Survivors of sexual violence can receive up to $15,000 for physical injuries or up to $5,000 for emotional injuries through the Victim Compensation Program. Even if the survivor does not have expenses right now, they should still apply to the Victim Compensation Program. Once the Office of Victim Services approves, there is no time limit to use the funds.
There is a wide range of eligible reimbursements available to survivors. Some examples include reimbursement for private counseling or alternative healing modalities, medical or dental needs as a result of the assault, travel expenses to attend adult court proceedings, compensation for lost wages, and even installation costs for alarm systems and security lighting.
To start the process, survivors must only complete the Victim Info, Claimant Info, Crime Info, Statement of Facts, and Authorization/Signature sections. The Office of Victim Services will follow up to get the rest of the necessary information needed to process the claim. In cases of sexual assault, human trafficking, or domestic violence, Connecticut does not require a police report in order to apply to the Victim Compensation Program. Unlike many other states, disclosure to a certified sexual assault crisis counselor advocate is all that is needed.
If you have any questions about the Victim Compensation Program, contact the Office of Victim Services at 1-888-286-7347 or OVSCompensation@jud.ct.gov.
Información en Español
Who is eligible?
You may be eligible to receive victim compensation if you are a victim who suffered a physical injury; or a victim who suffered emotional injury from a threat of either physical injury or death and received treatment. Crimes include, for example, robbery, kidnapping, child pornography, unlawful sharing of an intimate image, voyeurism (being watched, photographed, or recorded without your knowledge and permission), stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking, dependent or the legally designated decision maker of a homicide victim; relative of a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, or homicide victim; a child who witnesses domestic violence (parent or legal guardian must file an application for a minor child (under the age of 18); a person who paid some or all of the funeral expenses; person who paid some or all of the crime scene clean-up expenses; person who missed time from work to provide care to a personal injury victim; and person who has a disability and owns or keeps a service animal that was injured or killed during a crime.
What are the requirements?
Eligibility requirements to receive victim compensation: You were injured during a crime or injured while helping police during a crime. You did not cause the crime or do anything illegal. You are cooperating with the police investigation; You are cooperating with the Victim Compensation Program.
The crime happened in Connecticut, or you live in Connecticut, and the crime happened in a country that does not have a victim compensation program that you are eligible for, and you were a victim of international terrorism or a victim of a crime that would be eligible for victim compensation in Connecticut.
The crime was reported to the police within five (5) days or within five (5) days of when a report could reasonably be made, or you are a victim of sexual assault, child abuse, or human trafficking and told certain medical providers, mental health providers, school personnel, or advocates about the crime; you went to a health care facility to have a sexual assault exam and evidence collection done; or a judge gave you a restraining order or a civil protection order, or you are a victim of domestic violence and told a domestic violence or sexual assault counselor about the crime, or a judge gave you a restraining order or a civil protection order.
You are filing the application within two (2) years of the date of the personal or emotional injury or death; Note: If the crime happened more than two (2) years from the date you are filing the application, you must also fill out the Application for Waiver of Two Year Filing Requirement and send it with your application.
Note: Connecticut does not require a police report in order for survivors of sexual violence to apply to the Victim Compensation Program. Unlike many other states, disclosure to a certified sexual assault crisis counselor advocate is all that is needed. Visit Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence’s website to find your member center and speak with an advocate today. They can help you apply to the Victim Compensation Program.
What expenses are covered?
The Victim Compensation Program may help pay for certain crime expenses and losses that are not covered by medical insurance, auto insurance, disability insurance, workers’ compensation, or other types of financial resources. The Compensation Benefits Chart has more information about these expenses, including the information the Victim Compensation Program needs to process applications and who is eligible to have their expenses paid.
Physical Injury (up to $15,000) – Medical, dental, counseling, and prescription expenses; Counseling for relatives of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse victims; Cosmetic and plastic surgery; Medical-related special needs such as medical equipment (wheelchair) and changes to a home (ramp) or vehicle; Lost wages because of crime-related injuries or care to a victim; Lost wages and travel expenses for you and your relatives to attend adult court proceedings; and Crime scene clean-up (up to $1,000) to any person who paid some or all of the expenses.
Emotional Injury (up to $5,000) – Medical, dental, counseling, and prescription expenses.
