CalVCB FAQ: Eligibility
What is the Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB)?
The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) can help victims of violent crime and their families deal with the emotional, physical, and financial aftermath of crime. Victims can apply for compensation by filing an application with CalVCB.
Who is eligible for compensation?
To be eligible for compensation, a person must be a victim of a qualifying crime involving physical injury, threat of physical injury or death. For certain crimes, emotional injury alone is all that needs to be shown. Certain family members or other loved ones who suffer an economic loss resulting from an injury to, or death of, a victim of a crime may also be eligible for compensation.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements. The victim must:
- Have been a California resident when the crime occurred, or the crime must have occurred in California.
- 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 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. If an application is filed late, the victim must complete the Late Filing Consideration Form and submit it with their application.
People in the following categories are generally eligible for compensation. If you are not sure whether or not you might qualify, please call us at 1-800-777-9229.
Applications may be filed by:
- A person who is physically injured, threatened with physical injury or, in some cases, emotional injury, as a result of a crime or act of terrorism that occurred in the State of California.
- A California resident or member of the military stationed in California who is a victim of a qualifying crime, wherever it occurs.
- An eligible family member or other specified persons who were legally dependent on the victim.
- A parent, sibling, spouse, or child of the victim.
- The fiancé(e) of the victim at the time of the crime or another family member of the victim who witnessed the crime.
- A grandparent or grandchild of the victim at the time of the crime.
- A person living with the victim at the time of the crime, or who had previously lived with the victim for at least two years in a relationship similar to a parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, child, or grandchild of the victim.
- A minor who witnesses a crime of domestic violence or who resides in a home where domestic violence occurs.
- Anyone who pays or assumes legal liability for a deceased victim's medical, funeral, or burial expenses, or anyone who pays for the costs of crime scene clean-up for a homicide that occurred in a residence or vehicle.
- A person who is the primary caretaker of a minor victim when treatment is rendered.
Who is not eligible?
- Persons who commit the crime.
- Persons who were involved in the events leading to the crime or committed a crime that could be charged as a felony; some exceptions may be considered.
- Persons who do not cooperate reasonably with a law enforcement agency in the apprehension and conviction of a criminal committing the crime; some exceptions may be considered.
- A person may not be granted 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 three years from the date the crime occurred.
What are examples of crimes that are typically covered?
- 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
- Hit and run
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Unlawful sexual intercourse (where there is injury or threat of injury)
- Online Harassment
- Other crimes that result in physical injury or a threat of physical injury to the victim
What if I’m involved in a crime outside of California?
Victims who have incurred expenses due to a crime outside of California should file an application with that state, unless the offender is prosecuted in California (for example, for internet crimes). CalVCB may also be able to help with out-of-state crimes if the victim was a California resident at the time of the crime. Other states' compensation programs are considered a reimbursement source and CalVCB will verify that you filed a claim in the state where the crime occurred. For a listing of state compensation programs, visit the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards' website at www.nacvcb.org.
What if I need financial assistance right away?
Victims can request an emergency award in certain situations. Emergency awards are made based on substantial hardship and the immediate need for payment. Emergency awards are most often obtained to cover relocation or funeral/burial expenses. You must indicate this on your application in the emergency award section.