Friday — August 26, 2022

The California Victim Compensation Board

by: Cesar J Segura

The California Victim Compensation Board (often referred to as CalVCB) is a state-wide service that provides financial assistance for many crime-related expenses. Victims who suffer physical injury, the threat of physical injury, or emotional injury can typically qualify for compensation. Additionally, family members or loved ones (derivative victims) may also be eligible for services through CalVCB.

Historically, services like CalVCB have been in effect within California as early as 1965. As the nation's first victim compensation program, CalVCB can assist victims of a multitude of crimes. Qualifying crimes that CalVCB covers include Assault, Homicide, Hate Crimes, Online Harassment, and Robbery, to name a few. The CalVCB board has outlined the below criteria for victims to be considered for compensation:

  • The victim is a California resident at the time of the crime. This means California residents can get assistance through CalVCB even if the crime occurred in another state or country.
  • Or the crime must have occurred in California.
  • Nonresidents victimized in California.
  • Cooperate reasonably with police and court officials to arrest and prosecute the offender (exceptions may apply).
  • Cooperate with CalVCB staff.
  • Not have been involved in events leading to the crime.
  • Committed a crime that could be charged as a felony at the time the qualifying crime occurred.
  • Apply within seven years of the crime, seven years after the direct victim turns 21 years of age, or seven years from when the crime could have been discovered, whichever is later. If an application is filed late, the applicant must complete the Late Filing Consideration form and submit it with their application.

As a payer of last resort, CalVCB offers to pay for certain expenses after all other resources have been exhausted and will not duplicate the services of another victim services organization a victim has received help from. As a government-run agency, CalVCB does not receive funding from the State's budget. Funds provided to victims who receive assistance from CalVCB are paid directly from the restitution fees of perpetrators. Once considered, an applicant can receive help in paying for:

  1. Medical/Dental treatment
  2. Counseling
  3. Income Loss
  4. Burial/Funeral expenses
  5. Relocation
  6. Residential Security

(For a comprehensive list, visit victims.ca.gov)

The California Victim Compensation Board is a great resource for individuals who have been victimized by crime. The CCVAP often works closely with CalVCB (among other community partners) to ensure our clients' needs can be met and are available to assist with completing an application. If you wish to learn more or complete a CalVCB application, contact the organization at (800) 777-9229 or victims.ca.gov.

Resources:

https://victims.ca.gov/for-victims/how-compensation-works/

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