Victim Compensation

If you are reading this, chances are you or someone close to you has been a victim of a crime. This program helps pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost earnings, funeral bills, or financial support for people who suffer physical injury as a direct result of a crime.


CAN YOU BE HELPED?

Yes, if you are:

  • A person who was injured as a direct result of a crime in Michigan.
  • A person who was injured while trying to help a crime victim.
  • A surviving spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, or sister of a person who dies as a direct result of a crime.
  • A Michigan resident injured in another state that doesn't pay compensation for a non-resident.
  • A Michigan resident injured outside the U.S. by an act of international terrorism.

WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL HELP MAY BE AVAILABLE?

Injury-related expenses that a person must legally pay and other eligible losses that can be provided with supporting papers and other evidence.

For the injured person:

  • Hospital bills and medical expenses.
  • Loss of earnings, rehab, and remedial services.
  • Counseling for the injured person and family members.
  • Replacement services needed because of the person's injury.

For a survivor:

  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Loss of support for legal dependents of the person who died.
  • Grief counseling for the family.
  • Hospital and medical bills for the person who died if the survivors must legally pay them.

A person must have at least $200 in out-of-pocket expenses or two continuous weeks' loss of earnings or support. These limits are excused for retired or disabled persons and for emergency room medical exams of rape victims


LIMITS ON PAYMENTS

  • $15,000 is the maximum payment.
  • $200 a week is the maximum payment for lost earnings or support.
  • $2000 is the maximum funeral payment. This may include $500 for grief counseling for the spouse, children, parents, or brothers and sisters of the person who died.
  • 26 hours of psychological counseling for the injured person at up to $80 an hour for a licensed therapist or counselor. Up to $95 an hour for a licensed psychologist or physician.

WHAT'S NOT COVERED?

  • Property loss or damage.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Crime scene clean-up.
  • Relocation costs, living expenses, or the costs of participating in a trial.
  • Loss of earnings for an injured person's family members.
  • In traffic cases crime victims compensation is limited to the unpaid balance on funeral expenses after no-fault insurance pays.

ABOUT OTHER BENEFITS

Crime Victims Compensation always pays last. All other public funds and private insurance payments that a person is eligible for or becomes eligible for must be paid and reported to the program before compensation can be considered.

Important:

  • A report must be made to police within 48 hours after the injury unless there is a good reason for a delay or the injured person is a child.
  • The victim must be willing to cooperate with the police and the prosecutor.
  • A person cannot have committed or be an accomplice to the crime.
  • Inmates are not eligible.
  • A claim will be rejected if the victim caused the injury or was doing something illegal and dangerous at the time of injury.

HOW TO GET AN APPLICATION

Applications are available from the commission's office, county prosecuting attorneys, victim assistance agencies, state police posts, and other agencies and care providers. Send the fully completed application to:

Crime Victim Services Commission
320 South Walnut
Lansing, MI 48913
517-373-7373

WHEN SHOULD YOU FILE YOUR CLAIM?

  • Within one year of the date of the injury.
  • Claims for child abuse should be filed within one year of the report to the police and before the child's 19th birthday.
  • When the cause of injury is first thought to be accidental or natural and then discovered to be criminal, the claim must be filed within one year of the discovery.
  • A longer time to file a claim will be allowed after a written request shows good reason. Good reason could be that the victim was a child or injuries were more serious than first thought or if someone helping the victim didn't follow through with the claim.
  • You don't have to wait until the investigation or trial is over.
  • You don't need a lawyer. If you use a lawyer, it is at your own expense.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO SEND IN?

  • A fully completed application.
  • Itemized copies of all bills you want to claim. If you will need more medical treatment, see if your doctor can give a written estimate of future expenses.
  • If you have insurance or Medicare, send copies of your insurance benefit statements for all expenses.
  • For lost earnings, send copies of recent payroll check stubs and a disability statement from your doctor.
  • For burial assistance, send a copy of the signed itemized funeral bill.
  • For counseling, ask your therapist for the assessment, a treatment plan, and an itemized billing or estimate. Your therapist can send in the claim for you, if they wish.
  • For loss of support, send check stubs or the last tax return of the person who died, the social security survivor's benefit and life insurance statements.
  • If you're not sure what to send, just send in your completed application and we'll let you know what is needed.

HERE'S HOW THE CLAIM PROCESS WORKS

  • Your application is looked over for completeness. Be sure to complete all sections. An inaccurate form will be returned to you with a list of the papers and other information needed.
  • Your claim is assigned a claim number and we notify your Prosecuting Attorney that you filed a claim. We send for police reports and other papers we may need.
  • All papers and records received in our office are reviewed by a claim specialist. How long it takes depends on how accurate and complete your application is, and how long it takes to get other information we need to investigate.
  • You will receive a written decision with the record and findings of your claim. If your claim is approved, the decision will show itemized payments and payments will be made within a few days. If you owe money to your medical providers, we will pay the providers. If your claim is denied, the legal reason for the denial will be explained to you.

WHAT IF YOUR CLAIM IS TURNED DOWN?

You have 30 days to write to us to disagree. You may ask for a review of the file or a hearing before the commission in Lansing. The decision by the commission is final.


CONFIDENTIALITY

A person's papers and testimony before the commission are private. We may tell only whether a person's claim was approved or denied. Any other information will only be released by a court order.
 


WHO PAYS?

Money to support this service is paid by criminal defendants convicted in Michigan's courts. The state also receives money to help crime victims from criminal fines collected in federal courts.


DON'T GIVE FALSE INFORMATION

It's a crime to give false information to try to get money from the state. Many safeguards are in place to protect crime victim funds. We will forcefully pursue the arrest and conviction of anyone trying to cheat crime victims from the money the State of Michigan provides for them.

Victim's Rights are protected by the Constitution of the State of Michigan. See your Prosecuting Attorney for more information.


 
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