Crime Victims’ Financial Assistance In Connecticut

Crime Victims’ Financial Assistance In Connecticut2018-11-09T15:11:00+00:00
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Connecticut's Victim Compensation Program provides up to $15,000 in financial reimbursement for injured crime victims, and up to $25,000 for the survivors of a homicide victim.

  • Medical expenses and mental health counseling
  • Lost wages and lost financial support
  • Funeral, burial and cremation expenses

Many victims and families may also have powerful rights through the civil justice system, including the right to file a private lawsuit for compensation. To learn more, contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.

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Through the Office of Victim Services, Connecticut offers between $15,000 and $25,000 in compensation to crime victims, their family members and the surviving loved ones of homicide victims. In general, financial assistance is available to victims of crime who were injured in Connecticut, not just residents of Connecticut.

Turn To Other Sources Of Funding First

Connecticut's Victim Compensation Program, as a "payer of last resort," provides financial assistance for crime-related expenses that other sources of funding won't cover. The fund is designed to compensate victims for their out-of-pocket expenses. You should draw on health insurance policies and government benefit programs first, if possible, for crime-related compensation.

Pond In Connecticut

How A "Payer Of Last Resort" Works

The Victim Compensation Program kicks in after your other sources of funding have been exhausted, picking up the pieces after your health, auto and life insurance policies have run out. Alongside insurance, Connecticut will consider a number of additional funding sources in determining your eligibility:

  • Public benefit programs
    • Medicare
    • Medicaid
    • TANF (food stamps)
  • Workers compensation benefits
  • Employer-provided sick leave and / or disability pay
  • Court-ordered restitution
  • Civil lawsuit proceeds

You are required to use these collateral sources of funding before you make a claim against Connecticut's Victim Compensation Program. The fund only considers bills and services that have been rejected by your other funding sources, or bills that are left over after your other funding sources are exhausted.

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Compensation Types & Eligible Victims

Connecticut's financial assistance program provides three forms of compensation. Each type has its own maximum compensation limit:

  1. Compensation for crime victims who suffered physical injuries - $15,000 maximum
  2. Compensation for crime victims who suffered emotional injuries - $5,000 maximum
  3. Survivors of homicide victims - $25,000 maximum

When Connecticut's program says "crime victims," it means innocent victims of crime. The Victim Compensation Program will deny your claim if the Office of Victim Services find that you caused or contributed to the crime or were doing something illegal at the time of the crime.

Compensable Violent Crimes

Connecticut's Victim Compensation Program does not provide assistance to victims of property crime; the fund is meant to offer compensation to people who were injured, either physically, emotionally or both, due to violent crimes, in which an offender causes or threatens to cause physical injury. As you would expect, Connecticut's program considers claims that arise from a wide range of such criminal offenses, including:

  • Assault and / or battery
  • Homicide
  • Robbery
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • Human trafficking
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Child Pornography

Unlike other state compensation programs, Connecticut's Office of Victim Services doesn't always limit eligibility to violent crimes. Connecticut's program places a special emphasis on crimes that cause emotional injuries, including:

  • Unlawful sharing of an intimate image (revenge porn)
  • Voyeurism ("being watched, photographed, or recorded without your knowledge and permission")

While we wouldn't usually consider these to be "violent" crimes, Connecticut's compensation program may be able to help.

Crime Reporting Deadlines

The Office of Victim Services also asks applicants to comply with several deadlines. As in other states, Connecticut's Victim Compensation Program is designed, in large part, to encourage victims to step forward and report crimes.

To be eligible for compensation through the State's assistance fund, crimes must be reported within 5 days of their occurrence, or within 5 days of "when a report could reasonably be made." That exception generally applies to child victims, sexual assault victims and domestic violence victims, who often find it difficult, if not impossible, to report a crime at an earlier date.

Crimes can be reported to a local police office, but submitting for a forensic rape examination, securing a restraining through the court system and reporting to a domestic violence or sexual assault counselor all count as well.

Application Filing Time Limit

Compensation applications must be filed within 2 years of your injury (including injuries that are solely emotional or psychological in nature) or death. Exceptions can be made for victims who were injured during childhood and for adult victims who, due to the nature of their physical or emotional injuries, were unable to file their initial application within the 2-year deadline.

Compensation Limits & Covered Expenses

Victims who have suffered physical injuries can secure up to $15,000 in compensation for crime-related expenses that other funding sources, like health insurance and government benefits, don't cover:

  • Medical expenses
    • Health insurance co-pays and deductibles
    • Surgical bills
    • Doctors' appointments
    • Dental treatments
    • Mental health counseling
    • Prescription bills
    • Medical equipment
    • Home modifications
    • Accessible vehicle
  • Cosmetic and plastic surgery
  • Lost wages (due to crime-related disability, either temporary or permanent)
  • Lost wages and travel expenses (if necessary to attend criminal justice proceedings)
  • Crime scene clean-up - $1,000 maximum

Relatives of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse victims may be able to secure compensation for mental health counseling sessions, in the event that no other funding source will cover the expense. Assistance may also be offered to relatives who had to take time off of work to care for a crime victim. Some family members may also be able to recover compensation for their lost wages and travel expenses in attending criminal justice proceedings.

Emotional Injuries & Survivor Benefits

In the case of victims who suffered only emotional injuries, up to $5,000 in compensation may be available to help cover medical, dental and mental health expenses, along with prescription payments.

Surviving family members of a homicide victim, on the other hand, can be eligible to secure up to $25,000 in survivor benefits, including:

  • Funeral, burial or cremation expenses - $5,000 maximum
  • Lost financial support (for financial dependents)
  • Lost wages and travel expenses (if necessary to attend criminal justice proceedings)
  • Mental health counseling
  • Crime scene clean-up - $1,000 maximum

In general, travel expense reimbursement is limited to cases in which a victim or family members need money to attend criminal justice proceedings that involve adult offenders. Compensation is not available to fund travel to or from proceedings held in the juvenile justice system.

Expenses That Connecticut Doesn't Cover

Connecticut's Victim Compensation Program does not provide funding for property loss or property damage. Nor does the fund cover pain and suffering, a form of compensation only available to victims and their loved ones by filing a private civil injury lawsuit. The Office of Victim Services doesn't consider household living expenses (food, housing or utility bills), either. Transportation to and from doctor's appointments is left out, too.

In most cases, Connecticut's program doesn't cover attorneys' fees, either, but there's an exception if you hire an attorney to help you file your application to the Office of Victim Services. If you hire a lawyer to help file your documents, the attorney can be awarded up to 15% of your total compensation award in exchange for their services.

How To Apply For Compensation

To submit a claim for compensation, visit the Office for Victim Services website and download one of the three application forms at the bottom of the box. Connecticut has separate applications for physical injuries, emotional injuries and survivor benefits. Read through the application thoroughly before you complete it. You'll need to gather a lot of substantiating information to complete the form. Every claim you make should be corroborated with supporting documents, like itemized bills, receipts and insurance statements. You should also include a copy of the police report if you have one.

When you're finished, print the application form and sign it. You can mail, fax or email your completed application to:

Office of Victim Services Victims Compensation Unit 225 Spring Street, 4th Floor Wethersfield, CT 06109 Fax: 860-263-2780 Email: [email protected]

Unsurprisingly, Connecticut's victim assistance fund isn't a particularly quick way to secure compensation, though it's probably quicker than any of the alternatives. It usually takes around 4 months for the Office of Victim Services to review and approve (or deny) a claim.

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