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West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund

Eligibility, Benefits, and Applications

Authority
Crimes Resulting in Personal Injury
Basic Eligibility Requirements
Who is Eligible to File an Application
Reimbursable Expense
Who is Not Eligible to Receive Compensation
Types of Losses Not Covered
Limits on Awards
Reimbursements from Other Sources
How to Apply
Time Limitations for Filing an Application
How the Application is Reviewed
Appeal Rights
How Awards are Made
Funding

Authority

The West Virginia Legislature enacted legislation (WV Code §14-2A) in 1981 creating the crime victims program within the West Virginia Court of Claims declaring that "a primary purpose of government is to provide for the safety of citizens and the inviolability of their property." This Act provides for compensation to innocent victims of crime who have suffered personal injury and who have incurred out-of-pocket losses as a result of criminally injurious conduct.


Crimes Resulting in Personal Injury


Basic Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for compensation, there must be a crime involving personal injury or death, with the following additional requirements:

Residency
Required

Who is Eligible to File an Application


Reimbursable Expenses

The Fund can reimburse the following expenses if they are incurred as a direct result of a crime as long as there are no other sources of reimbursement available.

Who is Not Eligible to Receive Compensation


Types of Losses Not Covered


Limits on Awards

The total of all reimbursement to or on behalf of a victim cannot exceed the maximum allowable benefits as set out below:

Victim Suffers INJURY
Victim Suffers DEATH

Reimbursement From Other Sources

By law, the Crime Victims Compensation Fund is the "payer of last resort". As such, if any other sources of reimbursement are available for the victim's/claimant's crime-related losses, such sources must be used before the victim/claimant becomes eligible for reimbursement from the Fund. Victims/claimants have the responsibility to inform the Fund of any reimbursement sources for their losses and are responsible for repayment of any amounts for which it was later determined they were not eligible. Other reimbursement sources that may be available include, but are not limited to:

How to Apply

A Crime Victims Compensation Fund application must be completed. Applications are available upon request from the Fund requestee's information or by calling the Fund at 1-877-562-6878 (within W.Va. only) or (304) 347-4850. Applications may be obtain from local county prosecuting attorney offices.

Claimants may also seek assistance from an attorney. Reasonable fees will be paid by the Fund at no cost to the claimant regardless of the outcome of the claim. Attorney's are paid from the Fund, not from awards.


Time Limitations for Filing Application

The application for an adult victim (18 years or older at the time of crime) must be filed with the Fund within two years of the crime.

The application for a minor victim (under 18 year of age at the time of the crime) must be filed with the Fund before the minor's 20th birthday.


How the Application is Reviewed

After receiving the application and related documentation, the claim is assigned to a claim investigator for review to determine eligibility. This involves verifying all of the information presented in the application. Witnesses to the crime, law enforcement officials, physicians, counselors, hospitals, and employers may be contacted for verification of the information presented.

Upon completion of the application review process, the claim investigator will file with the Court a Finding of Fact and Recommendation. A copy of the recommendation is sent to the claimant who may file a response within 30 days.

One of the three Court of Claims judges will review the Finding of Fact and Recommendation, all other documents in the file, and the claimant's response, if any. The judge will render a decision and a copy of the Order is sent to the claimant.


>Appeal Rights If the claimant disagrees with the judge's decision, the claimant is given 21 days to request a hearing. Another judge will preside over the appeal hearing, which is the final process.


How Awards are Made


>Funding All funding comes from court costs. No tax dollars are used.

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