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- Crime Victims Compensation Program
Crime Victims Compensation Program
Crime Victims Compensation provides financial, medical and mental health benefits to victims in an effort to reduce the burden of violent crime. This program is administered by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and is considered a payer of last resort. This means that benefits provided by other insurance held by the victim must be used before the Department of Labor and Industries can pay benefits. The victim-witness coordinator in the Island County Prosecutor’s Office is available to assist victims in filing their initial application and answering questions.
- The crime must occur in Washington state
- The crime must be a gross misdemeanor or felony under Washington law
- The crime must be reported to law enforcement within one year
- Application for benefits must be received within two years of filing report
- Victim must be reasonably cooperative with law enforcement
- Vehicular crimes must be vehicular assault (conviction required for benefits to be paid out), vehicular homicide, failure to secure load or DUI
- Injury cannot be as a result of consent or provocation
- Victim cannot be in the commission of a felony crime at the time of injury
- Victim cannot have any outstanding legal financial obligations for a crime against persons in the last five years
- Victim cannot be incarcerated at the time of injury
To be eligible for Crime Victims Compensation benefits, a victim must require medical or mental health treatment because of injuries suffered as a result of a crime. A surviving spouse or beneficiary of the victim may be able to file a claim. The program does not pay for property losses.
If the victim was injured in another state and was a Washington resident at the time of the crime, they must first apply for benefits from the state where the crime occurred. If the state where the crime occurred rejects the claim, then a claim may be submitted to the Washington State Crime Victims Compensation Program.
- There is a $50,000 maximum per claim.
- Counseling benefits are available to victims of crime. Limited counseling may be available to family members of sexual assault and homicide victims. Victims and family members must use the mental health providers or benefits covered by other insurance first.
- When injured and unable to work, the Crime Victims Compensation program may be able to provide the victim with payments to replace a portion of the victim’s normal income.
- Total and permanent disability may result in eligibility for a pension.
- Survivor’s benefits are available if the person is a surviving spouse or child of a crime victim (beneficiary). This is either a pension or a lump sum benefit. The program may also pay a portion of burial expenses incurred because of a crime.
Application for Benefits
Applications for Crime Victims Compensation can be obtained from the Island County Prosecutor’s Office or from the Crime Victims Compensation website. When filling out an application for benefits from Crime Victims Compensation, you may need to get specific identifying information from either the law enforcement agency that investigated the crime, or from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The victim-witness coordinator in the Island County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is available to assist victims in filing their initial application and answering questions.
Completed applications can be returned to the Prosecutor’s Office for processing or may be mailed directly to the Crime Victims Compensation program at the address below.
Crime Victims Compensation
P.O. Box 44520
Olympia, WA 98504-4520
After review of the application and information submitted by the victim, a determination will be made to approve or deny the claim for eligibility. A letter will be sent by the Department of Labor & Industries to the victim approving or denying the claim.
- Can I apply for benefits even after a person is convicted?
- How long does it take to process the application?
With complete information on the application, usually a few weeks.
- Can I obtain benefits even if no formal criminal charges are filed?If a law enforcement agency?
The Prosecuting Attorney's Office investigates and prepares a report, the Department of Labor & Industries will then determine if a “criminal act” has been committed. If so, you may be eligible for benefits, even if the police or prosecutor does not file charges in court.