Wisconsin’s Crime Victim Compensation Program
Remember that thick stack of pamphlets you received from the District Attorney’s office after your child’s abuser was charged with their crime. First, hold on to all of these pamphlets. They may be lengthy. You may not want to read them right now. But, they can help shed light on things that are about to take place.
Among all those pamphlets, there’s one pamphlet that can potentially bring some relief – and it has nothing to do with court. It’s the Crime Victim Compensation Program (we’ll just call it CVC). Yes, the other pamphlets are very important as well. They inform you and your family of your rights (or, let’s be honest, lack thereof) as a victim of a terrible crime, and they outline court processes and the stages of trial.
But, CVC is all about helping victims retain some stability in their pocketbook. Let’s break it down.
WHO: The CVC is a program through the Wisconsin Department of Justice and all administration takes place at the State level.
WHAT: In their words, “Victims of violent crime and family or household members of deceased victims may have significant out-of-pocket expenses through no fault of their own. Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) helps pay for unreimbursed eligible expenses that result from the crime.”
WHEN: The key here is swiftness. Just send in the application and get the account started with the DOJ. Medical bills and records can be sent as they come in. “By statute, the crime victim compensation application must be filed with the Department of Justice within 1 year of the date of the crime. However, there are circumstances in which this requirement may be waived. If the application is not filed within 1 year, attach a written statement explaining the reason for the delay. Do not wait until court is over or until medical treatment is completed to send in your application.”
If the expense is covered and compensation approved, you may not receive a check immediately. Keep working with the healthcare providers for payments in the meantime. But, at least you’ll know help is on the way.
WHERE: All correspondence for our compensation took place via phone, email and mail.
WHY: This program is all about helping victims. Unless you plan on receiving another form of compensation for the monetary loss (through a lawsuit, insurance settlement, etc.), victims and their families do not have to pay back for the compensation.
And, I bet hearing that alone is peace of mind.