VOCA ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
In order for a state agency to receive and distribute VOCA
formula grant funding, it must adhere to requirements set out in
VOCA and program guidelines issued by OVC. The state agency
administering the VOCA victim compensation and the victim
assistance formula grants must meet the following eligibility
requirements. Eligibility requirements for VOCA victim
assistance subrecipients -- victim service organizations, usually
at the local level -- also are included.
VOCA State Victim Compensation Program Requirements
A state victim compensation program is eligible to receive VOCA
funds if it:
is operated by a state and offers compensation to victims and
survivors of victims of criminal violence, including drunk
driving and domestic violence.
covers medical expenses, including mental health counseling,
loss of wages, and funeral expenses.
promotes victim cooperation with law enforcement authorities.
does not use federal funds to supplant state funds.
makes awards to nonresidents who are victims of crimes within
the state on the same basis as it makes awards to state
makes awards to victims of federal crimes occurring within the
state on the same basis as to victims of state crimes.
provides compensation to residents of the state who are victims
of crimes occurring outside the state, as long as: (a) the
crime(s) would have been compensable had they occurred inside the
resident state; and (b) the place in which the crime occurred is
a state without an eligible victim compensation program.(1)
does not, "except pursuant to rules issued by the program to
prevent unjust enrichment of the offender, deny compensation to
any victim because of that victim's familial relationship to the
offender, or because of the sharing of a residence by the victim
and the offender."
provides such other information and assurances related to the
program as the Director of OVC may reasonably require.
The VOCA Victim Compensation Program Guidelines issued by OVC
explain these VOCA eligibility requirements and provide
VOCA State Victim Assistance Program Requirements
In general, when awarding VOCA funds to local providers of direct
assistance, states must:
give priority to eligible victim assistance programs that provide services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse;
make funds available for grant programs which serve previously
underserved victims of violent crime; and
certify that funds awarded to eligible programs will not
supplant state and local funds already available for crime victim
VOCA Subaward Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to receive VOCA subawards, an organization must
meet eligibility requirements as prescribed in VOCA and the
Program Guidelines. The organization must:
be either a public or a private non-profit agency;
have a record of previously delivering effective services to
crime victims (if applicable);
use volunteers in providing services to crime victims;
promote, within the community served, coordinated public and
private efforts to serve crime victims;
assist crime victims in seeking state victim compensation
match the federal funds with either in-kind services or cash at
a level of 20 percent for new and exiting programs, or 5 percent
for Native American Tribes or organizations; and
use the VOCA funds only for direct services to crime victims such as crisis intervention, shelter, counseling, and personal services that encourage victim participation in the criminal justice system. Funds cannot be used for community education, crime prevention, lobbying, legislative and administrative advocacy, perpetrator rehabilitation, fundraising, capital expenditures, insurance or other nondirect services and activities.
1. 1 Today, all states except Nevada, which thus far has elected not to participate in the VOCA compensation program, have established an eligible crime victim compensation grant program. Therefore, state compensation programs are required to award benefits to residents victimized in Nevada if the crime in question would be compensable in the victim's state of residency.
2. 2 Local victim assistance programs meet the VOCA requirement to assist victims in seeking crime victim compensation benefits by identifying and notifying potential recipients of the availability of compensation, assisting them with application forms and procedures, and helping them obtain the necessary documentation required by the state compensation program. Victims are best served when the staff and volunteers at victim assistance and victim compensation programs understand the full range of services available to them and communicate this information clearly to victims and survivors.
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