assistance programs opened their doors. By 1972 nine states had created compensation programs, and the restof the states followed suit over the next two decades. In 1998, Puerto Rico became the latest jurisdiction to implement a compensation program. There is no federal or national victim compensation program; each state operates independently under its own state law, but all states are expected to cover federal victims of crime. Programs that meet certain conditions (and all of them do) are eligible for grant funds through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to supplement their state resources.

Victims of nearly every type of crime of violence or abuse, including rape, assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and drunk driving, are eligible to apply for financial help. Family members of homicide victims also are eligible for benefits. About a third of all the victims currently helped by compensation programs are children, most of whom are victims of sexual abuse.

Compensation programs can pay for a wide variety of expenses and losses related to criminal injury and homicide. Beyond medical and mental health treatment, lost wages and support, and funerals, a number of programs also cover crime-scene cleanup, travel costs to receive treatment, moving expenses when victims are forced to change residences, and the cost of housekeeping and child care. Programs pay only those expenses not covered by insurance or other sources that are readily available to the victim.

Eligibility requirements are broadly similar among the states, though in individual cases, it is important to check with the specific state program involved to know exactly what those requirements are. Programs generally require victims to report the crime to law enforcement and cooperate in any subsequent investigation and prosecution, though many states can waive these requirements for good cause. Victims cannot have been committing crimes or been involved in other substantial misconduct when victimized, and family members are generally eligible only if the victim meets all requirements.

Telling victims about compensation is the professional obligation of everyone who works in victim assistance and law enforcement. Indeed, providing information to victims about compensation is a mandated responsibility of all victim service programs that receive federal funds through VOCA. And law enforcement officers increasingly are being required by state constitutional amendments to provide information about compensation and other services.

Training about compensation should be an integral part of the program plan of every victim service organization, police department, and prosecutor's office. A wealth of material is available from each state program, including applications and brochures, and compensation programs welcome the opportunity to talk with and train professionals in victim services and law enforcement.

Victim compensation is one of three primary types of financial assistance available to crime victims in addition to restitution and civil recovery. Compensation differs from restitution, in that compensation does not require the apprehension and conviction of an individual offender to provide financial relief to the victim. Instead, state compensation programs gather funds through relatively small assessments against all criminals, and then distribute those funds to the victims who need help. Restitution, on the other hand, requires that the criminal who injured a specific victim be ordered to reimburse the victim for the victim's losses. In contrast to victim compensation, which simply requires an application to astate program, civil recovery occurs when the victim files a suit in civil court against the offender and is paid by the offender as a result of a verdict or settlement in favor of the victim.

Compensation Benefits

All compensation programs cover the same major types of expenses, although their specific limits may vary. The primary compensable costs covered by all states are as follows:

  • Medical expenses.

  • Mental health counseling.

  • Lost wages for victims unable to work because of crime-related injury.

  • Lost support for dependents of homicide victims.

  • Funeral expenses.

Medical care is the primary item paid for by compensation programs. This can include emergency room treatment as well as follow-up medical treatment. Mental health counseling also is an important benefit, not only for victims, but also for family members in homicides and some other crimes. Victims who cannot work because of their crime-related injuries may qualify for lost wages, and dependents of victims who are killed are eligible for lost support. Programs also pay a substantial percentage of their total awards to cover funeral costs.

In addition, the following are a number of other expenses that are paid for by some programs:

  • Moving or relocation expenses, often limited only to instances where the victim is in imminent physical danger, or if medically necessary (such as severe emotional trauma from sexual assault).

  • Transportation to medical providers, usually limited to occasions where the provider is located at some distance from the victim's residence, or when other special circumstances exist.

  • Replacement services for work such as child care and housekeeping that the victim is unable to perform because of crime-related injury. Some states limit payment for replacement services to nonfamily members.

  • Crime-scene cleanup, or the cost of securing a home or restoring it to its precrime condition.

