CalVCB Annual Report: Fiscal Year 2016–17
Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor of California
Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board Members
Secretary of the Government Operations Agency and Board Chairperson
Marybel Batjer was appointed Secretary of the California Government Operations Agency by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in June 2013. Batjer has directly served four governors in two states in various roles, including chief of staff, cabinet secretary, undersecretary and chief deputy director. She also held key advisory roles in two U.S. presidential administrations, serving at the National Security Council and at the Pentagon in various positions over 12 years. Prior to her appointment, Batjer was the vice president of public policy and corporate social responsibility for a large entertainment company.
Betty T. Yee
California State Controller and Board Member
State Controller Betty Yee serves as an ex officio member of the board. In her job as California’s chief fiscal officer, she is a member of numerous commissions and financing authorities; fiscal and financial oversight entities including the California Franchise Tax Board and California Board of Equalization; and the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation’s two largest public pension funds. Elected in November 2014, Yee has more than 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy in the legislative and executive branches of state government.
Michael A. Ramos
San Bernardino County District Attorney and Board Member
Michael Ramos was appointed to the Board on January 23, 2004, by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ramos was elected San Bernardino County District Attorney in 2002 and is currently serving his fourth term. Previously, he served as a deputy district attorney in San Bernardino for 13 years, four of which were in the major crimes unit.
CalVCB Executive Officer
Executive Officer of the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
Julie Nauman was appointed as Executive Officer of the California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) in 2008. Prior to joining CalVCB, Nauman held a number of executive level positions in California state government. Nauman served as chief deputy director of the Integrated Waste Management Board and chief deputy director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as chief consultant to the Assembly Local Government Committee. Known for her expertise in public policy and land use planning, she held the position of principal-in-charge of a multi-state private consulting firm. Nauman received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and a Master of Arts degree in public administration from California State University, Sacramento.
The Victim Compensation Board is viewed as a national leader in victim services.
The Victim Compensation Board provides financial assistance to victims of crime.
CalVCB Core Values
The California Victim Compensation Board’s (CalVCB) primary mission is to administer the Victim Compensation Program, which provides reimbursement for crime-related expenses to victims who suffer physical injury or the threat of physical injury as a result of a violent crime.
CalVCB helps crime victims and their families cover unforeseen expenses such as medical bills, counseling, funeral and burial expenses, income loss and more that can run into thousands of dollars.
The State Restitution Fund (Fund) is an important component of CalVCB, ensuring there is enough money to assist victims of crime. The Fund receives monies from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses as well as federal matching grant funds from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). CalVCB is not supported by taxpayer dollars.
CalVCB also administers the Restitution Recovery Program, Claims of Erroneously Convicted Felons, the Good Samaritan Program and the Missing Children Reward Program. CalVCB is housed under the Government Operations Agency.
CalVCB’s history dates back to 1965 when California created the first victim compensation program in the nation, then administered by the Department of Social Welfare.
In 1967, the program then transferred to the Board of Control, which also housed the Government Claims Program (GCP) which processes claims for damages against the state.
In 2001, the Board of Control was renamed the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB).
On July 1, 2016, GCP transferred to the Department of General Services. VCGCB then became the California Victim Compensation Board or CalVCB.
Crime Victim Compensation
CalVCB is dedicated to helping victims and their families recover from a violent crime.
Anyone who suffers physical injury or the threat of physical injury as a result of a violent crime may be eligible for assistance if they meet the defined criteria. This includes filing within the specified time limit of three years, no involvement in the crime and cooperation with law enforcement. If the application is based on specified crimes involving sex with a minor, a victim may file at any time prior to the victim’s 28th birthday.
Survivors of crime victims who have died, persons who are legally dependent upon the victim for financial support, and certain members of a victim’s family may also qualify for assistance. This includes parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, children or grandchildren of the victim.
The program covers costs such co-pays, deductibles and other out of pocket expenses that victims encounter as a result of a violent crime. CalVCB is the payor of last resort and can only reimburse victims for crime-related expenses if there are no other sources of reimbursement.
