Each state in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S.Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico, operates a crime victim compensation program to provide financial assistance for victims of violent or personal crime. Each state administers its own program in accordance with its state statute. The U.S. Department of Justice provides supplemental Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding and technical support to the states. The following information is generally applicable to all state compensation programs. For information regarding specific programs, contact the programs directly.
Report to police. Usually within 72 hours; exceptions are made for good cause.
Filing period. One year is typical; exceptions are made for good cause.
Victims of terrorist acts. Compensation is payable through the federal Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve for residents and nonresidents who are injured or killed in acts of terrorism within the United States or for U.S. nationals, officers, and/or employees of the U.S. government who are injured or killed in acts of terrorism outside the United States. In addition, some state compensation programs provide benefits to victims of terrorism.
Claimants. The following parties are eligible for compensation in most states:
The claimant must file an application with the compensation agency in the state where the crime occurred. Based on information submitted by the victim, the agency determines if the claimant is eligible and has suffered a financial loss. In most states, the victim can appeal the agency's decision to deny or reduce the amount of compensation.
Benefits and Award Limits
Maximum benefits available to victims from the state programs average about $25,000, though a number of states have higher or lower maximums.
Compensable costs. All states will cover the following:
In addition, many states cover the following:
Emergency awards. Some states provide emergency awards or expedite processing for victims faced with extraordinary financial needs.
Funding sources. Most states obtain their funding from fees or charges assessed against offenders. Some states receive appropriations from general revenue. OVC provides supplemental funds from federal criminal fines and penalties.
Contact Information (by State and Territory)
District of Columbia
Telephone: 9-1-671-475-3324, ext. 285
Telephone: 717-783-0551, ext. 3093
U.S. Virgin Islands