Arizona's Criminal Justice Commission provides up to $25,000 in compensation to eligible victims of crime and their families.
- Medical expenses
- Mental health counseling - up to $5,000
- Funeral expenses - up to $10,000
Some victims may also be eligible to pursue compensation by filing a private civil lawsuit. In wake of a loved one's crime-related death, surviving loved ones may have the right to file a wrongful death case. To find more information, contact our attorneys today.
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Through a network of compensation offices operated at the county level, Arizona's Criminal Justice Commission provides up to $25,000 in financial reimbursement to innocent victims of crime and eligible family members. There is no requirement that a criminal suspect be identified, arrested or prosecuted for the crime. Eligible applicants are free to submit a claim, even if no criminal suspect has been identified.
Who Can Secure Compensation In Arizona?
Compensation is available to people who were injured due to crimes committed in Arizona, as well as Arizona residents who were hurt or killed due to terrorist acts committed outside of the country. Residents of Arizona who were injured in another state should apply for compensation through the other state's assistance fund.
Eligible Forms Of Injury
Arizona's crime victim compensation program considers claims involving physical injuries, emotional (psychological) injuries or a mixture of the two. Innocent "direct" victims who cooperate with law enforcement officials are eligible to apply.
Compensation will be reduced or denied if the compensation coordinator determines that an injury victim contributed to their own injuries through negligence or intentional criminal conduct.
Injury victims who were harmed while serving a term of imprisonment (including home arrest) are not eligible to secure reimbursement. Compensation is also denied to victims who escaped imprisonment.
Arizona's program also offers compensation to "derivative" victims of crime, like family members, who were not directly injured by the criminal offender but have sustained emotional or financial harm due to their loved one's victimization.
This form of reimbursement is available to the surviving loved ones of a homicide victim, but also extends to people who witnessed criminally injurious conduct. Mental health reimbursement may be available to others, either family members or non-family members, who need to have counseling for the victim's own treatment to be successful, a child, for example.
Victims Compensation Comes After Other Funding Sources
Arizona offers up to a maximum of $25,000 in compensation, but the State's program acts as a payer-of-last-resort. In short, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission will only provide compensation for out-of-pocket expenses, crime-related bills that no other funding source covers. In order to apply for complication, eligible victims and family members are first required to pursue reimbursement through their collateral sources of funding:
- Health insurance
- Auto insurance
- Life insurance
- Government benefits
- Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF)
- Social Security
- Workers' comp benefits
- Paid sick leave and disability pay
- Court-ordered restitution
- Civil lawsuit settlements or judgments
Arizona's victim assistance program kicks in after all of these other funding sources have been exhausted. Your claim will be reduced (or denied entirely) if another source of funding provides you with compensation for the same expenses. As the Maricopa County District Attorney writes, the compensation program covers "economic loss as a direct result of [...] crime that is not covered by a benefit or advantage that the person is entitled to receive from a collateral source."
Compensation Types & Eligible Expenses
Alongside a maximum compensation amount of $25,000, Arizona's Criminal Justice Commission puts internal limits on several types of crime-related expenses:
- Medical costs - up to the $25,000 claim maximum
- Mental health counseling - up to $5,000
- Funeral, burial and cremation expenses - up to $10,000
- Lost wages - up to the $25,000 claim maximum
- Lost financial support (for surviving dependents of a homicide victim) - up to the $25,000 claim maximum
- Crime scene clean-up - up to $2,000
- Transportation costs - up to $1,500
While you are required to submit claims first to your health insurance company, Arizona's victim compensation program can help to reimburse you for out-of-pocket co-pays and deductibles.
No Compensation For Property Damage, Pain & Suffering
Compensation is not available for lost or damaged property. In general, property crimes in which no victim suffered physical or emotional injuries will not be considered for reimbursement. Arizona's assistance program is also closed to claims for pain and suffering, a form of compensation that is only available through filing a private civil lawsuit. The fund does not provide reimbursement for attorneys' fees.
Deadlines For Reporting & Filing
Like every other victim compensation program, Arizona's fund was created with rules that motivate victims to come forward and report crime. To qualify for reimbursement, crimes must be reported within 72 hours of their occurrence or discovery. This deadline is frequently waived in cases involving child victims, along with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Applications for compensation, on the other hand, must be submitted within 2 years of their discovery. Both of these deadlines can be waived for "good cause"; if you're filing late, or you reported the crime after 3 days, explain what caused the delay in your application.
How To Submit An Application
Arizona's Criminal Justice Commission governs the State's assistance program, but actual claims are processed on the county level. Every county in Arizona has a compensation coordinator who reviews applications and searches for additional documentation to substantiate each claim. After the coordinator has finished his or her investigation, claims are evaluated by a compensation board, the members of which will make the final decision on approval or denial. The entire process can easily take months.
Thankfully, each county uses the same application form, which you can download at the bottom of this page. Review the document carefully before beginning to fill it out. You'll need to include details from the police report (contact your local police office to get a copy), and attach itemized bills and receipts for every expense that you claim.
After you've finished the application, you can print and sign it, then send it to the Attorney's Office located in the county where you were injured, which may or may not be the county where you live. You can find a full list of District Attorney's Offices in Arizona here.