  • Rehabilitation, which may include physical therapy and occupational therapy.

  • Modifications to homes or vehicles for victims who are paralyzed or severely disabled.

Florida, New Jersey, and New York also cover very limited amounts of personal property lost or damaged during the crime. (Florida and New York have $500 limits on this expense and New Jersey has a $200 limit. Florida and New Jersey also limit payment for personal property to elderly victimsand disabled victims.) All states will cover medically necessary equipment, such as eyeglasses or hearing aids, that are damaged during the crime, or that become necessary as a result of it.


Maximum benefits available to victims from the state programs generally range between $10,000 and $25,000, though a few states have higher maximums. In addition, many states have lower limits on specific compensable expenses, like funerals and mental health counseling. A few states also can provide extra benefits in homicides or catastrophic-injury cases. When helping specific victims, it is important to check with individual states to learn exactly what these limits are.


Some, but not all, compensation programs have established procedures allowing the program to make an emergency award to a victim within a few days or weeks. Many programs, however, have found that the difficulty of verifying the claims under such expedited situations has a significant impact on their ability to process other claims; so they limit emergency awards to cases of extreme hardship and pay only limited amounts, such as up to $500 or $1,000.


All of the state crime victim compensation programs share the same basic eligibility requirements, though individual differences exist. Again, it is important for anyone helping victims to check with the individual state where the crime occurred to determine the specific requirements of that state.

The threshold requirement is that the victim be a victim of a violent or personal crime. Nearly every type of violent or personal crime is compensable, including assault, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, homicide, and drunk driving. Property crimes are not compensable, except in a few states in very limited amounts.

While specific eligibility requirements vary slightly from state to state, all programs have the same basic criteria. Generally, the victim must do the following:

  • Report the crime promptly to law enforcement. Many states have a seventy-two-hour reporting requirement, but nearly all states have "good-cause" exceptions applied liberally to children, incapacitated victims, and other special circumstances.
  • Cooperate with police and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of the case. The apprehension and/or conviction of a perpetrator is not a prerequisite to receiving compensation. A number of states are flexible with regard to this rule when looking at cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, or child abuse.
  • Submit a timely application to the compensation program. Many states require that the application be submitted within one year from the date of the crime, though a number of states have longer time frames, and most can waive these requirements for good cause. In addition, nearly every statemakes exceptions for child victims, who often are given up to one year from the time of turning eighteen to file claims for crimes occurring during their childhoods.
  • Be innocent of criminal activity or significant misconduct that caused or contributed to the victim's injury or death. States vary on how this requirement is interpreted, but it generally means that eligibility is denied to anyone injured while committing a crime, such as dealing drugs, or by engaging willingly in a mutual fight not necessitated by self-defense. Many programs can reduce payments rather than deny them entirely when a victim's conduct has contributed to the crime.
  • Have an expense or loss not covered or reimbursed by some other "collateral resource," such as medical or automobile insurance, or disability pay. Some, but not all, states also count sick leave, vacation leave, and life insurance as collateral resources. Also in some states, while restitution from the offender can count as a collateral resource, it must actually be paid to the victim before a program will reduce its award to the victim as a result. If a compensation program makes an award and the victim is later reimbursed by a collateral resource for the same expense or loss, the victim is expected to repay the program.

The eligibility of a victim's dependents or other "secondary victims" generally hinges on the eligibility of the "direct" victim (the one who actually suffered the injury or death). For example, if a homicide victim was engaged in criminal activity, the family generally would be ineligible for any benefits.

Since each state operates under its own law and rules, it is important for those accessing any program to check with that program to learn exactly what the requirements are.


The California State Board of Control (SBOC) has enacted legislation that expands the definitions of victims of crime who are eligible for compensation:

  • Children who witness an act of domestic violence are now presumed to have sustained physical injury and are eligible for a higher level of compensation benefits (Government Code #13960 (B) (3)).

