Through its victim assistance fund, Arkansas offers the victims of violent crime and eligible family members up to $10,000 in financial reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.
- Medical bills and counseling sessions
- Lost wages and financial support
- Replacement home security
Some victims may also be able to pursue justice and compensation by filing a private lawsuit. Contact our experienced lawyers to learn more in a free consultation.
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Arkansas' Crime Victims Reparations Program provides up to $10,000 in financial compensation to innocent victims of crime and their families. If you or a loved one were injured due to a violent crime, you may be eligible to take advantage of this program, which is designed to help victims and their dependents deal with the financial costs of victimization.
How Arkansas' Crime Victim Assistance Fund Works
Arkansas' victim assistance fund takes the fines and fees assessed against convicted criminal offenders, along with federal grant money, and distributes it to eligible crime victims and their loved ones. The program provides reimbursement for many of the most-costly expenses incurred due to crime, including medical expenses, mental health counseling and lost wages.
Violent Crimes Covered By Arkansas' Program
Compensation is available whether or not a suspect has been arrested in your case. Arrest, prosecution and conviction are not requirements for securing financial reimbursement.
Violent crimes covered by the program include (but are not limited to):
- Assault and battery
- Adult sexual assault
- Child sexual abuse
- Child physical abuse
- Domestic abuse
Most motor vehicle accidents aren't eligible under Arkansas' system, but there are a few exceptions. DWI / DUI accidents, hit-and-run accidents and accidents in which a driver intentionally inflicts injuries are all covered by the Crime Victims Reparations Program.
The fund does not provide financial reimbursement for property loss or property damage, except for home security replacements in cases of sexual assault or domestic violence.
Who Can Make A Claim For Reimbursement?
Compensation isn't just limited to the "direct" victims of a crime, who suffer physical injuries due to violent crime. Financial dependents and children of crime victims are also free to apply, as are the family members of a homicide victim, child victim or sexual assault victim.
Financial reimbursement is also offered to non-immediate family members who lived in the same permanent household as a homicide victim, along with loved ones who were first to discover a homicide victim's body.
Victims From Other States Are Eligible
The Crime Victims Reparations Program isn't just for residents of Arkansas. It's open to any innocent victim of a crime committed in Arkansas, including victims who maintain their primary residence outside the state.
Arkansas Residents Injured Outside The State
Arkansas residents who suffer injuries due to crime committed in another state should file an application for reimbursement with the victims' assistance program administered by the state in which they were injured. If the state has no compensation program, Arkansas' fund may be able to help.
Arkansas residents who were injured or killed due to acts of terrorism outside the United States can also submit claims for reimbursement.
Limits To Eligibility
Some people are not eligible to file a claim for compensation, including:
- injury victims (or other applicants) who have a criminally injurious felony conviction
- injury victims who contributed to the crime through their own conduct
- victims who were engaged in illegal activity at the time of the crime
- victims who were incarcerated at the time of the crime
What Sort Of Compensation Is Available?
It's first important to note that Arkansas' Crime Victims Reparations Program is considered a payer-of-last-resort. The program only reimburses victims for out-of-pocket expenses that another funding source won't cover.
If you have health insurance, you must submit a claim for your medical expenses through your insurer first, before turning to the State victims' assistance fund. The same logic goes for life insurance policies, disability benefits, workers' comp, court-ordered restitution and civil lawsuit proceeds. The Crime Victims Reparations Program kicks in after these additional sources of funding have been exhausted.
The maximum available award is capped by Arkansas law at $10,000, though victims who suffer catastrophic injuries may be able to secure up to $25,000. Here's a look at the main types of expenses that Arkansas' compensation fund can help with:
- Medical expenses
- Mental health counseling
- Dental care
- Loss of services (e.g. child care, care for an elderly loved one)
- Medically-necessary devices (e.g. eyeglasses, hearing aids)
- Lost wages
- Lost financial support (in the event of a loved one's crime-related death)
- Funeral, burial and cremation expenses
- Crime scene clean-up (available only to survivors and dependents of a homicide victim)
- Replacement home security devices (e.g. door locks, windows; available only to victims of sexual assault or domestic abuse who were victimized in their primary residence)
- Travel and lodging (when necessary to attend criminal justice proceedings)
- Guardianship applications (available to secure guardianship over a minor after victim's death)
The Program's Requirements & Deadlines
Following the Crime Victims Reparations Program's deadlines is extremely important. The victims' assistance fund was structured with two goals in mind, to help victims of crime in their time of need and to encourage victims to step forward and report crimes.
That second goal leads to our first eligibility requirement: crimes must be reported within 72 hours of their occurrence, expect in the case of minor victims. To be eligible for financial reimbursement, the crime must have been reported, in most cases, within 3 days. The second deadline applies to filing an application for compensation.
Applications must be filed within 1 year of the criminal incident.
Filling Out Your Claim Application
To download an application form, click here. Review the form carefully, paying particular attention to the important instructions in bold red. Applicants must be completed thoroughly; incomplete applications will be returned to sender.
In completing the application, you'll need to include additional documents to support your claims for compensation, along with a copy of the police report to prove that the crime was reported within the deadline. Your expenses must be thoroughly verified; make sure to attach copies of every itemized receipt or bill that you believe is connected to the crime.