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Victim Info


AKRON VICTIM ASSISTANCE
http://www.concentric.net/~Vap1/

Crime Victims Compensation Program Details

Duty of the Attorney General

The Attorney General is required by law to investigate all applications filed for compensation due to certain violent crimes and determine the applicant's total out of pocket expenses not recoverable from any other source of payment (collateral sources). Upon completion of the investigation, the Attorney General files a Finding of Fact and Recommendation with the Ohio Court of Claims.

It is the Court of Claims that actually decides whether or not an award is to be granted. The Attorney General represents the Reparations Fund in any appeals of claims. Refer to Ohio Revised Codes 2743.58, 2743.59 and 2743.61 to read the Ohio laws which describe the Attorney General's duties.

 Eligibility

 Who is Eligible?

  • An innocent victim of a violent crime (including a victim of a drunk driver)
  • A dependent of a deceased victim 
  • A parent or guardian of a crime victim if you pay the victim's expenses
  • Someone who has taken legal responsibility to pay the expenses due to the crime.

 Who is Not Eligible?

  • A person who has been convicted of a felony within 10 years prior to the date of the crime that is the basis for a claim
  • A person who is convicted of a felony during the pendency of the claim
  • A person who is proved to have engaged in, within 10 years prior to the criminal incident that gave rise to the claim or during the pendency of the claim, conduct that would constitute a felony under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States;
  • Anyone incarcerated in a penal institution (jail, prison) while injured
  • A victim or claimant who was engaged in illegal activity at the time of the crime
  • An offender or accomplice of the offender
  • If it is determined that a victim's own behavior contributed to the crime, benefits may be reduced or denied.

 Basic Qualification Requirements

Residency

  • Ohio residents at the time of the criminally injurious conduct; or
  • Residents of other United States at the time of the criminally injurious conduct if they were injured in Ohio; or
  • Residents of a foreign country which has a reciprocal victims program

Reporting the Crime

  • The crime must be reported to a law enforcement agency within 72 hours after the incident. If not reported within 72 hours, you must show good reason for the delay.

Filing for Compensation

  • The claim must be filed within two (2) years from the date the crime occurred. The only exception is for people who were juveniles when they became a victim. Minor victims have until their 20th birthday to file a claim.

 Responsibilities of the Claimant

  • The victim and/or claimant must cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosection of the criminal case against the offender.
  •  The Attorney General's office may ask you or your attorney to provide certain information or documentation in order to properly investigate your claim and make a fair recommendation to the Court of Claims, and cooperation during the investigation is required.

 Benefit Limits

The maximum award of benefits available to each victim and/or claimant per incident of criminally injurious conduct shall not exceed $50,000. This amount includes any awards made for an original application and supplemental applications, if any.

 What Expenses are Eligible for Victims Compensation?

  • Reasonable medical, prescription and rehabilitation expenses
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Funeral Expenses up to $2,500
  • Loss of earnings from employment
  • Eyeglasses or other corrective lens replacement
  • Dental Work or denture replacement
  • Replacement Services Loss
  • Dependent's Economic Loss
  • Dependent's Replacement Services Loss
  • Ambulance Services
  • Other expenses which are deemed necessary for the remedial care and treatment of the victim

Collateral Sources

Other sources may include, but are not limited to:

  • health insurance
  • workers' compensation
  • disability
  • Social Security
  • welfare
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid, and
  • civil recovery and restitution from the offender

How is the Application Reviewed?

After receiving an application and related documentation, the Attorney General's Crime Victims Services office reviews the information to see if the crime, the victim and/or claimant are eligible for the program. This process involves verifying all the information pursuant to the Crime Victims Reparations law. Claimants will be assigned an investigator, who will review and gather the necessary information about the claim. The Attorney General is then required to make a recommendation to the Court of Claims within 120 days of the filing of the claim; however, in certain cases, extensions beyond the 120 period may be requested and granted. In some cases where the victim has died, there can be a two year stay of proceedings, which allows time for all eligible claimants to file a claim for reparations.

 How is an Award Determined?

The Attorney General sends a recommendation to the Court of Claims for an award or denial of the claim. A Single Commissioner will then make a decision and the claimant will be notified of the decision.

 Appeal Rights

If the Single Commissioner makes a decision with which the claimant or the Attorney General disagrees, an appeal may be made to the Panel of Commissioners. If the outcome of the Panel's decision is not satisfactory, a final appeal may be made to the Judge of the Court of Claims.

Attorney Representation

You may wish to have an attorney of your choice represent you in the claim process. An attorney cannot charge you for representation in a compensation claim. The Compensation Fund will pay attorney fees related to the application. If you do not have an attorney and need a referral, please contact your local Bar Association.