Crime Victim's Compensation

NORTH CAROLINA VICTIMS COMPENSATION

What Is Victims Compensation?

Since 1987, Victims Compensation Services has assisted innocent crime victims and their families with payments for a diversity of needs, including medical care, counseling, lost wages and funerals. Like other compensation programs, North Carolina is a payer of last resort for financial losses not covered by other sources including but not limited to health insurance, auto or disability insurance, public funds such as Medicaid, Worker’s Compensation, or restitution payments. The program does NOT compensate victims for damaged or stolen property or for pain and suffering. A maximum of $30,000 may be paid for an award, except when the victim dies as a result of the crime. In that case, an additional $5,000 may be paid to the survivors for funeral expenses. Benefits for approved claims are paid directly to a service provider with the exception of out-of-pocket expenses paid by victim or claimant.

Every claim that is filed is investigated by a caseworker to be sure it meets the necessary criteria. Processing a claim takes time. The Victim Compensation Fund counts the time it takes to complete a claim from the time the claim is received until it is paid. Victims have up to two years from the date of the incident to file a claim (except in the case of a juvenile victim of a sexual offense, who may file within two years of the date of disclosure).

Who Is Eligible for Victims Compensation?

  • Innocent victims of a crime committed in North Carolina (including rape, assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, drunk driving, hit-and-run of pedestrians or individuals in a wheelchair or on a bicycle)**
  • Families of homicide victims
  • A dependent of a deceased victim
  • A person who is authorized to act on behalf of a victim or dependent.
  • A third person who provided benefits to the victim or his/her family other than in the course or scope of his employment, business or profession.

** Crime must be reported to law enforcement or warrant obtained within 72 hours from the date of the incident or show good cause for the delay. Victim or legal representative must cooperate with law enforcement and be willing to prosecute.

Who Is Not Eligible for Victims Compensation?

  • The offender.
  • A victim who contributed to his or her injuries or sustained the injuries while engaged in illegal activity.
  • A victim who is a prisoner in any state, county or city prison, correctional, youth services or juvenile facility, or local confinement facility, or halfway house, group home or similar facility.

What May Be Compensated?

Victims may be compensated for any reasonable charges incurred for reasonable needed products, services and accommodations including those for medical care, rehabilitation, medically related property and other remedial treatment and care, including:

  • Medical expenses (i.e. doctors, hospitals, lab tests, ambulance, therapy)
  • Counseling
  • Loss of wages (aka Work Loss Benefit – max $300/week for 26 weeks)**
  • Funeral expenses (aka Funeral Expense Benefit – max $5,000)***
  • Prosthetics
  • Eyeglasses
  • Dental work
  • Wheelchair ramp/widening of doors
  • Hospital bed
  • Crime scene cleanup such as door or window locks, car interiors (cleaning of blood)
  • Loss of household support due to domestic violence (aka Domestic Violence Household Support)****

** A claim for work loss will be paid only upon proof that the injured person was gainfully employed at the time of the victimization.

*** The funeral expense benefit does not pay for flowers, gravestones, and other items not directly related to the funeral service.  It does pay for burial, cremation, and transportation of body.

**** Domestic Violence Household Support Benefit assists victims of domestic violence by providing $50/week for each dependent child and is limited to 26 weeks. It shall not exceed $200/week and the following conditions must be met:

  • Must be married and living with spouse at the time of the victimization.
  • Unemployed at the time of the victimization.
  • Has one or more children residing in the household at the time of the victimization.
  • The victimization occurred on or after October 26, 1998.
  • If the victim moves back in with the spouse, the victim is no longer eligible for benefit.

Note: Services must be received within one year of date of incident, except for children 10 years-old or younger (they may have as much as two years of services that Victims Compensation may pay for).

What Do I Need to File a Claim?

In order to process a claim, it must include the following:

         1.  Signed and notarized application
         2.  Copy of the law enforcement report
         3.  At least one itemized medical bill (all bills have to be itemized).

A funeral claim must include the following:

         1.  Signed and notarized application
         2.  Copy of the law enforcement report
         3.  Copy of the death certificate
         4.  The itemized funeral bill

 A work loss claim must include the following:

         1.  Signed and notarized application
         2.  Copy of the law enforcement report
         3.  Copy of physician statement
         4.  Copy of employer’s statement

A domestic violence household support claim must include the following:
         1.  Signed and notarized application
         2.  Copy of the law enforcement report or proof that victim is cooperating with law enforcement.
         3.  Domestic Violence Household Support Loss Verification Form (obtained by contacting VC office)

Note: If a false claim is deliberately filed the claimant will be subject to prosecution, the claim will be denied, and the claimant will have to repay any money awarded.

 Source: Information provided in this document is taken directly from information provided by the Victims Compensation staff and from the Victim’s Compensation website.

 

How Do I Apply For Victims Compensation?

If the criminal act occurred outside the state of North Carolina, the application must be filed in the state where the crime occurred.  Victims may contact the Victims Comp office to obtain information about another state program.

If the criminal act occurred in North Carolina, there are two options.

  1. An individual can access the application and information about the program directly by visiting the NC Victim’s Compensation Website. The applicant will need to mail all necessary documents along with the notarized application to the Victims Compensation office in Raleigh.
  2. An individual can contact United Family Services and ask to speak with a Victim Advocate about Victims Compensation.  The Advocate will perform an initial assessment to determine whether the individual can apply for Victims Comp.  If the individual is eligible, the Advocate will schedule an appointment during which the applicant will receive assistance filling out the application, including the appropriate documents, getting the application notarized, and mailing the application to the Victims Comp office in Raleigh.  These services are offered at no charge to the applicant.  

IMPORTANT: Please note that Safe Alliance serves only as a liaison between the applicant and the Victims Compensation (VC) office in Raleigh.  Safe Alliance does not determine whether a claim is awarded or denied and does not investigate or process the application.  The role of the Victim Advocate is to assist individuals in completing the application and submitting it to the State.  Once the Advocate mails the application to the VC office, the application will be screened by an intake clerk there and assigned to a caseworker who will conduct a thorough investigation of the claim.  At that point, VC will contact the applicant directly if they have questions, require additional documents, or need to communicate information about the final decision.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to cooperate with VC during the investigation of the claim and to provide any requested information.

Contact Information

Victims Compensation Services
4703 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4703
1-800-826-6200 (in North Carolina)
or 919-733-7974

Lake Norman
704-655-8745

Mecklenburg County
704-332-9034
704-375-9900 (24-hour hotline)

Cabarrus County
704-786-7918
704-721-0110 (24-hour hotline)

Union County
704-226-1352
704-283-7770 (24-hour hotline)