Learn more about the Crime Victims’ Compensation (CVC) Program, who is eligible, how to apply, what cost are covered, and about their appeal process.
Special thanks to the Office of the Attorney General for its contribution to this article.
What is the Crime Victims’ Compensation (CVC) Program?
The Crime Victims' Compensation (CVC) Program provides financial assistance to victims of violent crimes and their families. CVC reimburses out-of-pocket expenses and can help eligible victims pay for medical and counseling bills related to the crime and can help families cover the cost of the funeral for a loved one who has been killed.
What types of compensation are available?
There are two types of compensation: (1) Crime Victims’ Compensation and (2) Emergency Medical Care Compensation - Sexual Assault Exam. You can apply for either compensation with the same application.
Who is eligible?
To receive compensation, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
You are either a victim or a claimant.
You were not incarcerated at the time of the crime.
Residency: The crime must have occurred in Texas to a U.S. resident or be a Texas resident and the crime occurred in a country that does not offer CVC.
Report the crime: The crime must be reported to an appropriate law enforcement agency.
Cooperation: The victim/claimant must cooperate with the law enforcement investigation.
Deadline for filing: You must file the application within three (3) years from the date of the crime. The time may be extended for good cause, such as the age of the victim or the physical or mental incapacity of the victim, and more.
You did not: Participate in the crime, commit any illegal activity during the crime (excluding human trafficking), share responsibility for the crime due to your behavior, give false information to the program.
Who qualifies as a victim?
A victim is a person who was injured or died because of the crime, a person who went to help a crime victim and was injured or died, a first responder who was injured or died while responding to a crime.
What is considered an injury?
An injury can include physical or mental harm.
Who qualifies as a claimant?
A claimant is someone other than the victim who is: Authorized to act on behalf of a victim who is a minor, incapacitated, or deceased, assuming the legal responsibility or paying crime-related bills, a dependent of a deceased victim, a family or household member who requires crime-related mental health care, a business, agency, or organization cannot apply as a claimant.
What crimes are covered?
Crimes or attempted crimes that caused physical or mental injury or death.
Assault, Family Violence, Kidnapping, Child Abuse, Hit and Run, Robbery, Child Sexual Assault, Homicide, Sexual Assault, DWI, Human Trafficking, Stalking, Elder Abuse.
Note: Identity theft and property crimes are not covered.
What costs are covered?
Approved applications may be awarded compensation for the following expenses related to the crime:
medical, hospital, physical therapy or nursing care
psychiatric care or counseling
loss of wages due to medical treatment or participation in, or attendance at, the investigation, prosecutorial and judicial processes
care of a child or a dependent
loss of support
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
attorney fees for assistance in filing the Crime Victims' Compensation application and in obtaining benefits
loss of wages and travel to seek medical treatment
relocation expenses for family violence, human trafficking, and stalking victims or for those sexual assault victims attacked in their own residence
CVC may also be able to provide compensation for sexual assault exam costs, loss of earnings for disabled peace officers, and other extraordinary costs for crime-related injuries.
Visit the Texas Attorney General’s website for more information on the costs covered by the CVC program.
How much compensation is available?
Total compensation is limited to $50,000.
Note: CVC is the last source of payment by law. All other available resources must pay before any payment by the program.
How do I apply?
You must be 18 years or older to apply for CVC. Victims and claimants can apply using the same form.
You can apply online by visiting the Crime Victim’s Compensation Portal.
You can also apply by mail. To download a paper application, visit the Texas Attorney General’s website.
You can also apply by calling 1-800-983-9933 Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00am - 5:00pm, to request an application or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a victim of violent crime in Texas, report the crime to the local law enforcement agency and ask for information about the Crime Victims' Compensation program. Most police and sheriff's departments will have a crime victim liaison who can explain the program, provide you with an application and help you fill it out.
Applications for Crime Victims' Compensation are also available from prosecutors' offices, as well as some hospitals and medical centers.
Visit the Texas Attorney General’s website. For help or more information on how to apply.
What If I am denied by the CVC program?
You have the right to appeal the program’s decision. After your application is received, CVC will review the application and determine whether you are eligible for compensation, whether a cost can be covered, and the compensation amount.
How do I appeal?
There are three levels in the appeal process and your issue may be resolved at any level.
Level 1 Reconsideration review: This level is intended to be an informal and efficient way of appealing. CVC will send you a written decision on your application. If you disagree with that decision, you may request that CVC reconsider it.
Level 2 Final ruling hearing: If you are still dissatisfied with the decision after reconsideration, you may request a "final ruling hearing." This is a more formal procedure. One that you may want to talk to an attorney about.
Level 3 Judicial review: If you have been denied at the hearing level, you have the right to seek judicial review in state district court.
Visit the Texas Attorney General’s website for more information on the appeals process.