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crime victim compensation funds

Each of the states and the federal government have established a crime victim compensation fund or program to assist victims of violent crime with expenses related to the crime. To receive financial assistance from a crime victim compensation fund, a person must complete an application. Crime victim compensation funds are often funded by fines and penalties assessed against convicted criminal offenders, and by private donations, rather than by tax dollars.

Eligibility for payment of crime-related costs from state and federal crime victim compensation funds varies, but such funds are generally available to pay for a variety of expenses, including:

• medical, hospital, physical therapy, and nursing home care

• psychiatric care or counseling

• loss of wages, income, or support

• loss of wages and travel expenses due to participation in the investigation and prosecution of the crime

• funeral and burial expenses

• crime scene cleanup expenses

• care for a child or a dependent

• relocation expenses for domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims attacked in their own residence

• replacement costs for clothing, bedding, or other property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as a result of the investigation

• job training and vocational rehabilitation

• training in the use of required personal health appliances

• making a home or car handicapped accessible in the event of catastrophic injuries and permanent disability

• home health care

• attorney fees for assistance in completing the crime victim compensation application

The persons eligible to receive payment for crime-related costs from crime victim compensation funds varies, but victims who may qualify for compensation generally include:

• an innocent victim of crime who suffers physical, mental, or emotional harm or death

• a person who is a dependent of a victim of a crime

• a person who legally assumes the financial obligations or voluntarily pays certain crime-related expenses on behalf of the victim

• an authorized person acting on behalf of a victim

• an immediate family member or household members related by blood or marriage who require psychiatric care or counseling as a result of the crime

• a person who comes to the aid of a crime victim or a police officer

• a police officer, firefighter, or other person whose employment includes protecting the public

In Texas, the Crime Victims' Compensation Program is administered by the Office of the Attorney General and is designed to assist victims of violent crimes with expenses incurred as a result of the crime. This program is funded by fines and penalties collected from convicted offenders, not tax dollars. Eligible expenses under the program include medical and counseling costs, loss of wages, funeral expenses, crime scene cleanup, and more. Victims who may qualify for compensation include those who have suffered physical, mental, or emotional harm or death due to a crime, dependents of crime victims, individuals who have paid expenses on behalf of the victim, and immediate family members needing psychiatric care due to the crime. First responders who are injured while performing their duties may also be eligible. To receive assistance, victims must complete an application process. The program also covers attorney fees for help with the application. It's important to note that eligibility requirements and covered expenses can vary, so it is advisable for victims or their families to consult with an attorney or the Texas Office of the Attorney General for specific guidance related to their situation.

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