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Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund

A vastly underused source of funds is available for crime victims and their families, at the time when they may most need it. Many states have a crime victims’ compensation fund. This is especially relevant with an intentional injury since there may be a criminal prosecution. Before you put a case into suit, consider this source of benefits. In Pennsylvania, see www.pccd.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pccd_home/5226.

The Pennsylvania Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund may cover medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of support, funeral expenses, money stolen or defrauded from individuals on a fixed income (such as Social Security or pension), counseling expenses, relocation expenses, childcare/home health care expenses, and crime-scene clean up. Replacement of stolen or damaged medical devices is covered, but pain and suffering is not.

The claim must be filed within two years of the date of the crime. A longer period applies if the victim is a child. In certain circumstances, family members of the crime victim may be eligible for compensation. Most claims are processed within three months, but can take longer if the claim is complex. To qualify for coverage through this fund, the crime must be reported to the proper authorities within three days. The claimant must cooperate with law enforcement authorities investigating the crime, the courts, and the victims’ compensation assistance program in processing the claim.

The Crime Victims Compensation fund is regarded as a payer of last resort. Payment is reduced by the amount of any other source, including, but not limited to, health or life insurance, awards for civil lawsuits or insurance, Medical Assistance, Medicare, disability insurance, Workers’ Compensation, or Social Security. The fund comes from fines and penalties assessed against persons convicted of crimes. No general state tax revenues are used.

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