Indiana Victim Compensation Fund

Employees should be made aware that if they choose to seek help, Indiana has a victim compensation fund (Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund) that assists victims or their dependents for certain costs incurred as a direct result of a violent crime. Indiana Code defines a violent crime as any felony or Class A misdemeanor that results in bodily injury or death to the victim. This includes, but is not limited to, domestic battery under Indiana Code § 35-42-2-1.3; intimidation under Indiana Code § 35-45-2-1; and criminal stalking under Indiana Code § 35-45-10-5. Requirements for the fund include: (1) the crime must have taken place in Indiana; (2) the victim must have incurred a minimum out-of-pocket loss of $100; (3) the crime must have been reported to the police within 72 hours of occurrence (Note: Victims of sexual assault don’t have to report the crime to law enforcement unless they choose to apply for compensation under the Victim Crime Fund for expenses not covered at the time a forensic exam was completed); (4) the victim or survivor must cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of the crime; (5) an application for benefits must be filed no later than 180 days after the crime occurred; and (6) medical expenses must be incurred within 180 days of the crime, but can be extended under certain circumstances. A maximum award of up to $15,000 may be available to help cover expenses resulting from any one injury or death. These expenses include: medical bills; up to $5,000 for funeral and burial or cremation expenses; up to $3,000 for outpatient mental health counseling; lost wages; under certain circumstances loss of support to legal dependents of an employed crime victim who is killed; reasonable child care services; limited attorney fees related to a successful appeal; and emergency shelter services. Emergency funding may be available to assist victims of crime who are faced with an immediate financial hardship resulting from the crime that has led to the need of services. An application must be filed before an emergency award determination is made. However, until your application is approved the employee will still be legally responsible for payment of bills associated with the crime. If the application is approved, they will be reimbursed for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. Applications are available online, by contacting your local law enforcement agency, or the Victim Services department of your county’s prosecutor’s office. Organizations that would like to request application forms should contact the Violent Crime Victim Compensation staff at 800-353-1484[1].

[1] http://www.in.gov/cji/2333.htm