Survivor Benefits (up to $25,000) – Funeral (up to $6,000) to any person who paid some or all of the expenses; Loss of support for dependents and legally designated decision makers; Lost wages and travel expenses for relatives and dependents to attend adult court proceedings; Counseling for relatives and legally designated decision-makers; and Crime scene clean-up (up to $1,000) to any person who paid some or all of the expenses.
What expenses are not covered?
The Victim Compensation Program does not cover property loss or damage; pain and suffering, household living expenses; mileage to doctor appointments; and attorney fees. If an attorney files a victim compensation application for you, the Victim Compensation Program allows attorney fees of up to 15% of the compensation ordered.
Do I have to pay the money back?
If you receive money from any other financial resources because of the crime, the Office of Victim Services (OVS) is entitled to 2/3 of the amount the Victim Compensation Program paid. (Section 54-212 of the Connecticut General Statutes).
For example, if the Victim Compensation Program compensated you $15,000 and you receive a $40,000 insurance settlement for the same expenses paid by the Victim Compensation Program, then OVS is entitled to receive $10,000 from your settlement.
Examples of other financial resources include private or public health insurance; auto and homeowners insurance; insurance or civil lawsuit settlements; and workers’ compensation.
If the court orders the defendant to pay your financial losses (known as restitution) and the order includes the expenses that the Victim Compensation Program already paid, the OVS is entitled by state law to receive back all of the victim compensation paid for those expenses, unless the court orders differently (Section 54-215 of the Connecticut General Statutes).
How do I apply?
To apply for the Victim Compensation Program, please click on one of the following applications and follow the instructions. You may type your information directly in the application, but you must print out the application and sign and date it.
The completed, signed application(s) may be mailed, faxed, or emailed to:
Office of Victim Services
Victim Compensation Unit
225 Spring Street, 4th Floor
Wethersfield, CT 06109
If the crime happened more than two (2) years from the date you are filing the application, you must also fill out the Application for Waiver of Two-Year Filing Requirement and send it with your application.
Survivors of sexual violence only need to fill out the Victim Info, Claimant Info, Crime Info, and Statement of Facts and Authorization (signature) sections of the form to start processing the application. OVS will then follow up to get the rest of the necessary information needed to process the claim.
- Physical Injury Application
- Emotional Injury Application
- Survivor Benefits Application
- 2-year Application Waiver
What happens after my application is received?
The Office of Victim Services will mail a packet of information to you within ten (10) days after receiving your application. The packet has information on the Victim Compensation Program and other OVS programs that may be helpful to you, a victim rights booklet, a file folder for you to keep documents and information about your claim, and the name of your claims examiner.
Your claims examiner will review your application for the information needed to help decide if your claim is eligible for victim compensation. The claims examiner may contact the police, medical and mental health providers, your employer, insurance companies, and other agencies for more information. You may also be asked to provide documentation like pharmacy receipts and insurance information.
The review of the application is the longest part of the process. This process usually takes four (4) months but can take more time if your claims examiner is unable to get police reports or other information that is needed.
How will I know if I am eligible?
You will receive a determination letter in the mail that explains if your claim is or is not eligible for victim compensation. If your claim is eligible, the letter will list the bills that will be paid and who will receive payment. Payments may be made directly to you and to your service providers. If you have an attorney representing you on your claim for victim compensation, your attorney will receive the payment and be responsible for paying the bills listed on the letter. Your attorney has the right by state law to keep 15% of the compensation ordered for his or her services.
To accept compensation, you must sign and date the Claim of Compensation form that came with the determination letter and sent it to OVS within forty-five (45) days from the date of the determination. After this form is received by OVS, it usually takes four to six (4-6) weeks for a check to be mailed from the State Comptroller’s Office.
What if I do not agree with the determination?
You have a right by state law to request a review of the OVS determination by a Victim Compensation Commissioner. You will need to fill out the Request for Review form that was sent with the determination letter and send it to OVS within thirty (30) days from the date of the determination. It can take one to two (1-2) months for your review to be held. OVS will send the Commissioner’s decision within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date the Commissioner closes the review hearing.
What if I need additional help?
As a reminder, the Victim Compensation Program is not a program of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. It is a program of the Office of Victim Services. If you have questions about the application process or need help filling out the application, please call the Victim Compensation Program Unit at 1-888-286-7347 or email at OVSCompensation@jud.ct.gov.
What if the crime happened elsewhere?
If the crime did not happen in Connecticut, please visit the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Board‘s website for contact information to the victim compensation program of the state where the crime happened.