Victim Compensation

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In 1986, the Arizona State Legislature established the Crime Victim Compensation Fund. ACJC, by statute, is directed to administer the fund and create and implement rules that guide the awarding of funds to victims of crime. Arizona is one of two states that utilize a decentralized model of administration of the Crime Victim Compensation Program.

The Commission, each year, is required by the Crime Victim Compensation Program Rules to designate one operational unit in each county to receive a portion of the fund and to administer the program at the county level. Currently, the county attorney in each of the 15 counties is designated to assume the responsibility for the expenditure of the funds apportioned to the county. Funds are distributed to each county based upon a formula approved by the Commission.

Claims are filed by victims of criminally injurious conduct in the county where the crime occurred. A local operational unit, supervised by the county attorney, investigates each compensation claim. The claim is then presented to the county’s Crime Victim Compensation Board for review. Each Board is comprised of appointed volunteers selected from citizens of the respective county. The Board determines the approval or denial of the compensation claim, in accordance with the Program Rules. Submitting an application for compensation does not guarantee an award, and awards are based on eligibility and funding availability. The maximum award of any single claim is $20,000.

Who is Eligible?

The general criteria for eligibility are as follows:

  • The victim is victimized in Arizona, or is an Arizona resident who is victimized in an area that lacks a crime victim compensation program, or is a victim of international terrorism.
  • The crime is reported to a police agency within 72 hours of the discovery of the crime unless good cause is shown to justify a delay.
  • An application is filed within two years of the discovery f the crime, in the county in which the crime occurred, unless good cause is shown to justify a delay.
  • The victim or derivative victim willingly cooperates with law enforcement agencies.
  • The victim or a derivative victim suffers physical injury, a medical condition, extreme mental distress, or death as a direct result of the criminally injurious conduct.
  • The victim or derivative victims incurs economic loss as a direct result of the crime that is not covered by a benefit or advantage that the person is entitled to receive from a collateral source.

What is Covered?

The Crime Victim Compensation Program can cover crime-related expenses for:

  • Medical Costs
  • Mental Health Counseling (up to $5,000)
  • Funerals (up to $5,000)
  • Wage Loss (pays at minimum wage and requires sick and vacation leave be used first)
  • Crime Scene Clean-up

The Compensation Program CANNOT cover:

  • Attorney Fees
  • Property Loss or Repair
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Victimization of a person serving a sentence of imprisonment or who has escaped imprisonment in a detention facility, home arrest, or work furlough program.

Awards may be reduced or denied in the following situations:

  • The victim or derivative victim recouped the economic loss from a collateral source.
  • The victim bears some degree of responsibility for the cause of injury or death through negligence or intentional unlawful conduct, if that conduct substantially provoked or aggravated the incident causing the injury or death.
  • The victim has not fully cooperated with the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • Compensation program funds are insufficient to make an award.