Crimes covered include but are not limited to:
- Child Abuse
- Domestic Violence
- Drunk Driving
- Elder Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Human Trafficking
- Online Harassment
- Sexual Assault
- Vehicular Manslaughter
Covered Expenses Include:
- Medical and Dental Treatment
- Mental Health Services
- Income Loss
- Funeral and Burial
- Medical Equipment
- Home or Vehicle Modifications
- Residential Security
- Support Loss
- Crime Scene Clean-Up
In some categories, there are limits to what CalVCB can cover. For more information visit What's Covered.
Emergency Financial Assistance:
CalVCB can provide a crime victim with emergency financial assistance in certain situations. Victims can apply for an emergency award where hardship and their personal safety are at risk. Emergency awards are usually obtained to cover relocation costs or funeral and burial expenses.
Expenses Not Covered by CalVCB Include:
- Expenses not related to the crime
- Expenses paid by insurance, worker’s compensation or another source of reimbursement
- Expenses for lost, stolen or damaged property, except medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures and prosthetic devices
The program cannot pay expenses incurred while a person is on parole, probation or post release community supervision for a violent felony, incarcerated or required by law to register as a sex offender.
Child Witness to a Violent Crime:
Children who witness a crime, and who are not direct or derivative victims, may be eligible for some CalVCB assistance. The Board may reimburse the cost of outpatient mental health counseling, up to 30 session hours or $5,000, for any minor who suffers emotional injury as a direct result of witnessing, seeing or hearing, a violent crime and the minor was in close physical proximity to the victim when witnessing the crime.
How CalVCB Assisted Victims of Crime by the Numbers
|Type of Crime||New Applications|
4,194 applications are Not Yet Determined or are for Other crime types
|Fiscal Year||FY 2012–13||FY 2013–14||FY 2014–15||FY 2015–16||FY 2016–17|
How CalVCB Helped by Expense Type
|Fiscal Year||FY 2012–13||FY 2013–14||FY 2014–15||FY 2015–16||FY 2016–17|
|Funeral & Burial||$6,790,837||$6,455,273||$6,486,650||$8,662,773||$11,587,369|
|Income Support Loss||$7,524,440||$6,939,095||$7,116,650||$7,591,113||$8,005,185|
|Crime Scene Clean-up||$28,005||$26,070||$17,479||$25,863||$42,919|
Who CalVCB Helped by Claimant Type
CalVCB helps two types of victims: direct and derivative.
- Direct victims include anyone who suffers an injury, threat of injury or death as a result of a violent crime.
- Derivative victims include:
- The parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, child or grandchild of the victim
- Someone living in the household of the victim
- A person who had previously lived in the household of the victim for at least two years
- Any person who voluntarily pays or assumes payment for the expenses of a deceased victim
|Claimant Type||Number of Applications||Percentage of Applications|
|Not Yet Determined||352||<1%|
|Unknown or Not Specified||179||<1%|
|Unknown Date of Birth||388||1%|
|Domestic Violence Claims||11,951||23%|
|Claimants from Victim Witness Assistance Centers||40,107||77%|
|Claimants with Attorney Representation||452||<1%|
|Claimants Filing Directly||11,162||21%|
|Claimants from Social Worker||43||<1%|
|Not Yet Determined||109||<1%|
Note: “Not Yet Determined” reflects data not available at the time of report.
|Fiscal Years||Total Compensation Paid|
|1965–70 annual average||$36,570|
|1970–80 annual average||$2,801,789|
|1980–90 annual average||$29,835,100|
|1990–00 annual average||$78,306,800|
|2000–10 annual average||$86,146,570|
|County||FY 2012–13 Compensation||FY 2013–14 Compensation||FY 2014–15 Compensation||FY 2015–16 Compensation||FY 2016–17 Compensation||FY 2016–17 Apps Received|
|San Luis Obispo||$510,660||$559,764||$430,011||$416,231||$424,208||336|
The Restitution Fund is CalVCB’s primary funding source and receives the majority of its revenue from restitution fines, diversion fees and penalties imposed on criminal offenders in California. In addition, CalVCB receives federal grant monies from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program. VOCA funds come from penalties paid by offenders convicted of federal crimes.
