Being a victim of a violent crime can be a devastating experience. More often than not, the aftermath of what happened may cause you and your family emotional, financial, and physical damage. For instance, payment of medical costs, lost income, and other related expenses may be too much to handle, especially if you’re dealing with trauma and other psychological effects. This is where the victim’s compensation program enters the picture.
Essentially, a victims’ compensation program refers to a government program that helps crime victims and their families to cover the financial costs of what happened. These expenses can include medical treatment, loss of income, counseling, funerals, and many more. Although some patients are protected from sudden medical expenses, individuals victimized by crime may still seek compensation for some financial costs.
Thus, if you think you’re qualified to recover from the victims’ compensation program financially, keep reading this article to learn more about the eligibility requirements.
Who Are Eligible Under TheVictims’ Compensation Program?
Since the victims’ compensation program is designed to provide compensation for crime victims, it’sessential to determine the eligibility requirements. That way,you’llknow whether you can get compensated for all the costs associated with being a crime victim.
To better identify who’s eligible or not, you need to determine whether you’re a victim or a claimant. If you’re a crime victim, the following individuals are qualified under the program:
· A victim who died or was mentally or physically injured because of the crime;
· A person who helped a victim at the time the crime was committed and, as a result, was injured or dead;
· Individuals who responded to a crime but got injured or died as a result thereof.
Now that you know the qualified victims, the next thing is to get familiar with the eligible claimants under the victims’ compensation program. Typically, a claimant, other than the victim, is an individual who meets the following criteria:
· Has the authority to act on behalf of a victim who’s incapacitated, minor, or deceased;
· Has legal responsibility to pay crime-related bills and other expenses;
· Known to be a dependent of a victim who died when the crime was committed;
· A household member who needs crime-related mental health care.
However, it’s important tonote that an agency, a business entity, or an organization cannot become a claimant under the said program.
On the other hand, aside from the persons qualified to become a victim and claimant, you also need to learn other eligibility requirements. To make sure you receive compensation for some crime-related costs, it would be best if you meet the following:
· The crime involved should take place in a place where the victim or claimant is a resident. It should also occur in a country that doesn’t provide a victims’ compensation program.
· There must be a reporting of the crime to a proper law enforcement agency.
· The crime victim or the claimant should cooperate with the law enforcement investigation about the crime.
· The victim or claimant should apply for the program within the required period from the date of the commission of the crime unless there’s a good reason why they fail to do so.
· The victim or claimant didn’t participate in the crime covered, committed any illegal activity when the crime was committed, didn’t provide false information, and didn’t share responsibility for the crime.
As you can see, there are many things to consider before receiving compensation for your situation. Unfortunately, understanding these requirements can be challenging and confusing, especially if the crime involved is a heinous one, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack. This is one reason why working with an experienced victims’ compensation program can be a good idea. To know more about this, you can visit wtcvictimfund.com for more information.
How Can One Apply ForAVictims’ Compensation Program?
By now, you already know who’s eligible for a victims’ compensation program. The next step is to familiarize the application process. These can include:
· You can choose whether to apply online or by mail. You can fill up a form on the website and submit the supporting documents for an online application. For those processed by mail, you can download a paper application form from the portal or request an application from the program.
· Once the application is processed, you need to get ready with some valuable pieces of information, including the crime, crime-related costs, injuries, and many more. By providing this information, you can increase your chances of getting compensated. But in case you have a hard time seeking compensation, you may consider hiring a good lawyer for assistance.
Depending on the extent or severity of the crime, being a victim can be traumatic emotionally, financially, and physically. However, recovering compensation under this program is never easy. You need to be completely eligible for you to get compensated for all the crime-related costs you incurred. Therefore, to help you find out if you’re qualified, keep this information mentioned above, and you’re good to go.