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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.
  • Survivors of a homicide victim.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 a just 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.
  • 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.  You may be assisted with 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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