  • The definition of derivative victim has been expanded to include persons who become primary caregivers of minors who were victims of child abuse or sexual abuse, and to include residents of other states (Government Code #13960 (A) (2)).

  • Vehicular manslaughter (motor vehicle and water vehicle) has been added to the list of eligible crimes (Government Code #13960 (c) (5)).

  • A minor under sixteen years of age who sustains emotional injury due to unlawful sexual intercourse with a person over the age of twenty-one is now presumed to have sustained physical injury if felony charges are filed (Government Code #13960 (d) (2) (I)).

The legislation expands benefits for expenses incurred by an adult victim in relocating away from the defendant:

  • Adds benefits for expenses to install or increase residential security related to a crime in the victim's home.

  • Adds benefits for the expense of retrofitting a residence or vehicle to make it accessible to a victim if the victim is permanently disabled as a result of a crime (Chapter 584 Statutes of 1999 (California Assembly Bill 606) 1 January 2000).


Where to apply. Victims must apply for compensation in the state where the crime occurs, regardless of the state of residency of the victim. In other words, if someone from Florida becomes a victim of a crime in Minnesota, the victim or the victim's family must apply for compensation in Minnesota.

Until recently, Nevada was an exception to this rule, since it did not cover nonresidents for crimes occurring within its borders. However, in 1999 Nevada changed its law to allow coverage of nonresidents.

Most states do not cover crimes occurring outside their own state borders, but there are a few that do. California and Ohio, for example, will accept applications from their residents who are victimized in other states, but require that the victim first file an application in the state where the crime occurred before accessing the home state's program.

While most states do not cover crimes occurring to their residents who are victimized in foreign countries, there is one major exception: all states will cover crimes of terrorism occurring to their residents outside the United States. For example, this means that a resident of Vermont who is victimized in a terrorist incident in Turkey could apply in Vermont for victim compensation. In recent years, state programs have received applications from victims of the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, as well as several other incidents. (The federal government has established coverage of terrorism in foreign countries as a condition for state compensation program to receive VOCA grant funds, and all of the states have accepted the condition.)

The application process.

  • The victim is responsible for completing the application form and filing it with the compensation program. Generally, victims obtain applications from victim-witness programs, other victim assistance programs, and law enforcement officials. Applications are also available from the compensation program directly. Some victims may need the help of victim assistants in completing the claim form.
  • Claim processing begins when the application is received by the program. The program must first verify that a crime took place and determine whether the victim was engaged in criminal activity at the time of the crime. Typically, the initial step by the compensation program is to make a request for the police investigative report from the police jurisdiction where the crime took place.
  • Depending on the expenses or losses claimed by the victim, the program also will request verification from medical providers and mental health counselors of the treatment the victim received and the cost of the treatment. If the victim claims a wage loss because of injury, employers will be contacted to verify the lost time and the rate of pay. Similarly, funeral homes will be contacted if a homicide has taken place.
  • Most programs process claims through a staff centralized in one office in the state capital, but a few states have branch or regional offices, and a few make use of locally-based individuals in other entities or agencies to perform preliminary work on applications. In Louisiana, for example, staff in local sheriffs' offices help victims complete the application and gather documents necessary to evaluate eligibility and expenses.
  • Once the required documentation is in place, programs analyze the information and make decisions on whether the victim is eligible and what expenses are compensable. Authority to make these decisions varies from state to state. In most of the states, program managers and administrative staff are authorized to make decisions on applications. In about a quarter of the states, a part-time board or commission determines eligibility and awards on all claims. About a fourth of the states use these boards only in making decisions on appeals. There are three court-based programs (Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia) in which court officials make decisions on applications.
  • Usually a notice of the program's decision is sent to the victim, but in some states, a hearing is held before the decision is made. If the victim does not agree with the program's decision, he/she may appeal it. In some instances, the program staff or board itself will reconsider the application at the first stage of appeal. In nearly every state, the victim may make a further appeal to another authority, typically an administrative law judge or a court, before the decision becomes final.

