In 1978, the Indiana General Assembly enacted into law a program to provide financial assistance for victims of violent crime. As the administrators of the Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund, the Victim Compensation division assists victims or their dependents with medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages and outpatient counseling.
For victims of sexual assault, the fund also allows payment of expenses resulting from the collection of evidence (rape kit) as well as outpatient counseling services.
The Victim Services Division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute provides a variety of programs geared toward helping victims and those who assist them. Program funding is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, a percentage of court fees collected statewide, work release money, restitution payments, 75% of punitive damages awarded in Indiana, and state appropriations.
Visit the Indiana Statewide Violent Crime Victim’s Compensation Claims System webpage and on-line application here.
Victim Compensation Fund General Eligibility Requirements
Indiana Code defines a violent crime as a felony or Class A misdemeanor that results in bodily injury or death to the victim. Persons eligible for assistance from this fund include:
- Innocent victims of any violent crime, including a motor vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver;
- A parent, surviving spouse, dependent child or other legal dependent of an innocent victim who has been killed as a result of any violent crime, including a motor vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver; or
- A person who is injured or killed trying to prevent a violent crime or giving aid to a law enforcement officer.
Other requirements include:
- the crime must have taken place in Indiana;
- the victim must have incurred a minimum out-of-pocket loss of $100;
- the crime must have been reported to the police within 72 hours
(Note: Victims of sexual assault do not have to report the crime to police);
- the victim or survivors must have been cooperative in the investigation and prosecution of the crime;
- application for benefits must be filed no later than 180 days after the crime occurred;
- medical expenses must be incurred within 180 days of the crime, but can be extended under certain circumstances.
A maximum award of up to $15,000 MAY be available to help cover expenses resulting from any one injury or death. Eligible crime related expenses include:
- Medical bills;
- up to $5,000 for funeral and burial or cremation expenses for victims of certain crimes involving motor vehicle accidents (regardless of marital status);
- up to $3,000 for counseling;
- lost wages;
- loss of support to legal dependants of an employed crime victim who is killed;
- reasonable child care services;
- attorney fees; and
- emergency shelter services.
Emergency funding is available to assist victims of crime who are faced with an immediate, financial hardship resulting from the crime that has led to the need of services. An application must be filed before an emergency award determination is made.
Note: You are still legally responsible for the payment of your bills associated with the crime. Filing an application will not stop providers from taking collection steps against you. If you application is approved, you will be reimbursed for eligible out-of-pocket expenses.
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Applications are available by contacting your local law enforcement agency or the Victim Services department of your county prosecutor’s office. Completed applications can be mailed, hand delivered, or faxed to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute at: 101 W. Washington Street, Suite 1170 East, Indianapolis, IN 46204; Fax: (317) 233-3912.
Applications for benefits must be filed no later than 180 days after the crime occurred. You do not need to wait until the suspect is arrested or convicted. It is not necessary to submit medical bills or police reports at the time you file your application. Additional information will be requested during the course of the investigation.
If you have questions about filling out the application, you can contact the Violent Crime Victim Compensation division toll-free at (800) 353-1484. Victims may also inquire about the status of their compensation application at this number. For confidentiality reasons, information will be provided only to the legal applicant.
If you are an organization that would like to request application forms, please contact the Violent Crime Victim Compensation division at (800) 353-1484.
Victim Compensation Frequently Asked Questions
Who is not eligible?
Persons not eligible for assistance from this fund include:
- A victim who did not receive bodily injury as a result of the crime;
- A victim who has engaged in misconduct that caused or contributed to the crime that led to the injury or death;
- A victim who was injured while committing, attempting to commit, participating or attempting to participate in a criminal act;
- A victim who was injured while confined in a correctional facility;
- A victim who did not report the crime to a law enforcement officer within 72 hours after the occurrence of the crime (Note: this requirement does not include victims of sexual assault);
- A victim who is injured or killed in a hit and run accident or by a driver who was not found to be legally intoxicated or impaired;
- A claimant whose net worth exceeds $200,000;
- A victim who receives collateral source payments in excess of $15,000 (Note: An award will be reduced by any collateral source income received.);
- A claimant who fails to file an application within 180 days of the crime’s occurrence.
What is not covered?
This fund does not reimburse victims for:
- Property damage and replacement of items damaged or stolen during the violent crime;
- Damages for “pain and suffering”;
- Relocation expenses;
- Travel, food, and lodging to attend depositions, trials, appeals, sentencings, or parole hearings;
- Rent, utilities or food;
- Crime scene cleanup; or
- Burial clothing, funeral flowers, food for wake, travel and lodging to attend funeral services.
What happens after I file my application?
The Violent Crime Victim Compensation program staff will review the application to determine the extent of the loss. If additional information is needed, you will receive a written explanation of what is needed. Results of staff investigations and the decision regarding financial assistance will be sent to applicants by mail.
When will I receive payment?
The division may make an award in full, in part, or deny a application altogether. In the event that expenses exceed the maximum award of $15,000, the division will divide the award among the providers. The Violent Crime Victim Compensation program is a “payer of last resort,” meaning that, with the exception of forensic exams for sex crime victims, an award will be made only in situations where the claimant has no other recourse. Therefore, the final award may be reduced by the amount of benefits covered by insurance, unemployment compensation, Social Security, public funds (including Medicare or Medicaid) or any other source.
Note: If you do receive Violent Crime Victim Compensation funds, and later receive an insurance settlement or court-ordered restitution covering the same loss paid by the fund, YOU MUST REPAY THAT AMOUNT TO THE STATE OF INDIANA.
What if I am not satisfied with the decision?
Applicants have 30 days from the date of the notice to send written notification requesting a hearing to appeal a decision. A hearing date will be set and the applicant will be notified of the time and location. Appeal hearings are held at the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute offices in Indianapolis.
Do I need an attorney?
It is not necessary to hire an attorney to apply for Violent Crime Victim Compensation or to appeal a decision of the division. However, a claimant may elect to hire an attorney to represent them at the appeal hearing.
For more information visit the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute information page here.