The following guidelines for the Crime Victims Compensation Program are issued by the D.C. Department of Employment Services, which administers the program.
Who may apply?
Any District resident who is an innocent victim of violent crime, or any resident of another state with a similar victim compensation statute. Dependents of victims or those responsible for them are also eligible, as are D.C. residents who are injured while assisting a victim of violent crime or while attempting to prevent a crime.
Are there any other requirements?
Yes. The crime must have occurred after Sept. 30, 1982 and must have been reported to D.C. police within seven days after it took place. Applications for compensation must be filed with the Office of Crime Victims Compensation within 180 days of the crime date, and the person filing the claim must have suffered an economic loss of at least $100.
Who is ineligible?
Those who do not suffer "undue" financial hardship as a result of the economic loss, or those who do not cooperate with police or prosecutors. Anyone who aided the criminal or who was engaged in any illegal conduct when the crime occurred is also ineligible.
How does one apply?
To receive an application form, call 639-1211 or write to the D.C. Department of Employment Services, Office of Crime Victims Compensation, P.O. Box 37595, Washington, D.C. 20013. There is a $5 filing fee.
What happens after the application is filed?
The compensation office verifies all police, medical, employment and funeral information and expenses; reviews the resources of those filing the claim to determine if they would suffer undue financial hardship; determines the eligibility and award amount; and then grants the award if all requirements are met, or denies all or part of it.
What happens after the office makes a decision?
The person filing the claim is notified of the decision; if the filer disagrees with the eligibility decision or the award amount, he or she may request a hearing with the city's Employment Services Department.
Can compensation awards be reduced by other sources or income?
Yes. Any benefits or income which the victim or dependents receive because of the death or injury will be deducted from the award. These benefits or income may include insurance, funds received from or on behalf of the person who committed the crime, or funds from any government agency.