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Victim Restitution

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Restitution is the end result of a criminal action(s) taken upon a victim(s); thus, causing bodily injury in the form of the following:

  • Property loss – stolen or damaged property
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental health counseling
  • Funeral/burial expense
  • Wage loss
  • Relocation expenses
  • Security system expenses
  • Interest
  • And Attorney fees
Therefore, when a victim files a claim with the California Victim Compensation Board & Government Claims Board (CalVCP) as a victim of crime, you have a right to restitution. Restitution means that the offender who committed the crime he/she must pay you back for any crime related expenses.

Once the offender has been convicted the judge will impose several orders; such as, restitution fines, restitution orders, and other associated fines, but not limited to other penalties with his/her case.

Compensation

Who is eligible for compensation?

To be eligible for compensation, a person must be a victim of a qualifying crime involving physical injury, threat of physical injury or death. For certain crimes, emotional injury alone is all that needs to be shown. Certain family members or other loved ones who suffer an economic loss resulting from an injury to, or death of, a victim of a crime may also be eligible for compensation.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements. The victim must:

  • Have been a California resident when the crime occurred, or the crime must have occurred in California.
  • Cooperate reasonably with police and court officials to arrest and prosecute the offender.
  • Cooperate with CalVCP staff to verify the application.
  • Not have been involved in events leading to the crime or have participated in the crime.
  • File the application within one year of the crime, one year after the direct victim turns 18 years of age, or one year from when the crime could have been discovered, whichever is later. Applications may also be accepted after these filing periods under certain circumstances.
  • People in the following categories are generally eligible for compensation. If you are not sure whether or not you might qualify, please call us at 1-800-777-9229.

    Who is not eligible?

  • Persons who commit the crime.
  • Persons who knowingly and willingly participated in or were involved in the events leading to the crime; some exceptions may be raised.
  • Persons who do not cooperate reasonably with a law enforcement agency in the apprehension and conviction of a criminal committing the crime; some exceptions may be considered.
  • A person who is convicted of a felony may not be granted compensation until that person has been discharged from probation or has been released from a correctional institution and has been discharged from probation or parole, if any. The time for filing an application is still one year from the date the crime occurred
  • What are examples of crimes that are typically covered?

  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Battery (when there is injury or threat of injury)
  • Child abuse
  • Child sexual assault
  • Child endangerment and abandonment
  • Domestic violence
  • Driving under the influence
  • Hit and run
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Sexual battery
  • Unlawful sexual intercourse (where there is injury or threat of injury)
  • Terrorism
  • Other crimes that result in physical injury or a threat of physical injury to the victim
  • What types of expenses may be eligible for reimbursement?

    CalVCP may reimburse the following expenses if they are necessary due to a crime and if there are no other sources of reimbursement available such as health insurance, worker's compensation or other benefits. Caps or limits may apply.

  • Medical and medical-related expenses for the victim, including dental expenses.
  • Outpatient mental health treatment or counseling.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Wage or income loss up to five years following the date of the crime. If the victim is permanently disabled, wage or income loss may be extended.
  • Support loss for legal dependents of a deceased or injured victim.
  • Up to 30 days wage loss for the parent or legal guardian of a minor victim who is hospitalized or dies as a direct result of a crime. Job retraining.
  • Medically necessary renovation or retrofitting of a home or vehicle for a person permanently disabled as a result of the crime.
  • Home security installation or improvements up to $1,000 if the crime occurred in the victim's home.
  • In-patient psychiatric hospitalization costs under dire or exceptional circumstances.
  • Relocation expenses up to $2,000 per household.
  • Crime scene cleanup up to $1,000 if a victim dies as a result of a crime in a residence.
  • What expenses are not eligible for reimbursement?

