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Criminal Investigations

Victim Services - Crime Victims' Compensation

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Victim Services Main Number: 972-237-8796

What is Crime Victims' Compensation?

Crime Victims' Compensation is a financial assistance program that helps eligible victims of crime with certain expenses related to the crime. Money for this program comes from court costs paid by criminals and deposited by each Texas county into the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.

The Crime Victims' Compensation Division is "the payer of last resort" after primary sources of payment such as 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 Victims' 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 suit against the offender or a third party, he or she may also have to reimburse the fund.

Who may qualify?

  • An innocent victim of crime who suffers physical and/or emotional harm or death.
  • An authorized individual acting on behalf of a victim.
  • A person who legally assumes the obligations or voluntarily pays certain expenses related to the crime on behalf of the victim.
  • A dependent of a victim.
  • An immediate family member or household members related by blood or marriage who require psychiatric care or counseling as a result of the crime.
  • An intervener who goes to the aid of the victim or a peace officer.
  • A peace officer, fire fighter, or individual whose employment includes the duty of protecting the public.

What crimes are covered?

Crimes covered by Crime Victims' Compensation are those in which the victim suffers substantial threat of physical or emotional harm or death. These may include sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, assault, homicide and other violent crimes.

Vehicular crimes that are covered include failure to stop and render aid, DWI, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault, intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.

What type of financial assistance is available?

Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000. In the case of catastrophic injuries resulting in a total and permanent disability, victims may be eligible for an additional $75,000 in benefits.

Upon approval, benefits may be awarded for the following:

  • medical, hospital, physical therapy or nursing care.
  • psychiatric care or counseling.
  • loss of earnings or support.
  • loss of wages due to participation in, or attendance at, the investigation, prosecutorial and judicial processes, and travel.
  • care of a child or a dependent.
  • funeral and burial expenses.
  • crime scene clean-up.
  • replacement costs for clothing, bedding, or property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as a result of the investigation.
  • reasonable attorney fees for assistance in filing the Crime Victims' Compensation application and in obtaining benefits, if the claim is approved.
  • loss of wages and travel to seek medical treatment.
  • one time relocation expenses for domestic violence victims.

Every law enforcement agency and prosecutor's office in Texas is mandated to provide victims of crime with information and applications about the Crime Victims' Compensation Division. When contacting these agencies, please ask for the victim assistance coordinator or liaison 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 Victims' Compensation Division in 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. Applications are also available to download (click for English or Spanish).

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

If the Crime Victims' Compensation Division makes a decision with which the victim or claimant disagrees, he or she has a right under the law to ask that the decision be reconsidered. In order to appeal a decision, the victim or claimant must notify Crime Victims' Compensation in writing within 60 days, stating the reason for dissatisfaction. If the outcome of the reconsideration process is not satisfactory, the victim or claimant has 60 days to request a final ruling hearing from the Crime Victims' 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.

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Last updated: 10/21/2014 11:00:32 AM