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Compensation for Crime Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
5 pages

Since every U.S. state operates a program to help crime victims pay for some of the expenses they would not otherwise have incurred except for their criminal victimization, this brochure provides some general information about all of these victim compensation programs.


Under State, federal, military, and tribal jurisdictions, crime victims are eligible to apply for compensation when monetary losses or expenses result from their victimization, even if the offender is not convicted. The programs will pay for certain expenses not covered by insurance or another public benefit program. With limited exceptions, a few states do not provide compensation for crimes that involve theft of or damage to property. Eligibility for victim compensation generally requires that the crime be reported promptly to law enforcement, that victims cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of the crime, that the victim not engage in criminal activity or misconduct that leads to the victim's injury or death, and that the victim file a timely application with the compensation program in the state where the crime occurred. Compensation application procedures are discussed.

Date Published: January 1, 2002