Passed by the Texas Legislature in 1979, the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Act creates a fund and establishes guidelines for the provision of certain benefits to crime victims. The money in the fund comes from court costs generated by criminal convictions. The fund is administered by The Office of the Attorney General. The following describes general information about the Act. For the complete provisions please refer to the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Act, Article 56, B, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended.
WHO MAY QUALIFY
BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
To be eligible for consideration or compensation, a victim must be a resident of Texas, a resident of another state victimized in Texas, or a Texas resident victimized in another state that does not have a crime victims compensation program for which the victim would be eligible. Texans injured or killed out of state or country are allowed compensation under the Texas CVC Act, in consideration of another state or nation’s compensation as a collateral source.
A victim must report to law enforcement officials within a reasonable period of time that does not impede the investigation and prosecution, to include those victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The time requirement for filing an application for compensation benefits is from one to three years after the date of the crime.
If the victim is a child, the application must be filed within three years from the date the or victim is made aware of the crime but not after the child is 21 years of age.
A victim must cooperate fully with law enforcement official in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE
A victim whose misconduct contributed to the crime. In such cases, benefits may be reduced or denied.
A victim who knowingly and willingly participated in the criminally injurious conduct.
The offender and/or an accomplice, or anyone whose award would unjustly enrich the offender or accomplice.
Anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident unless the driver intentionally caused the injury, was driving while intoxicated, or failed to stop and render aid.
Anyone who was incarcerated in a penal institution when the crime occurred.
WHAT EXPENSES ARE ELIGIBLE
Reimbursement for property damage or loss is NOT an eligible expense.
Approved claims can provide compensation for the following:
Reasonable medical, counseling, prescription and rehabilitation expenses.
Certain funeral and burial expenses.
Partial loss of earnings, if eligible.
Child care to enable a victim or spouse, or the surviving spouse of a deceased victim, to continue employment.
Eyeglasses, hearing aides, dentures or prosthetic devices, if lost, damaged, or needed as a result of a crime.
Crime scene clean-up after an investigation is completed. Evidence kept and destroyed by the investigating agency may also be replaced.
One – time relocation for victims of Domestic/Family Violence or Sexual Assault that occurred in the home.
OTHER SOURCES OF COMPENSATION
The Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund is regarded as “the payer of last resort”, it is a secondary source that pays for losses not recoverable from other sources. These sources include but are not limited to:
Health or Life Insurance
Sick Leave paid by an employer
Workers’ Compensation benefits
Medicare or Medicaid
LIMITS ON AWARDS
Funding decisions are made by the Office of the Attorney General Crime Victims’ Compensation Division in Austin, and the limits of such awards are set by the legislature of the State of Texas in Chapter 56 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
For more information concerning possible award amounts contact your victim coordinator.
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