Crime Victims Compensation Fund in Michigan
The Michigan Crime Victims Compensation Fund is a state level program established in 1985 by William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim’s Right Act as a result of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 to assist crime victims with the costs of financial, psychological, and physical impairment when they are violated by federally convicted offenders.
Funding is disbursed in the form of federal grants to state general funds administered by local Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) who allocate those monies to authorized community organizations that service crime victims.
In Michigan, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Division of Victim Services office serves to develop programs and disperse funding to community organizations.
Michigan received 5.6 million in annual funding from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in fiscal year 2018 and the previous three (3) years. According to the VOCA statute, funding is unlimited as it is based on DHHS’ report on spending for crime victim’s programs and services.
However, the FY2020 budget proposal seeks to cap the allocation of state grants at $2.5 billion regardless of need.
That is, federal grants to states for crime victim’s benefits used to increase or decrease based on need or how much spending is reported each year by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The new budget proposal would summarily decrease spending by limiting the amount of funds allocated to crime victims grant programs.
Distribution of Crime Victim Funds (CVF) and the Victims Rights Act (VOCA) Reform
The federal distribution cap for crime victim programs and services was set by the U.S. Congress at $730 million as of FY2013.
That is, monies deposited into Crime Victims Funds (CVF) from criminal fines, forfeitures, and special assessments were limited to $730 million.
By 2019, federal grants were reduced by 33% with a cap of $3.3 billion for state crime victim funds through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019.
The $3.3 billion dollars distribution cap included:
The 2020 fiscal year (FY2020) federal budget proposal would set a cap on grants distributed to state Crime Victim Funds (CVF) to $2.3 billion dollars, to include:
As budget allocations continue to decline, it is important to note that the current Administration seeks to permanently “reform” state Crime Victim’s Funds by amending the Crime Victim Rights Act (VOCA) in two distinct ways:
The Administration’s budget proposal advocates the use of CVF funds to offset discretionary spending and claims that it would stipulate more reliable funding and long-term planning for crime victim services.
The proposal does not address how the $2.3 billion would be maintained if CVF deposits fall below appropriation levels.
Who May Qualify for Crime Victim Compensation Funds?
Crimes compensated by the Victims Rights Act (VOCA) varies by state to include:
For more information on claim filing rules, eligible expenses, fund benefits and payment limitations see the Financial Compensation for Crime Victims blog.
A general summary of benefits for the Michigan Crime Victims Compensation Fund are also provided in the Death and Burial section.
Where to seek help if you are a victim of a crime in Michigan
See our Community Resources section for a listing of community organizations, police agencies and prosecutor’s offices to contact for help.
How to apply for Crime Victim Compensation Funds in Michigan
A link is provided below to the Crime Victim Application and Checklist of information you will need before you apply.
You will also find tips for filing an application with the Michigan Crime Victims Compensation Fund, application processing guidelines, and how payments are dispensed in the Financial Compensation for Crime Victims blog.
Victims of Crime Act of 1984
MDHHS Division of Victim Services
VOCA Funding (National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators)
Crime Victim Compensation Application and Checklist
Welcome to The Community Advocate Network. My name is Deborah Mitchell, I am a graduate in Social Work and Registered Social Work Technician. My human service background began in 2007 which includes medical case management and service navigation for the indigent population, outpatient mental health counseling with substance use and abuse disorders, supportive employment and job development for mental health consumers, and structured living domicile management.