CalVCP FAQ — Applying for Compensation
How do I apply for compensation?
There are several ways to apply for compensation:
- Contact your local Victim Witness Assistance Center for help.
- Download an application, print it, and mail it in.
- Call 1-800-777-9229 to receive an application by mail or to get help with applying.
An applicant may request an emergency award for reimbursement of any eligible expense if the Board determines that such an award is necessary to avoid or mitigate substantial hardship that may result from delaying compensation until complete and final consideration on an application. If granted, an Emergency Award represents an advance pending the final award of compensation. The amount of the Emergency Award shall be dependent upon the immediate needs of the victim or derivative victim subject to the rates and benefit limitations established by the Board. The applicant must repay any amount awarded on the Emergency Award if the regular application is later found to be ineligible for CalVCP.
What are the time limitations for filing an application?
An application for CalVCP compensation should be filed within three years of the crime, three years after the direct victim turns 18 years of age, or three years from when the crime could have been discovered, whichever is later. Also, 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.
Under certain circumstances, the Board may grant an extension of this time period for good cause. If an application is filed late, the victim must complete the Late Filing Consideration Form and submit it with their application. Some of the reasons an extension may be granted include:
- A recommendation from the prosecuting attorney regarding the victim's or derivative victim's cooperation with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney in the apprehension and prosecution of the person charged with the crime.
- Whether particular events occurring during the prosecution or in the punishment of the person convicted of the crime have resulted in the victim or derivative victim incurring additional pecuniary loss.
- Whether the nature of the crime is such that a delayed reporting of the crime is reasonably excusable.
For crimes on or after January 1, 2002, a family member or other applicant may file an application at any time after the Board has accepted the application filed by or on behalf of a victim of the same qualifying crime.
A parent with legal custody, guardian, conservator, or relative caregiver may sign an application filed on behalf of a minor or victim. However, an eligible minor victim or derivative victim may sign the CalVCP application on his or her own behalf in certain circumstances.
How is the application reviewed?
After receiving an application and related documentation, including a complete crime report, CalVCP staff reviews the information to determine if the victim and/or the applicant are eligible for assistance. Law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of the crime, physicians, counselors, hospitals, employers, and witnesses to the crime may be contacted for verification of the injuries, losses, and expenses incurred as a result of the crime.
Upon completion of the application review process, staff makes a written recommendation to the Board to approve or deny the claim. Recommendations are generally made within 90 days of receiving the application.