    The CalVCP cannot reimburse applicants for the following expenses:

  • Personal property losses, except medically necessary replacement of items such as eyeglasses and assistive devices.
  • Expenses related to the prosecution of an alleged perpetrator.
  • Compensation for "pain and suffering."
  • Expenses submitted more than three years after they are incurred may not be eligible for reimbursement unless the victim is liable for the debt at the time the expense is submitted to the CalVCP or has already paid the expense.
  • Expenses of a victim or other applicant convicted of a felony may not be paid during the time of his/her parole, probation, or incarceration.
  • Expenses incurred by the victim or other applicant convicted of a felony while he/she was incarcerated, on felony probation, or on parole.
  • What are the limits on assistance?

    Assistance is limited to the amount of out-of-pocket expenses or bills incurred by or on behalf of the victim or applicant that have not been reimbursed by other sources such as insurance, and the amount of lost wages or loss of support (based on the victim's income) if that benefit is applicable.

    The limits of various types of benefits are described below. For crimes that occurred prior to January 1, 2001, the total of all benefits paid to one person could not exceed $46,000. For crimes that occurred on or after January 1, 2001, the maximum amount that can be reimbursed is $70,000.

    California law authorizes the Board to establish maximum rates and service limitations for reimbursement of medical and medical-related services and for mental health and counseling services. Currently, the CalVCP has established the following rate limits for medical, medical-related and mental health services:

    I) Medical and Dental Services:

  • Eligible medical expenses are reimbursed:
  • At the Medicare rate plus 20 percent for services covered by Medicare
  • At 75 percent of the billed amount for services not covered by Medicare
  • At the Medicare DME rate for durable medical equipment (DME)
  • At 100 percent for cosmetic surgery, prosthetics, hearing aids and eyeglasses
  • Eligible dental expenses are reimbursed at 75 percent of the amount billed. Dentists may be able to obtain preauthorized approval for treatment.
  • II) Mental Health Services:

  • Reimbursement is set at $130 per hour for individual services provided by a licensed psychiatrist.
  • Reimbursement is set at $110 per hour for individual services provided by a licensed clinical psychologist.
  • Reimbursement is set at $90 per hour for individual services provided by a licensed clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist (MFT), mental health nurse, or clinical nurse specialist with a specialty in psychiatric mental health nursing. (psychology interns and associate clinical social workers are paid at the supervisor's rate)
  • Group therapy is reimbursed at 40 percent of the maximum individual session rates above.
  • Group therapy is reimbursed at 40 percent of the maximum individual session rates above.
  • Family therapy is reimbursed at individual session rates above.
  • What if I have reimbursements from other sources?

    The CalVCP can only reimburse qualified expenses that have not or will not be paid by any other source such as health insurance, workers compensation, MediCal, or other benefits. By law, the CalVCP is the "payer of last resort." If any other sources of reimbursement are available for the applicant's crime-related losses, they must be used before CalVCP payment can be made. Other reimbursement sources that may be available include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical/health, dental, or vision insurance
  • Public program benefits (MediCal, unemployment insurance, or Department of Rehabilitation or other disability benefits, etc.)
  • Auto insurance
  • Workers' compensation benefits
  • Court-ordered restitution
  • Civil lawsuit recoveries
  • Applicants are responsible for informing the CalVCP of all available reimbursement sources for their losses. Applicants must repay the CalVCP for any payments for which it was later determined they were not eligible.

    Does the Victim Compensation Program have the right to be reimbursed if another source pays later on?

    The state is entitled to recover the amount of assistance granted to a victim out of any recovery by or on behalf of the victim from any third party liable for the victim's losses. This right is secured by a statutory lien against the recovery (Government Code Section 13963). The state is also entitled to recover the amount of assistance granted out of any form of workers' compensation (Labor Code Section 4903(h)). The CalVCP application includes a notice of the state's lien and recovery rights.

    How do I apply for compensation?

    There are several ways to apply for compensation:

  • Contact the Monterey County District Attorney’s Victim of Crime Unit at: (831) 755-5072
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  • Call 1-800-777-9229 to receive an application by mail or to get help with applying.
  • An applicant may request an emergency award for reimbursement of any eligible expense if the Board determines that such an award is necessary to avoid or mitigate substantial hardship that may result from delaying compensation until complete and final consideration on an application. If granted, an Emergency Award represents an advance pending the final award of compensation. The amount of the Emergency Award shall be dependent upon the immediate needs of the victim or derivative victim subject to the rates and benefit limitations established by the Board. The applicant must repay any amount awarded on the Emergency Award if the regular application is later found to be ineligible for the CalVCP.

