How Compensation Works

CalVCB offers several ways to apply for compensation:

Advocates are Available to Help!

Advocates work with victims and CalVCB throughout the compensation process.

Advocates are available to help victims with:

  • Complete an application.
  • Find emergency food, clothing, and shelter.
  • File a temporary restraining order.
  • Find other resources.

Emergency Award

An applicant may indicate emergency award on an application or bill. CalVCB can issue an emergency award if it’s determined the victim or derivative victim needs immediate assistance. An emergency award represents an advance of the final compensation amount. If CalVCB later denies the application or claim, the applicant must repay the emergency award.

Filing Limitations

Individuals must apply for compensation within seven years of the crime; seven years after the direct victim turns 21; or seven years from when the crime could have been discovered, whichever is later.

Under certain circumstances, the Board may grant an application extension. A victim must complete the Late Filing Consideration form and submit it with their application.

CalVCB may grant an extension if:

  • The prosecuting attorney recommends it based on the victim or derivative victim’s cooperation with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney to catch and prosecute the offender.
  • The victim or derivative victim experiences additional pecuniary loss during the prosecution or in the punishment of the offender.
  • A delay in reporting due to the nature of the crime.

Once CalVCB approves a victim’s application, another applicant may file a claim for compensation as a result of the same qualifying crime.

Application Review

CalVCB staff will review an application and all related documents, including the crime report, and may contact law enforcement, physicians, counselors, hospitals, employers and witnesses to verify an applicant’s injuries, losses and expenses. 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 is the payor of last resort and works with those organizations to pay crime-related expenses.

After review, 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.

For more information, watch the 15-minute CalVCB overview – English or the 15-minute CalVCB overview – Spanish course.

Quick Escape