Crime Victims' Compensation: Who is Eligible
This article tells how the Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Fund helps victims and their families pay for the financial cost of a crime. Specifically, it lists the requirements, who is eligible and more. The material is excerpted from the website of the Office of the Attorney General.
Victims of violence and their families must deal with the emotional, physical, and financial aftermath of crime. The Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Fund helps victims and their families when they have no other means of paying for the financial cost of crime.
The Fund is administered by the Crime Victims' Compensation Program of the Office of the Attorney General. The money in the Fund comes from people who break the law.
If you are a victim of violent crime, you may be eligible for benefits. Please read the following information carefully before filling out the Crime Victims' Compensation application form.
The crime must occur in Texas to a Texas resident or a United States resident, or the crime must involve a Texas resident who becomes a victim in another state or country that does not have crime victims' compensation benefits for which the victim would be eligible.
Reporting the Crime
The crime must be reported to the appropriate 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.
Deadline for Filing for Compensation (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 56.37)
You must file the application within three years from the date of the crime. The time may be extended for good cause, including the age of the victim or the physical or mental incapacity of the victim.
Cooperation (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 56.45)
A claim may be denied or reduced if the claimant or victim has not cooperated with the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
People who may qualify for crime victim compensation include:
- 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 intervenor who goes to the aid of the victim or a peace officer;
- a peace officer, firefighter, or individual whose employment includes the duty of protecting the public.