CalVCB partners with prosecutors, probation officers, courts and other state agencies to facilitate the imposition and collection of restitution fines and orders.
CalVCB also partners with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Franchise Tax Board’s Court-Ordered Debt Collection program to help ensure restitution orders are complete and timely.
An applicant has the right to file an appeal if a victim compensation claim or expense is recommended for denial. Appeals are held on the written record or by phone. Applicants may also file a request for reconsideration with the Board or a Petition for a Writ of Mandate.
In FY 2016–17, CalVCB received 1,106 appeals and requests for reconsideration. Hearing officers conducted 221 administrative hearings. The remaining appeals were resolved without an appeal hearing.
Crime Victim Compensation Program Initiative
In 2013, CalVCB received a federal grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to identify underserved victims of crime, determine their unmet needs, recognize the barriers that prevented them from accessing services and implement program improvements to address those gaps.
Beginning in FY 2013–14 and for the next two fiscal years, CalVCB received a total of $875,440 to conduct this analysis, implementation and evaluation. As a result, the Baseline Data, Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis Reports were completed. These reports identified 13 underserved populations, their unmet needs and barriers to accessing services. The findings from these reports were compiled to develop an Implementation Plan.
During FY 2016–17, CalVCB conducted its final phase of grant activities by evaluating the impact of strategies carried out to improve access, remove barriers and increase awareness. This included a comparison of 2010 Calendar Year Baseline Data Report findings to 2016 crime and application data. The Final Program Evaluation Report was conducted by a third party and the findings were published in FY 2017–18.
San Bernardino Terrorist Attack Grant
On December 2, 2015 employees from the San Bernardino County Division of Environmental Health were participating in a meeting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino when they became victims of a terrorist attack. A mass shooting, and an attempted bombing, left 14 people dead and 22 others seriously injured.
In December 2016, OVC awarded CalVCB a grant for more than $4 million to assist the victims of the attack. The grant came through OVC’s Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP), which provides assistance for victims of terrorism or mass criminal violence.
The grant provides support for victims and county projects critical to long-term recovery. Items covered include medical treatment, mental health, funeral expenses, rehabilitation, crisis counseling, post trauma recovery workshops, peer support training, crisis leadership training and identity theft protection.
CalVCB continues to provide assistance to the San Bernardino victims. The federal AEAP grant is a significant tool to help the victims recover from the terrorist attack.
eLearning Courses Launched
In FY 2016–17, CalVCB launched four online courses that provide education about the state’s victim compensation program on a convenient, self-paced track. The new learning tool ensures that key stakeholders, such as medical providers and victim advocates, are well equipped to provide assistance to victims when seeking help from the state’s victim compensation program. All courses are self-paced and can be streamed 24/7 on a computer or smart device.The library includes the following courses:
- CalVCB Overview: This course provides a general overview of CalVCB’s history, mission, benefits and funding sources.
- Victim Compensation Course for Advocates: This module helps victim advocates learn about eligibility and benefits to assist crime victims seeking help through the compensation program. The course is open to victim advocates in the criminal justice system and to victim advocates from community-based organizations.
- Victim Compensation Course for Mental Health Providers: This course clarifies the required documentation mental health treatment providers must submit, as well as CalVCB program session limits and payment rates. This module also teaches mental health providers new to CalVCB about program benefits.
- Victim Compensation Course for Medical Providers: This module familiarizes medical providers and their billing agents with covered medical expenses and benefit limits. This course will be helpful for medical support staff as well.
In an effort to train, educate, inform and build partnerships with the public, county partners, key stakeholders and new organizations throughout the state, CalVCB conducts proactive outreach year round. This includes in-person group trainings, facilitating trauma-informed workshops with a live stream, tabling events and conferences, securing speaking opportunities, advertising and conducting proactive media relations.
One important element of outreach is CalVCB’s advocate training and education program. Throughout the fiscal year, CalVCB directly trained more than 2,000 advocates from county Victim Assistance Centers and community-based organizations, presented more than 33 hours of trainings through WebEx seminars and provided training and program information to over 1,000 law enforcement officers.
