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National Crime Victim Law Institute

What is Crime Victim Compensation?

December 01, 2015

As is described in detail in NCVLI’s Victim Law Bulletin, November 2011, “Compensation is money paid from the government to a crime victim to reimburse the victim for certain losses incurred as a result of a crime. While victims do not have the right to automatically receive compensation, victims in every state have the right to apply for compensation. This is true because all states receive funds under the Victims of Crime Act that support some form of compensation or reparations program. Recovery of monies from state compensation programs is typically limited: only certain types of losses are compensated; states generally “cap” the amount of compensation available; and victims are required to reimburse the compensation fund from monies received from other sources, such as insurance, civil settlements, or restitution. In general, victims of crime do not have a right to or expectation of full recovery from their state’s compensation fund for the full amount of losses suffered as a result of the crime committed against them. Detailed information about compensation programs nationwide can be found on the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards’ website, http://www.nacvcb.org.”