Through the Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund, Indiana provides victims and eligible loved ones up to $15,000 in financial reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.
- Medical expenses
- Mental health counseling
- Lost wages
Eligible victims may also be entitled to seek compensation in a private civil lawsuit. Learn more about pursuing justice in a free consultation today.
"Knows How To Win." Brian did everything for me.
Indiana's Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund helps thousands of people and families handle the financial burden of crime. The program, operated by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, provides financial reimbursement for certain crime-related expenses, up to a maximum award of $15,000.
How Indiana's Victim Assistance Program Works
Indiana's assistance program is a last resort; technically, it's known as a "payer-of-last-resort." The fund, using money collected through fines and fees on convicted criminal offenders, pays only for out-of-pocket expenses - debts you owe after all of your other funding sources have been exhausted.
In applying to the program, applicants need to show that their insurance policies, disability benefits, civil lawsuit proceeds and all other funding sources have run out. The Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund will cover what's left over, so long as those expenses fall under one of the program's eligible expense categories.
Who Is Eligible For Financial Reimbursements?
Indiana's victim assistance fund is open to the innocent victims of violent crimes committed in Indiana; it's not just for residents of Alabama. Most state-based compensation programs are structured in a similar way, providing reimbursement for victims injured within that jurisdiction, regardless of the victim's state of residence.
Alabama residents who suffered injuries due to a crime committed in some other state should first apply for compensation through that other state's victims' fund, before attempting to apply for assistance through the Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund.
Eligible Crimes & Victims
Indiana's victim compensation program isn't open to victims of property crimes. It's for people (and loved ones) who were hurt due to violent crime, defined in Indiana's Criminal Code as a felony or Class A misdemeanor that results in bodily injury or death:
- Assault and / or battery
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- DWI car accidents
Alongside "direct" victims, who suffer physical injuries due to their victimization, compensation may also be available for parents, spouses and dependent children who have lost their loved one to violent crime. Good Samaritans represent a third category of eligible victims. Individuals who were injured or killed while attempting to prevent a violent crime from occurring can also apply for financial reimbursement.
No Compensation For Emotional Trauma
Indiana's Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund only recognizes physical or bodily injuries as a valid justification for assistance. Victims who suffered solely emotional trauma, including children who witnessed a violent crime, are not eligible for compensation. Compensation will also be denied, in the vast majority of cases, to victims who:
- engaged in conduct that caused or contributed to the crime
- suffered injury while committing or attempting to commit a crime
- suffered injury during a period of incarceration
Alongside these general eligibility guidelines, Indiana imposes several deadlines on applicants hoping to secure financial compensation through the victims' assistance fund.
Crime Reporting & Application Filing Deadlines
The State's compensation program is designed, in part, to encourage victims to come forward and report crimes to the authorities. To become eligible for compensation, crimes must be committed within 72 hours of their occurrence, with limited exceptions for victims of sexual assault. Victims are also required to participate with law enforcement officials in the arrest and prosecution of the criminal offender, if applicable.
Indiana's application filing deadline is one of the shortest in the nation. Victims must file their compensation claims within 180 days, around 6 months, of the crime. It's also one of the only states to prescribe a deadline for the provision of covered medical services. To be compensable under the Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund, a victim's medical services must be provided within 180 days of the crime, though exceptions can be applied in cases of severe injuries or permanent crime-related disabilities.
Covered Expenses & Compensation Limits
As we mentioned earlier, Indiana's victims' assistance fund offers up to $15,000 in financial reimbursement for crime-related out-of-pocket expenses. Beyond this general compensation limit, Indiana's Criminal Justice Institute also imposes individual caps for specific types of expenses:
- Medical bills (including hospital expenses, lab tests, physical therapy, lab tests, prescription drugs, dental services and ambulance bills)
- Outpatient mental health counseling - $3,000 maximum
- Lost wages
- Lost financial support (available for the financial dependents of a victim killed due to crime)
- Child care (when necessary to attend medical appointments, counseling sessions or criminal justice proceedings)
- Funeral, burial and cremation expenses - $5,000 maximum
- Emergency shelter
Indiana's program does not cover lost or damaged personal property, living expenses (like food or rent), crime scene clean-up expenses or moving and relocation expenses. Compensation may be available, on the other hand, if you need to hire an attorney to represent you in appealing a claim denial.
A minimum of $100 in out-of-pocket losses is required for an application to be approved. You'll remember that, in an earlier section, we described Indiana's compensation program as a "payer-of-last-resort." The fund only covers expenses that aren't, or can't be, reimbursed through other sources of funding, including insurance policies and public benefits.
But there's an additional limitation to take note of. Indiana doesn't pay victims' assistance benefits to people who have received more than $15,000 in benefits from other funding sources. If you secure more than $15,000 for your crime-related expenses through insurance, workers compensation or some other source of funding, you become ineligible for payments from Indiana's Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund.
Submitting Your Claim
You can apply for crime-related reimbursements online. Simply visit the Indiana Violent Crime Victim's Compensation Claims System website and click on "Submit New App" underneath "Victims." Alternatively, you can download and complete a paper copy of the application, in both English and Spanish, here.