The process, from start to finish, usually averages between four to six months. Compensation programs are dependent on many individuals to provide them with information before decisions can be made: the victim, police, medical providers and counselors, insurance companies, employers, and others, depending on the expenses claimed. Some programs will try to contact providers of services who are awaiting payment to assure them that the process is ongoing and will likely result in payment. Victim assistants may be able to help in this regard as well by advocating for the victim with other service providers.

The Role of Police and Victim Services

Professionals who work with victims have a crucial role to play in the process of seeking compensation. Compensation programs depend almost entirely on people working in law enforcement and victim services to let victims know that the programs exist. Compensation programs themselves, with limited staffs devoted mainly to claims processing, simply are not designed to handle initial contacts with individual victims. Compensation programs focus their efforts on providing training and information to victim assistants and police who are in the best position to tell victims about compensation opportunities. While programs also distribute brochures, posters, and public service announcements, the best way for a victim to hear about compensation is when she or he is actually facing issues relating to the costs of crime.

For many crime victims, missing the compensation application filing deadline is one of the most painful "second injuries" in the aftermath of victimization. Unfortunately, when this happens, it is almost always due to a failure on the part of a police officer or victim assistant to tell the victim about compensation opportunities. Every person who works in law enforcement and victim services has a professional responsibility to ensure that victims do not miss out on their opportunity to apply. To ensure that this responsibility is met, training about compensation should be an integral part of the program plan of every victim service organization, police department, and prosecutor's office. A wealth of material is available from each state program, including brochures, applications, and information cards, that can help in this effort. Compensation programs welcome the opportunity to meet with individuals and groups, and usually will make staff members available to speak at conferences and meetings.

What specifically can the victim service professional do to make sure that victims get every chance they can to access financial help? Here are some ideas:

  • Ask the victim about financial losses. Does the victim have medical bills not covered by insurance? Does the victim need help in paying for counseling? Did the victim miss time at work? Remember that financial injury can be just as important to address as the victim's emotional needs.
  • Tell the victim about compensation. Let him know that there is help. Provide a phone number. Don't assume that someone else has provided this information. Even if the victim has been told before, she may not have retained the information in the initial crisis stage after the victimization. Repeat the information and emphasize the filing deadline to be sure the victim understands.
  • Help the victim apply for benefits. Give the victim an application and help with its completion. Assist the victim in gathering necessary documentation, such as bills and insurance records. Make sure it is filed in a timely manner.
  • Follow up with the program. If a question arises in completing the application, call the compensation program to get advice. Once the application is submitted, follow up as necessary to see if you can provide any further help. Sometimes a victim's application is delayed because the program needs more information and can't get the victim to respond. Volunteer to be a go-between.
  • Follow up with the victim. Are there additional expenses that have come up since the application was submitted? Would it help to call a creditor to let them know that a compensation application is in process? Does the victim need help in responding to a request for more information? Keep in touch with the victim throughout the process to see how you can help.
  • Be patient. Understand that the compensation program is processing hundreds or thousands of applications and may not be able to concentrate fully and immediately on each individual claim it receives. While many important expenses can be covered, the program may not be able to cover all financial needs. Your assistance can go a long way toward shortening the process, and it can also help the victim with the difficult task of waiting for help as the application is reviewed.

Funding of Compensation Programs

State compensation programs receive funding from a variety of sources. However, the large majority of programs get their funds either entirely or primarily from the offenders themselves. Typically, a state will require that any individual convicted of a misdemeanor or felony pay a relatively small fee (usually between $10 and $50) into the crime victim compensation fund. These small assessments build a substantial fund that is then used to make awards to individual victims. Less than a dozen states depend on legislative appropriations to make awards to victims.

