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How to Request Money from the California Victim Compensation Board

Camila Lopez - California - August 26, 2022

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Has your car been damaged after a hit and run? You may be able to qualify for financial assistance from the California Victim Compensation Board. The California Victim Compensation Board is a state program that financially helps victims of crime. In this article, learn about:

  • What is the California Victim Compensation Board?

  • Who is Eligible for Compensation with the California Victim Compensation Board?

  • How much time do you have to submit an application to the CalVCB?

  • What are some examples of crimes that qualify for CalVCB assistance?

  • CalVCB Application

California Victim Compensation Board ("CalVCB")

What is the California Victim Compensation Board?

The California Victim Compensation Board, or CalVCB, is a state program that pays for expenses that victims or their families had to take on as a result of a violent or qualifying crime. If you qualify, you can submit an application and may be entitled to some level of compensation to help pay for the costs incurred.

Who is Eligible for Compensation with the California Victim Compensation Board?

To be eligible for money from the California Victim Compensation Board, here is how to qualify:

  • At the time of the crime, you were a California resident or the crime happened in California.

  • You must reasonably cooperate with law enforcement and the courts to bring the person who caused the crime to justice.

  • You must cooperate with the California Victim Compensation Board.

  • You have no involvement with the crime or the events leading up to the crime.

  • At the time the crime that you are requesting compensation for, you cannot have a committed a crime that could be charged as a felony.

Keep in mind that the CalVCB is the "payor of last resort" meaning that if you can receive money from other sources like the person who committed the crime, insurance or other public benefits, then you don't qualify for assistance from CalVCB.

How much time do you have to submit an application to the CalVCB?

  • Within 7 years of the crime,

  • Within 7 years after you turn 21, or

  • Within 7 hears from when the crime could have been discovered.

If you file the CalVCB application late, you must also complete the Late Filing Consideration form and submit it with your application.

What are some examples of crimes that qualify for CalVCB assistance?

First, you must be the victim or family of the victim of a crime where you were of one of the qualifying crimes that resulted in physical injury, or the possibility of injury and even death. There are very few exceptions in which emotional injury is enough to make you eligible.

Here are some examples of crimes that may qualify for CalVCB assistance:

  • When a drunk driver hits your car.

  • When you have been a victim of a hit and run.

  • When you have been sexually assaulted.

What are examples of expenses I can receive CalVCB assistance for?

  • Medical bills

  • Funeral and burial expenses

  • Wages or income loss related to a disability you have as a result of the crime.

Here are some examples of what you cannot receive CalVCB assistance for:

  • Personal property unless it is medically necessary like eyeglasses.

  • Money for pain and suffering (there are some exceptions).

CalVCB Application

Using the California Victim Compensation Board portal linked here, you can begin the process of your application.

Once you submit your initial application, you can create an online account to enter all the information required and receive assistance throughout the process. Through the portal, you can submit all bills and documents that are needed to show how much aid you require as a result of the crime. CalVCB has a customer support department built into their online program to answer questions and help guide you through the process if it is needed.

If you need additional assistance, you may call the CalVCB phone number 800-777-9229. For a full list of crimes covered and more information about eligibility visit the CalVCB website here.

Can I still Sue in Civil Court?

If you qualify for aid under CalVCB and are waiting on a response, or have already received aid, you can still file a civil suit. However, when doing a breakdown of the amount of money you are requesting, you cannot sue for an expense that CalVCB has granted you money for, this includes if you have requested aid and are waiting to hear back.

Chief Legal Architect & Co-Founder @ People Clerk. Camila is an attorney, consumer advocate, and certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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