    Application Process

    Applications may be filed by:

  • A person who is physically injured or threatened with physical injury as a result of a crime or act of terrorism that occurred in the State of California.
  • A California resident or member of the military stationed in California who is a victim of a qualifying crime, wherever it occurs.
  • An eligible family member or other specified persons who were legally dependent on the victim.
  • A parent, sibling, spouse, or child of the victim.
  • The fiancé(e) of the victim at the time of the crime or another family member of the victim who witnessed the crime.
  • A grandparent or grandchild of the victim at the time of the crime, or a person living with the victim at the time of the crime, or who had previously lived with the victim for at least two years in a relationship similar to a parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, child, or grandchild of the victim.
  • A minor who witnesses a crime of domestic violence or who resides in a home where domestic violence occurs.
  • Anyone who pays or assumes legal liability for a deceased victim's medical, funeral, or burial expenses, or anyone who pays for the costs of crime scene clean-up for a homicide that occurred in a residence.
  • A person who is the primary caretaker of a minor victim when treatment is rendered.
  • What are the time limitations for filing an application?

    An application for CalVCP compensation should be filed within one year of the date of the crime, one year after the victim turns 18 years of age, or one year from the date the victim or derivative victim knew or in the exercise of ordinary diligence could have discovered that an injury or death had been sustained as a direct result of a crime, whichever is later.

    Under certain circumstances, the Board may grant an extension of this time period for good cause. Some of the reasons an extension may be granted include:

  • A recommendation from the prosecuting attorney regarding the victim's or derivative victim's cooperation with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney in the apprehension and prosecution of the person charged with the crime.
  • Whether particular events occurring during the prosecution or in the punishment of the person convicted of the crime have resulted in the victim or derivative victim incurring additional pecuniary loss.
  • Whether the nature of the crime is such that a delayed reporting of the crime is reasonably excusable.
  • For crimes on or after January 1, 2002, a family member or other applicant may file an application at any time after the Board has accepted the application filed by or on behalf of a victim of the same qualifying crime.

    A parent with legal custody, guardian, conservator, or relative caregiver may sign an application filed on behalf of a minor or victim. However, an eligible minor victim or derivative victim may sign the CalVCP application on his or her own behalf in certain circumstances.

    How is the application reviewed?

    After receiving an application and related documentation, including a complete crime report, CalVCP staff reviews the information to determine if the victim and/or the applicant are eligible for assistance. Law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of the crime, physicians, counselors, hospitals, employers, and witnesses to the crime may be contacted for verification of the injuries, losses, and expenses incurred as a result of the crime.

    Upon completion of the application review process, staff makes a written recommendation to the Board to approve or deny the claim. Recommendations are generally made within 90 days of receiving the application.

    Do applicants have the right to appeal?

    An applicant has a right to file an appeal if a claim is recommended for denial, or if any part of the claim is recommended for denial. An appeal must be filed within 45 days of the date the Board mailed the notice to deny the claim and/or expense. In some cases, if new information is provided, the denial may be reconsidered immediately. Otherwise, most appeals are scheduled for a hearing before a Hearing Officer. This hearing will give the applicant the opportunity to present information supporting the claim. Hearings are not held to contest the denial of an emergency award.

    If the applicant does not agree with the outcome of the Board's final decision, a Petition for a Writ of Mandate may be filed in the Superior Court.

    What California laws govern the compensation program?

    Government Code sections 13950 - 13969.7 govern the California law that allows victims of crime to receive payments from the Restitution Fund for un-reimbursed losses that are necessary due to a crime. The Restitution Fund is the CalVCP's primary funding source and it receives monies collected through fines and penalties imposed by judges upon persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses in California.

    How can I get more information?

    Call the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office Victim of Crime Unit at: (831) 755-5072