Additionally, CalVCB participated in 22 workshops and conference panel discussions related to human trafficking, elder abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Another key accomplishment this year was the spring 2017 advertising campaign, which utilized six methods in four regions throughout California from February 15 through March 15. The ad campaign included transit, billboard, newspaper, trade press, public service announcements (PSAs) and social media. The PSAs alone reached an audience size of more than 13 million and the print advertising reached more than 700,000 readers.
Along with this, CalVCB’s proactive media outreach secured unique newspaper articles that appeared in the Central Valley, Southern California and the Bay Area and garnered more than 600,000 impressions statewide.
Lastly, CalVCB promoted victim related observances through blogs, payroll warrant messages, media relations, infographics and collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders and partner state agencies. Last fiscal year, CalVCB secured three payroll warrant messages that reached more than 500,000 state employees and grew social media awareness of Facebook and Twitter by 15 percent in each platform.
Additional Board Functions
Claims of Erroneously Convicted Felons
Under California Penal Code sections 4900 through 4906, a person erroneously convicted of a felony and incarcerated in a California state prison may file a claim for pecuniary loss with CalVCB. The claim needs to be filed within two years after a date of judgment, acquittal, discharge, grant of pardon or release from imprisonment.
The person filing the claim must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they did not commit the crime or the crime never took place, or they suffered pecuniary loss because of the incarceration.
If the claim is granted, the Board will make a recommendation for a legislative appropriation in the amount of $140 for each day of incarceration served after conviction. Penal Code section 851.865 mandates the Board recommend to the legislature that an appropriation be made and the claim paid for claimants who obtain declarations of factual innocence.
During the 2016–17 Fiscal Year, the Board granted four claims and denied five claims. The four granted claims were approved for a total of $3,505,600 in compensation. A total of 18 applications were filed in the FY, not all of which were resolved during this time period.
More information can be found at the Board's PC 4900 page.
Good Samaritan Program
The Good Samaritan Program, created in 1965 as part of CalVCB, is intended to compensate Good Samaritans who suffered an injury or loss while in the act of preventing a crime, apprehending a criminal, helping a public safety officer, rescuing a victim or providing help after an incident where the victim’s life is in immediate danger.
A qualifying Good Samaritan can receive up to $10,000 for medical and dental expenses, mental health treatment, loss of income or support, funeral and burial costs and property damage. An applicant must be a private citizen, file a claim within a year of the incident and a state or local public safety or law enforcement agency needs to provide a statement verifying the facts of the incident and role of the Good Samaritan.
Missing Children Reward Program
CalVCB administers the Missing Children Reward Program. The purpose of this program is to assist local law enforcement and other parties involved in the recovery of missing children in California.
Awards are made upon recommendation of the Department of Justice in an amount not to exceed $500. The individual must provide information that leads to the location and recovery of a missing child that is listed with the Department of Justice, Missing Person Registry at the time of the recovery. A reward of non-state funds, equal or greater to $500, must first have been offered as a reward for information leading to the location of the missing child.
An application must be filed within six months from the date the missing child was recovered. The applicant does not qualify if they contributed to the disappearance, are related to the child or work for any organization involved in the recovery of missing persons.
The following bills were signed into California state law in Fiscal Year 2016–17:
AB 1563 (Rodriguez) ― Victim Compensation Program Appeals
This bill required the Victim Compensation Board to make a decision on a Victim Compensation Program appeal within six months of the date it was received, or to notify the appellant in writing that there is insufficient information to make a decision.
SB 1054 (Pavley) ― Restitution Orders: Collection
This bill clarified issues related to the collection of victim restitution from inmates sentenced to county jail pursuant to the Public Safety Realignment of 2011 and from inmates released from state prison on post-release community supervision or mandatory supervision.
SB 1134 (Leno) ― Finding of Factual Innocence
This bill required the Board to recommend an appropriation to the Legislature for compensation of an erroneous conviction claim if a court finds that the claimant is factually innocent.
SB 1324 (Hancock) ― Peer Counseling
This bill extended the sunset date for a provision that authorizes the Victim Compensation Program to provide reimbursement for sessions provided by a violence peer counselor. The provision had been scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2017 and was extended to January 1, 2019.