Crime doesn’t pay, but in Texas, criminals do. Texas courts collect court costs from convicted offenders for the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund. If you are a victim of violent crime, you may be eligible for benefits.
A program by the Texas State Attorney’s office that provides monetary compensation for medical expenses (primarily emergency medical services).
There are 2 different application avenues: one for Crime Victims and one for Emergency Medical Care Compensation for a Sexual Assault Exam*
Those who are impacted by crimes (or attempted crimes) that caused injury or death can apply, or their guardian, legal custodian, dependent, or immediate family can in their proxy.
Up to 3 years after the date of the crime (unless special circumstance).
The application on the Attorney general website, which can be filled out electronically or on paper. Several documents are required in order to prove the financial need like: medical insurance, receipts, insurance settlements, etc. Once application is sent and offense is verified, a case manager is used to determine which benefits of the program the applicant qualifies for.
Those benefits range from funeral arrangements, to paid bereavement leave, to medical bills and more.
There is also a toll free line to call with any questions or concerns at: (800) 983-9933 ( Austin – (512) 936-1200 )
The requirements to apply are:
- Over 18 years of age
- The crime must be reported
- Applicant must (victim or claimant) cooperate with law enforcement investigation
- Applicant must not
- Participate in crime
- Commit illegal activity
- Be responsible for the crime
- Give false information
- Applicant must not be incarcerated at time of crime
To receive monetary compensation in the state of Texas, for crimes committed in Texas for the following crimes:
Assault, Family Violence, Kidnapping, Child Abuse, Hit and Run, Robbery, Child Sexual Assault, Homicide, Sexual Assault, DWI, Human Trafficking, Stalking, Elder Abuse
*The Sexual Assault Exam compensation is only for emergency medical care costs, so the applicant does not need to meet all requirements. If other care is needed other than the emergency medical care (the exam), the applicant must apply to the Crime Victims Compensation program as well.
What if denied compensation?
There is a three- tiered appeals process (with specific time limits for each level) to reconsider the decision.
The first level, Reconsideration Review is the most informal, where only a written request must be submitted to appeal for the compensation within the first 30 days of the denial of the application.
The second level, if the request is still denied, is the Final Ruling Hearing. The applicant must submit a signed letter appealing the decision of the level 1 review and request a “final ruling hearing, within 30 days. After the date is assigned the applicant will testify to a hearing officer with all available information.
The third level, Judicial Review, is applicable only if the second level did not award compensation and the applicant submits a “written notice of dissatisfaction” with the Office of the Attorney General within 40 days of the final ruling decision. Assistance of an Attorney is highly recommended at this stage.