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Texas Crime Victim Compensation

Basic Qualification Requirements

Residency
  • The crime must occur in Texas to a Texas resident or a United States resident, or
  • The crime must involve a Texas resident who becomes a victim in another state or country that does not have crime victims' compensation benefits for which the victim would be eligible.

Reporting the Crime
The crime must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency within a reasonable period of time, but not so late as to interfere with or hamper the investigation and prosecution of the crime.

Filing for Compensation
You must file the application within three years from the date of the crime. The time may be extended for good cause, including the age of the victim or the physical or mental incapacity of the victim.

Cooperation
A claim may be denied or reduced if the claimant or victim has not cooperated with the appropriate law enforcement agencies.


Who May Qualify
  • An innocent victim of crime who suffers physical and/or emotional harm or death
  • an authorized individual acting on behalf of a victim
  • a person who legally assumes the obligations or voluntarily pays certain expenses related to the crime on behalf of the victim
  • a dependent of a victim
  • an immediate family member or household members related by blood or marriage who require psychiatric care or counseling as a result of the crime
  • an intervener who goes to the aid of the victim or a peace officer
  • a peace officer, fire fighter, or individual whose employment includes the duty of protecting the public

What Crimes are Covered
Crimes involving "criminally injurious conduct," which is defined as conduct that occurs or is attempted, poses a substantial threat of personal injury or death and is, or would be, punishable by fine, imprisonment or death. This includes sex offenses, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, assaultive offenses, arson, homicide and other violent crimes in which the victim suffers physical or emotional harm or death.

The following motor-vehicle-related crimes are also covered: Failure to Stop and Render Aid, DWI, Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Intoxication Manslaughter and Intoxication Assault. 

Who Is Not Eligible
Benefits may be reduced or denied if the behavior of the victim contributed to the crime.
Benefits shall be denied if the victim or claimant:
  • knowingly or willingly participated in the crime
  • is the offender or accomplice of the offender
  • was incarcerated in a penal institution at the time of the crime
  • knowingly or intentionally submits false or forged information to the attorney general

An award of compensation to the claimant or victim will be denied if it would benefit the offender or an accomplice of the offender.

What Expenses are Eligible
Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000. These funds may be paid to the victim/claimant or to service providers on behalf of the victim. Approved claims may be awarded compensation for the following expenses related to the crime:
  • medical, hospital, physical therapy or nursing care
  • psychiatric care or counseling
  • loss of earnings or support
  • loss of wages due to participation in, or attendance at, the investigation, prosecutorial and judicial processes, and travel
  • care of a child or a dependent
  • funeral and burial expenses
  • crime scene clean-up
  • replacement costs for clothing, bedding, or property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as a result of the investigation
  • reasonable attorney fees for assistance in filing the Crime Victims' Compensation application and in obtaining benefits, if the claim is approved
  • loss of wages and travel to seek medical treatment
  • one time relocation expenses for domestic violence victims or for those sexual assault victims attacked in their own residence

In the case of catastrophic injuries resulting in a total and permanent disability, the victim may be eligible for $75,000 in benefits for:
  • making a home or car accessible
  • job training and vocational rehabilitation
  • training in the use of special appliances
  • home health care
  • reimbursement of lost wages

Reimbursement for property damage or theft is not an eligible expense. 

Other Sources
The Crime Victims' Compensation Fund is the "payer of last resort." It is a secondary source that pays for certain out-of-pocket expenses the victim would be responsible for as a result of the crime. Any other available resources would have to pay before any payment by the Crime Victims' Compensation program. 

How to Apply
Every law enforcement agency in Texas is required to provide victims of crime with information about the Crime Victims' Compensation program and an application. Applications are also available from prosecutors' offices. Hospitals and medical centers may also have applications. 
You may also get an application directly from the Crime Victims' Compensation Program in the Office of the Attorney General by calling 1-800-983-9933

(Information provided by the Texas Attorney General)

City of Wharton
120 East Caney Street
Wharton, Texas 77488
Phone: (979) 532-2491

Wharton Volunteer Fire Department
319 N. Fulton St.
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-4811 Ext 400

info@whartonfire.com

Wharton Police Department
1407 N Richmond Rd

Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3131

City of Wharton Civic Center
1924 N Fulton St.
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-2491 Ext 600
Wharton Emergency Management
1407 N Richmond Rd.
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-4811 Ext 570
 
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