D.C. Crime Victims Compensation Program

Victim Compensation 2017-10-24T03:30:41+00:00

The D.C. Crime Victims Compensation Program provides D.C. crime victims with financial support to ease the financial impacts of these crimes. Compensation is available for expenses paid by victims or their families that directly stem from the crimes committed against them, excluding expenses covered by personal insurance or other benefits programs. This program does not provide compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering or damage to personal property.

This section describes general eligibility guidelines for the D.C. Crime Victims Compensation Program; however, each compensation claim is decided on an individual basis, and the victim or the victim’s family will be required to submit documentation of all expenses included in the claim.

Eligibility for Compensation

Victims and “secondary victims” are eligible for compensation if:

  • They suffered injury or death due to a violent crime committed in D.C., or they are a D.C. resident who suffered injury or death due to a terrorist act or act of mass violence committed outside of the United States;
  • The crime was reported to law enforcement within seven days after it occurred (with some exceptions, described below);
  • An application for compensation is filed within one year of the crime or within one year of learning of the program (if it can be shown that the delay was reasonable);
  • They cooperated with law enforcement regarding the criminal investigation; and
  • They did not participate in, agree to, or provoke the crime.

Some victims are eligible for compensation even if the crime is not reported to law enforcement:

  • Sexual assault victims are eligible if they get a sexual assault examination;
  • Domestic violence victims are eligible if they seek a Civil Protection Order; and
  • Victims of child cruelty are eligible if a neglect petition is filed in D.C. Superior Court.

How to Apply for Compensation

Victims must complete an application, which is available online at dccourts.gov or at D.C. Superior Court. Victims should contact their advocate or the prosecutor for assistance with completing this application. Applications can be submitted in person at:

D.C. Superior Court Building A 
515 5th Street NW, Suite 109
Washington, DC 20001
(Also accepts mailed petitions.)

United Medical Center (D.C. SAFE)
1328 Southern Avenue SE, Room 311
Washington, DC 20032

To facilitate timely processing of claims, submit copies of supporting documentation, such as police reports, Civil Protection Orders, and bills or receipts.

Claim examiners will verify the information in the application by contacting police, the victim’s employer, the hospital where the victim was treated, and/or other related agencies or organizations. The victim will be notified by mail of the claim examiner’s decision.

Appealing a Compensation Decision

If a compensation application is rejected, or approved in an amount lower than requested, victims should contact their advocate for assistance and to determine whether an appeal is possible. If new information related to the case becomes available within 30 days of the claim being rejected, victims can submit a “Request for Reconsideration.”

Types of Compensation

Victims and secondary victims can seek compensation for the items detailed below. A maximum of $25,000 can be issued for each claim. These amounts are accurate as of September 2017; visit the D.C. Crime Victims Compensation Program website at dccourts.gov for updates.

Medical expenses
Includes physical or occupational therapy, or rehabilitation.

Mental health counseling
Maximum of $3,000 for adults; $6,000 for children (also for secondary victims).

Lost wages
Compensation not to exceed 52 weeks or $10,000.

Loss of support to dependents
Where victim is deceased and Social Security is denied; up to $2,500 per dependent, not to exceed $7,500 per victimization.

Funeral expenses
Up to $6,000.

Crime scene clean-up
Up to $1,000.

Replacement of clothing held as evidence by police
Up to $100; not available if victim is deceased.

Temporary emergency food and housing
Made necessary as a result of the crime; not to exceed 120 days with maximums of $400 for food costs and $3,000 for housing costs.

Moving expenses
Up to $1,500; only available within 120 days of the crime if moving is necessary as a result of the crime because the victim’s health and safety is endangered.

Transportation costs
Up to $100 for local transportation and $500 for out-of-state transportation. Can only be used to participate in the investigation or prosecution of the case, or to receive medical treatment or some other service necessary as a result of the crime.

Replacement of doors, windows, locks, or other items to secure the victim’s home
Up to $1,000.

Attorneys’ fees
To assist in the appeal of a determination only; not to exceed $500 or 10 percent of award, whichever is less.

Emergency award
Up to $1,000.