Georgia's crime victim assistance fund helps victims and their families cover their out-of-pocket expenses, but awards are capped at a maximum of $25,000.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Crime scene clean-up
Victims in Georgia may also be able to explore their legal options through the civil justice system. To find more information on filing a private injury lawsuit for compensation, contact our attorneys today.
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Through its Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the State of Georgia offers up to $25,000 in compensation to crime victims and their families. The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program is designed to reimburse victims for their out-of-pocket expenses, when no other founding source is available.
Who Is Eligible For Financial Assistance?
Funding is available for direct victims, people who suffer physical or emotional injuries due to a crime, as well as certain family members:
- you suffered physical injuries due to a crime
- you witnessed a crime and suffered psychological trauma
- you were the financial dependent of someone killed as a result of crime
- you are the parent or legal guardian of a crime victim
- you have paid for a victim's crime-related bills
- you are the victim of domestic violence and relied on the abuser for financial support
No prosecution or conviction is required to receive financial assistance. While there is a reporting requirement, the police don't have to arrest anyone for the crime in order for victims to secure compensation.
Violent Crimes Eligible For Reimbursement
In general, Georgia's program only provides reimbursement in relation to violent crime, in which physical injuries are sustained or threatened. The Crime Victims Compensation Program doesn't usually offer assistance to people who have been the victims of identity theft or property crimes, though there may be exceptions.
Georgia's program provides compensation for a wide range of crimes, though most fall into the "violent" category, in which physical injury is either inflicted or threatened.
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault and abuse
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse and molestation
- Child neglect
- Human trafficking
- Vehicular manslaughter
- DWI accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
In most cases, victims' compensation isn't offered in cases of identity theft or property damage.
Georgia's Crime Victims Compensation Program will reimburse a limited range of crime-related expenses, but you'll need to go through other funding sources, if any are available, first.
All Other Funding Sources Must Be Exhausted
Like all victims' assistance funds, Georgia's program acts as a "payer-of-last-resort," only paying out compensation after all other sources of funding have been exhausted.
As a result, you will have to run through your insurance policies (both health and auto, private or public), civil lawsuit settlements and government benefits before compensation becomes available from the Victims Compensation Program.
$25,000 Maximum Compensation
The maximum compensation available for any one applicant is limited to $25,000. Within that amount, Georgia's program provides reimbursement for:
- Medical and dental expenses ($15,000 maximum)
- hospital and ambulance bills
- prescription medications
- insurance co-pays and deductibles
- Mental health counseling ($3,000 maximum)
- Lost wages ($10,000 maximum)
- Loss of financial support (for financial dependents who have lost a loved one, $10,000 maximum)
- Funeral and burial expenses ($6,000 maximum)
- Crime scene clean-up ($1,500 maximum)
Time Limits For Filing A Claim
In order to receive compensation, crime victims and family members are required to comply with several important deadlines. As in all states, Georgia's compensation program is designed to motivate victims into coming forward and reporting crimes to the authorities.
Crimes must be reported within 72 hours of their occurrence, unless a delay can be substantiated with "good cause." Applications must be filed within 3 years of the crime or, in cases of homicide or manslaughter, within 3 years of the victim's death. Minor victims are provided more time, until their 21st birthday. The Crime Victims Compensation Program can extend deadlines for good cause.
How To Submit Your Application
To apply for compensation, you can download the necessary form here. Fill out the form completely, then begin to collect all of your substantiating documents.
You'll need to demonstrate every claimed expense through documentation. Gather together any itemized bills and receipts that relate to the crime and include them along with your application. It will also help to include any letters of acceptance or denial from insurance programs.
Itemized Bills & Receipts
Going forward, always ask for bills and receipts when you pay for something related to the crime, in the event that you need to make another claim in the future. You can file as many claims as you'd like, or file one large claim that includes all of your crime-related expenses. The only limit is the $25,000 maximum compensation amount, and remember, the Crime Victims Compensation Program only reimburses crime-related expenses.
Police Report & Death Certificate
Finally, you'll need to provide the State with a copy of the police report or child services report, to substantiate that you reported the crime to the authorities within the deadline. If you don't yet have a copy of the report, contact the police and request one. If you can't get one, submit your application anyway; the Crime Victims Compensation Program should be able to obtain a copy themselves. In the event of a loved one's death, you'll need to provide a copy of the death certificate.