Maryland’s Crime Victim Assistance Fund

Maryland’s Crime Victim Assistance Fund2018-11-09T15:18:11+00:00
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Maryland's crime victim compensation program provides up to $25,000 in financial compensation to help victims and their loved ones cover crime-related expenses.

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Eligible victims may also be able to pursue compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. To find more about your legal rights, contact our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation.

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Maryland's Criminal Injuries Compensation Board offers up to $45,000 in financial reimbursement to innocent victims of crime and eligible family members. Administered by Maryland's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the crime compensation program is designed to help victims and their loved ones recover from their injuries by providing reimbursement for medical expenses, mental health counseling and lost wages.

How Maryland's Victim Assistance Fund Works

As in all states, Maryland's victim assistance fund is considered a "payer of last resort." The program will cover crime-related expenses that other sources of funding are unwilling, or unable, to pay.

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Victims should first turn to these additional, or collateral, funding sources, including health insurance policies, court-ordered restitution and government benefit programs, before relying on Maryland's crime injury compensation program. If you submit a claim for an expense that has already been paid, or could be paid, by another source, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board will reduce your award to account for the other funding you've received.

Who Is Eligible To Apply?

Maryland's victim compensation fund is designed to provide reimbursement to people who were injured, either physically, emotionally or both, due to crimes committed in Maryland. Out-of-state visitors to Maryland are free to apply for financial reimbursement, if their injuries were caused by a crime within the State.

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Residents of Maryland who are injured due to crimes in other states should first apply for compensation through the victim assistance fund operated by the state in which they were hurt. If no such fund exists, Maryland's program may be able to help.

Compensation claims will be denied if substantial evidence shows that the victim "caused, provoked or contributed" to the crime in which they were injured. Claims are also denied, in the absence of a "good cause" explanation, to victims who fail to cooperate with law enforcement officials in their efforts to identify, arrest and prosecute a criminal suspect.

Family Members & Loved Ones

Compensation is only provided to family members in the event of homicide. In the wake of a loved one's crime-related death, some surviving loved ones may be eligible to secure financial reimbursement, including up to $5,000 for funeral, burial or cremation expenses. Maryland limits these compensation awards to:

  • the surviving spouse or child of a homicide victim
  • any person who relied for principal financial support on a homicide victim
  • any person who legally assumes responsibility for the funeral expenses of a homicide victim

Deadlines & Other Program Requirements

In order to qualify for compensation, victims and family members are required to comply with several deadlines. Since Maryland's victim assistance program was created, in part, to encourage more victims to step forward, crimes must be reported within 48 hours of their occurrence to be eligible for compensation. Exceptions to this rule can apply for victims, including child victims and persons deemed mentally-incompetent by a court, who have a "good cause" explanation for their delay.

Crimes can be reported to a number of different authorities to comply with Maryland's requirements:

  • Local police department
  • District Court Commissioner's Office
  • Disciplinary authority at educational institution
  • submitting to a sexual assault forensic exam
  • applying for a protective order in any state

Alongside the reporting deadline, Maryland also dictates how long you have to file a claim for compensation. Claims must be filed within 3 years of the crime or, in the case of homicide, the victim's date of death. Victims of child abuse have up to their 25th birthday to apply.

Compensation Types & Limits

Maryland provides a maximum of $45,000 in compensation to individual applicants. Claims will only be considered for expenses valued at or above $100; you may have to submit multiple claims in the same application to reach the minimum. Beyond the $45,000 maximum, most expense types come with their own internal limits:

  • Medical expenses - maximum of $45,000
    • Surgical bills
    • Hospital bills
    • Dental treatments
    • Doctor's appointments
    • Prescription drugs
    • Health insurance co-pays and deductible
  • Mental health counseling (for direct victim of crime) - maximum of $5,000
  • Mental health counseling (for parent, child or spouse living with victim) - maximum of $1,000
  • Lost wages (due to temporary or permanent disability) - maximum of $25,000
  • Lost wages (for parent or guardian caring for child victim) - up to 30 days in pay
  • Funeral, burial and cremation expenses - maximum of $5,000
    • funeral, burial and cremation expenses will not be reimbursed if the homicide victim had a life insurance policy in excess of $25,000.
  • Bereavement leave - maximum of $2,000 or 2 weeks of pay
  • Lost financial support (for surviving dependent of homicide victim) - maximum of $25,000
  • Crime scene clean-up - maximum of $250

Maryland's crime victim compensation program does not provide reimbursement for property loss or property damage. Nor does it consider damages for pain and suffering, which are only available by filing a civil lawsuit against the criminal offender or a third-party whose negligence allowed the crime to occur.

Apply For Financial Support

To apply for compensation, you can download a PDF copy of the application form here. A version in Spanish is available at this link.

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