The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of the Victims of Crime Compensation Program

In our latest legal clinic vlog, our Southwest attorney, Emily Meyer discusses various aspects to the Victim of Crime compensation program in the state of Ohio.

What is the Victims of Crime Compensation Program?

If you are a certain victim of certain crimes you may be eligible for financial assistance from the state for expenses incurred as a result of the crime. This money is not money not taxpayer-funded. It comes from court costs and court fees paid out by convicted white-collar criminals, fees owed to the BMV, and grants from the federal government.

What Kind of Expenses are covered under this program?

Certain expenses are covered under this program. Examples include medical expenses, lost wages, travel expenses, or funeral expenses. Generally, the types of expenses that are not compensated as a part of this program include property loss that is not personal property taken into evidence or a part of the crime scene, pain and suffering, living expenses that would have been paid by you regardless of the crime.

There is a cap of $50,000 per victim per criminal incident and there are sup-caps based on the type of expense. For example, even if you incur a $50,000 expense for a funeral, you will not be able to get the full $50,000 from the state to compensate you for that funeral. Each expense type, such as medical expenses, funeral, lost wages, have their own seperate monetary caps.

Who is Eligible?

Certain victims of certain crimes are eligible for this program, including dependents.

What Type of Crime Must Occur?

In order to be eligible for the program, the crime committed against you must be an offense of violence, such as assault, battery, or homicide. That offense of violence must be an offense that is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or death. Crimes that are self-inflicted or crimes against your property, such as forgery or theft, are not covered under this program. So the types of crimes that aren’t covered under this program, if it’s a self-inflicted crime, or if it’s a crime of property.

In order to be eligible, you must prove to the state that a crime has occurred against you. It is important that you file a police report before applying for the program.

How Do You Apply?

If you have internet access, the easiest way to apply is by going on the Attorney General’s website. Alternatively, you can call the Attorney General’s office at 800-582-2877 and ask that an application be sent you.

Is There a Deadline to Apply?

If you are a victim of a crime, there is no statute of limitations as to how soon you have to file. You can file an application for financial assistance anytime after the incident, once you have filed a police report.

Equality Ohio Legal Clinic is free for LGBTQ Ohioans up to 300% of the federal poverty level. Give us a call at 855-LGBT-LAW, or schedule a free, virtual intake right now.