We have assembled answers to the questions most frequently asked CalVCB. These answers do not cover every situation. Contact us if you have questions or concerns.
The following eligibility requirements must be met by the victim of the crime:
- Have been a California resident when the crime occurred, or the crime must have occurred in California. Nonresidents who are victimized in California may also apply.
- Cooperate reasonably with police and court officials to arrest and prosecute the offender; some exceptions may be considered.
- Cooperate with CalVCB staff to verify the application.
- Not have been involved in events leading to the crime or committed a crime that could be charged as a felony.
- File the application within seven years of the crime, seven years after the direct victim turns 21 years of age, or seven years from when the crime could have been discovered, whichever is later. If an application is filed late, the victim must complete the Late Filing Consideration form and submit it with their application.
A person may be eligible for the program, but CalVCB may not grant compensation until they have been released from a correctional institution; discharged from parole, probation, or post-release community supervision for a violent felony; or are not required to register as a sex offender, if any. The time for filing an application is still seven years from the date the crime occurred.
This is a list of crimes typically covered by CalVCB; however, other crimes may qualify:
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Battery (when there is injury or threat of injury)
- Child abuse
- Child sexual assault
- Child endangerment and abandonment
- Domestic violence
- Driving under the influence
- Elder Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Human Trafficking
- Online Harassment
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Unlawful sexual intercourse (where there is injury or threat of injury)
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Other crimes that result in physical injury or a threat of physical injury to the victim
Victims experienced a crime outside of California should file an application with that state, unless the offender is prosecuted in California. Other states’ compensation programs are considered a reimbursement source and CalVCB will verify a victim filed a claim in the state where the crime occurred. If the expenses are not covered by the other state and other reimbursement sources, then CalVCB may be able to assist.
For a listing of state compensation programs, visit the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards’ website at www.nacvcb.org.
Victims can request an emergency expense request in certain situations. CalVCB approves emergency expense requests based on substantial hardship and the immediate need for payment. Claimants must indicate an emergency expense request on their application in the emergency award section.
- Medical and medical-related expenses for the victim, including dental expenses.
- Outpatient mental health treatment or counseling.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Wage or income loss up to five years following the date of the crime. If the victim is permanently disabled, wage or income loss may be extended.
- Support loss for legal dependents of a deceased or injured victim.
- Up to 30 days wage loss for the parent or legal guardian of a minor victim who is hospitalized or dies as a direct result of a crime.
- Medically necessary renovation or retrofitting of a home or vehicle for a person permanently disabled as a result of the crime.
- Home security installation or improvements up to $1,000.
- In-patient psychiatric hospitalization costs under dire or exceptional circumstances.
- Relocation expenses up to $3,418 per household.
- Crime scene cleanup up to $1,709 when a crime occurs in a residence or vehicle.
- Veterinary fees, or replacement costs for a guide, signal or service dog. (GC § 13957(a)(10))
- Roundtrip mileage reimbursement from your residence to medical, dental or mental health appointments.
- Job retraining.
CalVCB may not pay for expenses that are not covered benefits, such as property damage, court fees and legal fees. CalVCB may also not cover other expenses related to the crime.
Additionally, CalVCB cannot pay any expenses incurred while a person is on parole, probation or post-release community supervision for a violent felony; incarcerated or required to register as a sex offender. This does not affect an application’s eligibility; however, it impacts when payment may be made.
Assistance is limited to the amount of out-of-pocket expenses or bills incurred by or on behalf of the victim or applicant that have not been reimbursed by other sources
The limits of various types of benefits are described below. For applications filed on or after January 1, 2017, the maximum amount CalVCB can reimburse is $70,000. For applications filed on or after January 1, 2001, the maximum amount CalVCB can reimburse is $63,000.
By law, CalVCB is the payer of last resort and can only make a payment after other sources of reimbursement are used. Other reimbursement sources include:
- Medical/health, dental, or vision insurance
- Public benefit programs (MediCal, unemployment insurance, Department of Rehabilitation or other disability benefits)
- Auto insurance
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Court-ordered restitution
- Civil lawsuit recoveries
- Life insurance
- Employer benefits
Applicants are responsible for informing CalVCB of all available reimbursement sources for their losses. Applicants must repay CalVCB for any payments for which it was later determined they were not eligible.
According to California law, CalVCB can only reimburse victims for crime-related expenses if there are no other sources of reimbursement. CalVCB is entitled to reimbursement if another funding source become available.
A claimant should file an application within seven years of the crime, seven years after the direct victim turns 21 years of age, or seven 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.
An applicant has a right to file an appeal if an application or expense is recommended for denial, or if any part of the claim is recommended for denial. An appeal must be filed within 45 days of the date the Board mailed the notice to deny the claim and/or expense.
In some cases, if new information is provided, the denial may be reconsidered immediately. Otherwise, most appeals are scheduled for a hearing before a Hearing Officer. This hearing will give the applicant the opportunity to present information supporting the claim. Hearings are not held to contest the denial of an emergency award.
If the applicant does not agree with the outcome of the Board’s final decision, a Petition for a Writ of Mandate may be filed in the Superior Court.
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