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Crime Victim Compensation Facts

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions received by the Crime Victim Compensation Program:

Quick Facts

  • You do not need a lawyer to apply to the Crime Victim Compensation Program.
  • The program pays certain out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Funds for the program come entirely from the fines and and penalties paid by convicted criminals, not tax dollars.
  • The program is the payer-of-last-resort after insurance, other government programs, and other sources.
  • Eligibility determination may take eight weeks.
  • The program will pay benefits for eligible crime victims after all required verification is received.
  • The program does not cover property crime, property loss, legal fees, phone bills, meals, or pain and suffering.
  • Restitution from the offender is collected by the program only after any restitution owed to the victim is paid.
  • Restitution is not collected from an offender if the collection might cause danger or hardship to the victim.

Who Can Get Help?

  • Crime Victims who are physically or emotionally injured in a violent crime in Iowa.
  • Crime Victims injured in crimes of drunk, hit and run, or recklessness driving or boating; vehicular homicide, or the use of a vehicle as a weapon.
  • A victim’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, and person(s) residing in the household at the time of the crime.
  • Survivors of a homicide victim.
  • Iowans injured by a violent crime in a state or nation without a federally approved crime victim compensation program.
  • A person, regardless of income or resources, injured by a compensable crime in Iowa, who has certain out-of-pocket expenses related to the crime.

Which Application Should I Complete?

  • Primary Victim Applications are intended for the main victim who has been physically or emotionally injured in a violent crime in Iowa. Minor Primary Victims must have the the application completed by their parent or guardian. Victims who were killed by a violent crime in Iowa are also considered Primary Victims and should have a Primary Victim application completed by their next of kin. Primary Victim applications can be completed online, downloaded, or over the phone at 1-800-373-5044.
  • Secondary Victim Applications are intended for a Primary Victim's spouse, children, parents, siblings, and person(s) residing in the household at the time of the crime. To open a Secondary Victim application, we must have a Primary Victim application completed for the Primary Victim. Secondary Victim applications can be completed over the phone at 1-800-373-5044 or downloaded.
  • Homicide Survivor Applications are intended for survivors of a homicide victim. These survivors can include anyone related by blood or affinity to the deceased victim at the time of the crime. Affinity means the relationship of persons who are related by marriage, cohabitation, or engagement to be married. To open Homicide Survivor applications, we must have a Primary Victim application completed for the deceased victim by the next of kin. Homicide Survivor applications can be completed over the phone at 1-800-373-5044 or downloaded.

What Must I Do to Get Help?

  • You must report the crime to the appropriate local law enforcement agency within 72 hours, unless there is good cause for not doing so.
  • You must apply to the program within two years of the date of the crime, or show good cause for the delay.
  • You must cooperate with the reasonable attempts of law enforcement officers and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of the crime, unless there is good cause for not doing so.
  • You must NOT have consented to, provoked, or incited the crime committed against you.
  • You must NOT have been attempting, assisting, or committing a criminal act at the time of the crime that directly caused your injuries.

What are Covered Costs?

The program can pay your crime related bills not covered by insurance or other sources.  Compensation may be paid for out-of-pocket costs up to the amounts listed below:

*Compensation paid for more than two weeks of a crime victim's lost wages requires a disability statement. The disability statement must be completed and signed by a physician or licensed mental health practitioner who provided continued care for the victim.
**The program cannot pay for property loss, property repair, legal fees, phone bills, meals, or pain and suffering.

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