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Disclaimer:
  The legal information provided on this website is the product of Legal Aid NorthWest Texas (LANWT). None of the legal information on this website is associated with or the product of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas or any of its employees.

 CRIME VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION

 Q. What is Crime Victims’ Compensation? 

A.  The Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Program is administered by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and it assists eligible applicants by reimbursing costs incurred as a result of violent crime, including medical services, mental health counseling, funeral expenses, and lost earnings.  The program is designated by law as the “payer of last resort,” and collateral sources such as health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, auto insurance, or Texas Workers’ Compensation must first be utilized.

Q. Who is eligible to apply? 

A.  To be eligible, an individual must:

                     Be a United States resident with the crime occurring in Texas or a Texas resident who becomes a victim in a country without a compensation program.

                     Report the crime to a law enforcement agency within a reasonable period of time, but not so late as to interfere with or hamper the investigation and prosecution of the crime.

                     File an application within three years of the date of the crime.

 Q. Who may qualify? 

A.  Innocent victims of crime who suffer substantial threat of physical and/or emotional harm or death may qualify.  Dependents of victims and authorized individuals acting on behalf of a victim may qualify.  Immediate family or household members who require counseling may apply.  An intervenor who goes to the aid of a victim or a peace officer may qualify.  Benefits may be reduced or denied if the victim:  participated in the crime, engaged in illegal activity, was an inmate at the time of the crime, knowingly, or intentionally submitted false information, or did not cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies.

 Q. How can I apply?

 A.  Every law enforcement agency and prosecutor’s office in Texas is mandated to provide victims with information about the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program.  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 provide applications.  Applications can be obtained directly from the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program by calling 1-800-983-9933.  Staff is available to answer questions and to provide assistance in completing the application.  Applications and information are also available at http://www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/victims.shtml

Q. What crimes are covered?

A.  Crimes covered are those in which the victim suffers substantial threat of physical or emotional harm or death.  These crimes may include sexual assault, homicide, and other violent crimes.  Some crimes involving vehicles are also covered, including DWI, failure to stop and render aid, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault, intoxication manslaughter, and intoxication assault.

 Q. What type of financial assistance is available?

A.  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

                     one-time relocation assistance for victims of family violence or a victim of sexual assault who is assaulted in the victim’s place of residence

                     loss of earnings or support

                     care of a child or dependent

                     funeral and burial expenses

                     crime scene clean-up

                     replacement costs for clothing, bedding or other property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as the result of the investigation.

 

Q. What can I do if my application is denied?

A.  If you disagree with the decision made by the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, you have the right to ask for reconsideration of your claim. Your request for reconsideration should be made in writing within 30 days of the decision. Your letter should state the reason you disagree with the decision.

 Should you require additional assistance, please contact Crime Victims’ Compensation Program directly at 800-983-9933, or visit www.oag.state.tx.us .