Assisting crime victims

Crime Victims FAQ's

We have developed answers to frequently-asked questions in the following areas:

Who may file a claim for financial assistance? (top)

In Idaho, an application for benefits under the Crime Victims Compensation Act may be filed by:

  • A victim
  • The spouse or children of a deceased victim
  • Authorized persons, such as a parent or legal guardian of a victim who is a minor

What are the conditions for eligibility? (top)

To be eligible to receive financial assistance, the following conditions must be met:

  • The crime must have been committed in the state of Idaho after July 1, 1986. (Victims of crime occurring in other states can contact the Crime Victims Compensation Program in that state for information on where to file a claim.)
  • The crime must be reported to law enforcement officials within 72 hours of the crime or there must be documented good cause why it is not.
  • The victim/claimant must fully cooperate with law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
  • The victim/claimant must file a claim with the Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program within one year of the crime or show good cause why they did not.
  • The victim’s/claimant’s own misconduct must not have caused or contributed to the injury (Depending on the misconduct, eligibility may be denied or the award reduced.).

What are the reimbursable expenses? (top)

The Crime Victims Compensation Program provides funds for treatment expenses to the victim/claimant after all other sources of payment have been exhausted, up to a maximum of $25,000. When your claim is approved, payment may be made for reasonable expenses which are the direct result of the crime, including:

  • Medical. Payments may be made for physician and hospital services, medicine, and other approved treatment.
  • Counseling. A maximum benefit of $2,500 for mental health treatment is available. Additional benefits may be available for victims who are experiencing extenuating circumstances related to their mental health care. Family members of sexual assault, domestic abuse, physical child abuse, kidnapping or homicide victims may also be eligible for counseling benefits.
  • Wage loss. Compensation may be provided for lost wages if the victim loses more than one week of work as a result of his/her injuries. The victim must have had a total, actual loss of wages due to injuries suffered as a result of the crime. Compensation is paid at a rate of 66% of the victim’s weekly wage at the time of the crime, subject to a maximum of $175 per week.
  • Dependent death benefits. Compensation may be provided for dependents (a spouse or child under the age of 18) of a victim who is deceased due to the crime, and who was employed at the time of the crime. Compensation is paid at a rate of 66% of the victim’s weekly wage at the time of the crime, subject to a maximum of $175 per week.
  • Funeral expenses. Benefits may be paid for funeral expenses up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • The total amount of benefits paid on any single case, regardless of benefit type, cannot exceed $25,000. All payments made by the Crime Victims Compensation Program on behalf of victims will be based on the fee schedule established for the program under IDAPA 17.05.01.010.

What expenses are not covered? (top)

Under the program, there are certain expenses related to a crime that are not covered under the Crime Victims Compensation Act, This includes expenses related to:

  • Property loss.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • An injury that results from a traffic accident, unless the operator of the vehicle intentionally used the vehicle to cause injury; the operator was driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs; or the other driver left the scene of the accident.
  • Payment that would benefit an offender and/or accomplice.
  • Victims who are confined in a prison, correctional facility, or public institution are ineligible for benefits while they are incarcerated.
  • An injury that is sustained by the victim while engaged in felony activity or a DUI -- driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs (expense reimbursement must be reduced, depending on the circumstances).

How do I file a claim for benefits? (top)

To file a claim for benefits under the Crime Victims Compensation Act, you will need to complete a Crime Victim’s Application for Compensation form. You can obtain the form at any of these locations:

  • Idaho Industrial Commission offices
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Prosecuting attorney offices
  • Hospitals
  • Victim advocate groups

How is the program funded? (top)

No tax dollars are used to fund the administration of the program. The Crime Victims Compensation Program is funded by:

  • Fines imposed as a result of felony and misdemeanor convictions within Idaho
  • Judgments imposed on offenders
  • A federal grant funded by federal penalties against offenders
  • Restitution from offenders

What is restitution? (top)

According to Idaho law, the victim/claimant is entitled to reimbursement from the guilty party for expenses directly related to the crime. This reimbursement is called restitution. A victim may request the criminal court to order the offender to pay restitution for expenses that are not covered by the program, such as property damage, wage loss, expenses to attend criminal court, or costs for crime-scene cleanup.

How do I request restitution? (top)

The victim/claimant should contact the prosecuting attorney’s office about ordering restitution as soon as possible. The prosecuting attorney’s office will assist in preparing a restitution statement to inform the judge of your reimbursable expenses and enable the judge to determine and order the appropriate restitution. If restitution is determined inappropriate, an order giving the reasons for the denial will be issued by the court.

What happens after an application is filed? (top)

Upon receipt of a Crime Victim’s Application for Compensation Benefits, copies of the investigative reports are requested to provide documentation that the victim meets eligibility requirements before financial assistance can be provided. Documentation may be obtained from law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, related community agencies (i.e. the Department of Health & Welfare, Child Protective Service), witnesses, physicians, services providers, etc. The victim/claimant may be requested to provide additional information about the criminal incident.

Once the requested information is received, an eligibility determination is made. The victim/claimant will receive written notification from the Crime Victims Compensation Program of the decision.

Does the offender have to be convicted for the victim to be eligible for compensation? (top)

No, the offender does not have to be convicted for the victim to be eligible for compensation. However, there needs to be sufficient evidence to show there was a crime committed, and a victim/claimant must fully cooperate with law enforcement and court officials.

If the victim has an insurance policy, will the program cover the victim's expenses? (top)

Insurance benefits and other available resources must be used or exhausted prior to payment of benefits by the Crime Victims Compensation Program. If benefits from these sources do not cover the full amount of the expense, funds from the Crime Victims Compensation Program may be applied to the remaining obligations such as co-pays and deductibles.

Other sources for payment include: health insurance, life insurance, Medicaid/Medicare, veterans benefits, workers’ compensation, Social Security, disability insurance, sick leave paid by employers, auto policies, Indian Health Services, restitution from the offender, and employee assistance programs.

What if the crime occurred in another state? (top)

The Idaho Crime Victims Compensation Program only provides assistance to victims of crimes that occurred in Idaho. If you are a victim of a crime that took place in another state, please consult the directory of state victim compensation programs.

What if I disagree with a decision the program has made regarding my eligibility for benefits or a claim for payment? (top)

If you disagree with a decision the program has made regarding eligibility for benefits or payment of a claim, an eligible claimant may file an appeal of this decision within 20 days of the date of the decision. An eligible claimant may also file a request for a hearing on the disputed matter within 45 days of the date of the decision. Hearings are held by the Adjudication Department of the Industrial Commission at locations as near to the victim/claimant as possible.