Some programs are gaining substantial amounts of additional revenue by recovering money owed to victims through restitution and civil suit judgments. Programs require that when a victim is paid by the program, amounts recovered from the offender through court-ordered criminal restitution or amounts awarded in civil suits be returned to the program if those amounts cover expenses already paid for by the program. Some state compensation programs are making special efforts to work with prosecutors,judges, corrections, and probation officials to ensure that restitution is ordered and collected. However, recovery of this nature is a minor source of total program income.


With the enactment of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA), state compensation programs became eligible for federal funds to supplement state funding for awards to victims. Through annual VOCA grants, federal funds provide 20 to 25 percent of each state's annual budget.

VOCA stipulates that a state may receive an annual federal grant totaling 40% of the amount the state awards to victims. In other words, if a state spends $1 million of its own money in awards to victims in a particular year, the federal government will give it an additional $400,000 to spend. This results in a 72% to 28% split in state-federal dollars spent each year (i.e., of every $1.4 million awarded to victims by a state, $1 million will be from state funds, and $400,000 will be from federal funds). States bear nearly all of the administrative costs of operating the program, since at least 95% of the federal money must be awarded to victims, and only the remaining 5% can be used by the state for administrative purposes.

To qualify for federal funding, each state must meet the following VOCA requirements (every state currently meets them):

  • Cover medical expenses, mental health counseling, and lost wages, as well as funeral expenses and lost support for families of homicide victims.

  • Consider drunk driving and domestic violence as compensable crimes.

  • Not categorically exclude domestic violence victims on the basis of their being related to or living with the offender. (Programs may deny claims when an award to the victim would "unjustly enrich" the offender.)

  • Cover all U.S. citizens victimized within its borders, regardless of the victim's state of residency.

  • Cover its state residents who are victimized in terrorist crimes outside state borders.

  • Cover victims of crimes within the state that fall under federal jurisdiction. This would include victims of crimes on Indian reservations, military installations, national parks, or other federal lands. (There is no federal or national compensation program that would otherwise cover victims of federal crimes; therefore victims are dependent on the states for this coverage.)

Compensation Program Location and Size

Compensation programs are administered by state governments under state law. About a third of the programs are located in departments of public safety or criminal justice planning agencies, and a fifth are in offices of attorneys general. Arizona and Colorado are unique in operating compensation programs through local prosecutors' offices, under state law and coordination.

Staff sizes tend to be quite small, with thirty-six states operating with fewer than ten people. Only a few states operate with more than twenty employees, California being the largest with over 400 workers.

Annual payouts also vary, mostly according to the size of the state. California leads the nation with about $75 million awarded to victims each year, and Texas is next with about $30 million in annual payouts. Nine of the smallest states pay out less than one-half million dollars each year.

The state compensation programs are represented by the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVCB), which promotes an exchange of information and ideas through a network of compensation programs around the country and by various training and technical assistance activities. The NACVCB, which was founded in 1977, provides a strong national voice on all matters affecting state compensation programs before Congress and the Office for Victims of Crime.

Promising Practices


A number of compensation programs are striving to provide benefits to more victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by liberalizing rules, being more flexible in interpreting requirements, and adding benefits to meet these victims' specific needs.

Requirements that victims report to police and cooperate in investigation and prosecution of crimes can be problematic for many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. While nearly all programs still require some to report to law enforcement, a few programs, such as New York and Idaho, may accept the victim's seeking of a temporary restraining order as sufficient to meet the reporting requirement. A number of programs also have become more flexible in waiving cooperation requirements if the victim's health or safety may be jeopardized.

Programs also are searching for ways to meet more of the needs that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault may have. Some can pay for moving expenses if the victim needs to relocate. Some states now can cover child witnesses to domestic violence, even when the child was not directly under any threat of violence. A few, like New Jersey, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming, can even replace income the victim received from the offender if that economic support is no longer forthcoming. Alabama has instituted a special process, independent of its regular application procedures, to pay for a number of miscellaneous expenses that domestic violence victims may incur.


