North Carolina's victims compensation program offers up to $30,000 in financial reimbursement for expenses related to violent crime:
- Assault and battery
A number of crime victims may also be able to pursue compensation by filing a private lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced attorneys today.
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North Carolina's Victims Compensation Services office can help victims and their loved ones pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses in the wake of violent crime, as well as limited lost wages due to an inability to work. A maximum of $30,000 is available to eligible applicants for hospital bills, prescription drugs, doctor's appointments and mental health counseling.
In tragic cases of a loved one's crime-related death, a total of $5,000 may be provided for funeral, cremation and burial expenses.
Eligibility: Who Can Apply For Compensation?
Like other state-based compensation programs, North Carolina's victim assistance fund is designed to compensate victims for the expenses incurred due to violent crime:
- sexual assault and rape
- assault and battery
- childhood sexual abuse
- child physical abuse
- domestic violence
- DUI / DWI accidents
- hit-and-run accidents
Losses due to property crime, including lost or damaged property, are not covered.
Crimes Committed In North Carolina
Compensation is available for victims who suffered injury due to crimes committed in North Carolina. It's not limited to residents of the State. Most state compensation programs are structured in a similar way; it's about where you were injured, not where you live.
North Carolina residents who suffer crime-related injuries outside the State should first apply for compensation through the victims' assistance fund operated by the state in which they were injured. If that state doesn't have a crime victim compensation program, compensation may be available from North Carolina's fund.
Exceptions & Restrictions
Certain types of victim cannot receive compensation through North Carolina's program:
- if the crime occurred while the victim was incarcerated in a state, county or city prison, correctional or juvenile facility, half-way house or group home
- if the victim was participating in a felony at the time of the injury
Compensation awards cannot go to benefit the criminal offender or one of their accomplices.
Complying With Program Deadlines
In order to receive financial assistance, victims and surviving family members are required to comply with a number of deadlines and requirements.
As in other states, North Carolina's fund is structured to motivate victims and their loved ones to step forward and report crimes. To become eligible, the criminal conduct must be reported to law enforcement officials within 72 hours, or 3 days, after the incident. Exceptions may apply for good cause, such as the victim's age, mental state, physical disability, fear for personal safety or other extenuating circumstances.
After reporting, victims are required to cooperate fully with law enforcement in their arrest and prosecution of the criminal suspect. Claims for reimbursement must be filed within 2 years of the crime, but can only ask for reimbursement related to economic losses incurred within 1 year of the victim's injury or death. An exception for crime victims under the age of 10 allows for the economic losses to be incurred within 2 years of the crime.
Third-Party Funding Sources
North Carolina's victim compensation program acts solely as a payer-of-last-resort; it's a crime victim's last stop in their search for financial assistance. The fund only pays out claims on expenses that no other funding source will cover, losses you have to pay out-of-pocket.
To secure compensation from North Carolina's Victims Compensation Services office, victims are required to show that their additional funding sources, like insurance policies, public benefits (including Medicaid and Medicare), workers compensation benefits and court-ordered restitution payments, have been exhausted.
The Victims Compensation office will reimburse you for the expenses that are left over, after all of these other funding sources have run out. And, if you subsequently receive benefits for a crime-related expense from one of your other funding sources, you will have to reimburse the North Carolina victims compensation program.
Compensation Types & Limits
As we noted earlier, North Carolina's fund offers up to a maximum of $30,000 in financial reimbursement for victims of crime. Alongside this general limit, the State also imposes several caps on individual expense types:
- Medical care expenses
- Medical devices and assistive technologies
- Mental health counseling:
- $3,000 maximum - immediate family members of homicide victims
- $3,000 maximum - immediate family members of minor children who are victims of rape, sexual assault or domestic violence
- Lost wages - $300 per week, maximum of 26 weeks
- Funeral, burial and cremation expenses - $5,000 maximum
- Crime scene clean-up
The compensation program does not cover lost or damaged property, including personal property that was taken as evidence.
How To Submit Your Application
To apply for compensation, you can download and print a paper copy here. Your application must be signed and notarized before it can be reviewed. Make sure to include a copy of the police report (proving that the crime was referred to law enforcement officials) and any itemized bills or receipts that relate to your expenses.
It can also be helpful to include copies of any insurance company statements you have. If you receive an insurance acceptance or denial after filing your initial application, you should send a copy of the statement to the Victims Compensation Services office as soon as possible. And, if you're claiming lost wages, be sure to attach statements from both your physician and your employer, substantiating that your injuries have kept you out of work, to your application.