How To Get Compensated

Getting compensated for the cost of recovery requires a few steps. You can do these steps yourself, or get help from a victims advocate. Immediate cash aid is available if you need it.

On this page:

Steps to apply

Step 1: See if you’re eligible

  • You must be a victim, have a relationship with a victim, or be a Good Samaritan affected by a qualifying crime.
  • You must apply within filing limitations:
    • Within 7 years of the crime, or
    • Within 7 years of the direct victim turning 21, or
    • Within 7 years of when the crime could have been discovered – whichever is later.

Step 2: Apply for compensation

Some applications filed later than this may be considered. File a Late Consideration Form if that is the case.

Emergency Assistance: Tell us if you have an urgent need on an application or bill. CalVCB issues emergency award in some cases. This award is an advance on the final compensation amount. If CalVCB later denies the application or claim, you must repay the emergency award.

Step 3: Check for approval

Don’t check too early. Applications can take 90 days to process.

  • If you applied online:
    • Login to CalVCB Online
      • You’ll find application status on the Applications tab
  • If you applied with a victims advocate:
    • Check that your advocate has submitted your application
      • If they haven’t, CalVCB won’t have a decision yet
      • If they have, you’ll get confirmation by mail. Later, you’ll get a decision by mail.
  • If you applied yourself:

Step 4: Submit bills

If your application is approved, you must send CalVCB proof of the costs of recovery so you can be reimbursed. Only certain documents are accepted as proof.

  • If you applied online:
    • Login to CalVCB Online
    • Click Upload
    • Follow the prompts to upload your bills
    • Be sure to choose a document type under Expenses
  • If you applied with a victims advocate:
    • Take your bills to your advocate. They will submit them for you.
  • If you applied yourself:
    • Fax your bills to 866-902-8669, or
    • Email them to, or
    • Mail them to CalVCB, PO Box 3036, Sacramento, CA 95812-3036
    • Include your name and application number

Get help applying

Victims advocates can file an application for you. They work with you and CalVCB throughout the compensation process.

Advocates can also help you:

  • Find emergency food, clothing, and shelter
  • File a temporary restraining order
  • Get other aid

Find a victims advocate near you at your local Witness Assistance Center.

How we review your application

Staff will review your application and all related documents, including the crime report.  We verify your injuries, losses, and expenses. We may contact:

  • Law enforcement
  • Doctors
  • Counselors
  • Hospitals
  • Employers
  • Witnesses

After review, our staff makes a recommendation to the Board to approve or deny the claim. Recommendations are usually made within 90 days of getting the application.

To get a claim processed faster, applicants should:

  • Complete every section of the application
  • Include copies of crime reports, bills, receipts, and other related documents
  • Send crime-related bills to the insurance company, workers’ compensation carrier, or Medi-Cal immediately. CalVCB works with those organizations to pay crime-related expenses.

Our review process
For more details, watch our explanation videos (15 minutes each)

Related info

Who is eligible →

What is covered →

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