Some compensation programs are working closely with prosecutors, judges, corrections departments, and probation and parole officials to hold offenders accountable for repaying to the program the amounts it awards to the victims of those offenders. These programs make sure that prosecutors are informed about awards to victims, so that restitution can be sought and ordered in those cases, and if possible, paid directly back to the compensation program itself. Some programs follow up with various officials responsible for enforcing restitution orders to monitor compliance and urge continuing enforcement. Some compensation programs also monitor civil suits filed by victims against offenders, and communicate with attorneys representing the victims to ensure that any amounts recovered for expenses paid by the compensation program are returned to the program. Alabama, California, and Iowa are examples of programs that are particularly aggressive in recovering funds from offenders.


Recognizing the importance of working closely with victims and their representatives to define and resolve issues, a number of compensation programs have established advisory committees composed of various "constituent groups" to help in formulating policies and improving procedures. Pennsylvania, for example, has representatives of domestic violence and sexual assault victims as well as police and prosecutors on its broad-based committee, which has examined the program's statute, rules, and procedures to help make the program more responsive to victims. Advisory groups in Washington state and the District of Columbia are other good examples. An advisory group in Ohio recently helped the program revise its application to make it more user-friendly.


A number of compensation programs are working closely with disaster-preparedness officials and victim service programs to ensure that they can be part of a coordinated response to mass victimizations. School shootings in Arkansas and Oregon found compensation programs directly involved in ensuring that victims and their families had quick access to financial assistance. The Oklahoma compensation program has helped numerous victims and families who have suffered financial losses resulting from the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City.


In an effort to increase awareness and knowledge about compensation benefits for victims of crime, and to stimulate greater involvement of victim service professionals in assisting victims to apply for compensation benefits, many state compensation programs have initiated and developed trainings for this purpose. For example, Pennsylvania has developed an extensive series of trainings called "connections" trainings, bringing together victim advocates, police officers, prosecutors, and community leaders. These regional training programs emphasize the need for collaboration among criminal justice system personnel and other allied victim service professionals in ensuring that victims' needs for information and assistance in applying for compensation benefits are comprehensively met.

    Other states that have initiated such training include New Mexico, which offers both basic and advanced training on compensation on a monthly basis, and Florida, which requires all VOCAsubgrantees to send personnel to a multiday basic training that includes several hours on crime victims' compensation.

Compensation Self-Examination

1. Who plays a crucial role in telling victims that compensation is available?


2. Generally, what is the range of maximum benefits available to victims from compensation programs?


3. What are the five primary compensable costs covered by VOCA funds in all states?


4. Are U.S. citizens who become victims of terrorism in foreign countries eligible for crime victim compensation from state programs in the U.S.?


5. What is the primary source of funding for most state compensation programs?



Chapter 5.3: Compensation

Brief Description of Exercise/Activity: Following the class lecture, provide each student with an index card. Remind students that unless victims are aware of victim compensation, they will not know to access this important right.

Ask students to identify two suggestions for publicizing the availability of victim compensation to victims, as well as to the general public, and who (agencies and individuals) should be responsible for such outreach.

Process out their responses on tear sheets, and facilitate a discussion about the importance of all criminal and juvenile justice agencies, victim assistance programs, and allied professionals to make victim compensation information available to victims, as well as the community.

Goals of Activity:

  1. To give students the opportunity to identify and discuss their recommendations for expanding victim compensation outreach.
  2. To help students understand the importance of collaborative approaches to publicizing victim compensation programs, and providing victims with assistance in completing their forms.


         X     Tear sheets and felt pens

    _____ VCR/monitor

    _____ Overhead projector and screen

    _____ Masking tape

         X     Index cards

    _____ Individual or group work sheets (please provide)

    _____ Other (please describe):

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Chapter 5 Financial Assistance for Victims of Crime June 2001
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