In the wake of violent crime, Nevada's crime victim assistance fund provides crucial financial reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.
- Medical expenses
- Doctor's appointments
- Prescription drugs
Some victims may also be eligible to pursue a wider range of compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Learn more about your rights under the civil justice system today in a free consultation.
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Nevada's Victims of Crime Program offers financial compensation, up to $35,000, to direct victims of crime, people who suffered physical injury or were threatened with physical injury in Nevada. Financial support may also be available for the family members of an individual who died as a result of crime.
What Crimes Are Covered?
The fund is designed primarily for the victims of violent crimes, a broad category of criminal offenses that includes:
- Assault and / or battery
- Domestic violence
- Physical abuse
- Childhood abuse (physical, sexual and / or emotional)
- Child pornography
- Human trafficking
- Elder abuse
- DWI accidents
- Mass shootings
Victims who participated in or were involved in committing the crime are not eligible for compensation.
Deadlines & Time Limits
To secure compensation, applicants are required to comply with the program's deadlines. Beyond the goal of assisting victims in need, Nevada's Victim Assistance fund is meant to encourage people who have been harmed by crime to step forward and report illegal activity to law enforcement officials. To be eligible for financial support, crimes must be reported within 5 days of their occurrence, though some exceptions may apply.
Most states will extend a deadline if "good cause" is shown for the delay. Nevada is no different. On its website, Nevada's Department of Administration says that victims who are physically or mentally unable to file a report within 5 days may be allowed to file their applications late without any penalty.
Your application must be submitted to the Victims of Crime Program within 1 year of the incident or, if you're unable to submit within that time period for some reason, "within a reasonable time." The only exception is for minor victims who have suffered sexual assault, molestation or been the victims of child pornography. These victims have until their 21st birthday to file an application for compensation.
In all of these cases, the Victims of Crime Program requires a minimal amount of participation with the criminal justice system.
To secure financial assistance, victims in Nevada must cooperate with law enforcement authorities during the investigation, arrest and prosecution of the criminal offender. Prosecution is not required to secure compensation, but in the event that prosecutors press charges, victims are required to cooperate in the process to receive financial compensation.
Victims are also required to cooperate with the Victims of Crime Program in its effort to substantiate their claims.
What Does Nevada's VOCP Pay For?
Nevada's Victims of Crime Program is designed to reimburse crime victims and certain of their family members for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime. It's a "payer-of-last-resort"; VOCP compensation only kicks in after you've exhausted all of your other funding sources, including health and auto insurance policies, proceeds from civil lawsuits and disability and workers' compensation benefits.
The VOCP does not reimburse victims for expenses "payable by insurance or any other source," according to the program's website. In your application, you'll have to prove that your other funding sources have either run out or were unwilling to cover your expenses. On a more general level, you'll have to provide receipts and itemized bills to substantiate every claim you make. Insurance approval or denial letters can also be happy. Document every claim as thoroughly as possible.
Covered Crime-Related Expenses
The VOCP imposes a $35,000 total limit on claims for crime compensation. $35,000 is the maximum amount of compensation you can secure. Many expense categories have their own limits, but Nevada's program covers a wide variety of crime-related expenses:
- Medical expenses
- Hospital and ambulance bills
- Surgical bills and dental therapies
- Assistive technology (e.g. wheelchair)
- Insurance co-pays
- In-home health care
- Prescription drugs
- Mental health and / or grief counseling
- Lost wages
- Lost financial support (available only for surviving dependents of a deceased loved one)
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Emergency shelter and relocation expenses (in the event that victims must move for their personal safety)
- Repair of home security systems (including door locks and windows)
Nevada's VOCP does not pay compensation for property damage, including stolen or lost cash.
How To Apply For Compensation
To download a copy of the application for victims' compensation, visit the State of Nevada website. Use blue or black ink, not pencil, to complete the application thoroughly. Complete each section to the best of your ability. Make sure to attach all of your substantiating documents to the application before you submit it.
To comply with the program's reporting requirements, you'll also need to obtain a copy of the police or child services report for inclusion. If you can't obtain a copy of the police report, send your application anyway. The VOCP will attempt to locate the police report themselves, but if they can't find it by contacting the relevant law enforcement agencies, your application will be denied.