Category: Public Policy
Funds are disseminated between states in the form of grants from the U.S. Department of Justice based on spending for crime victim services by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported on annual certification forms. According to the Lansing State Journal (January 2018), Michigan received $5.6 million in funding for the past three (3) years for payments and support services to crime victims.
Program Administration in Michigan
The Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission (CVSC) is a state agency within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) which handles funding and services for victims of crimes through the Crime Victims Compensation Board. See the Crime Victim Compensation Section for program and contact information.
Service Programs within the Crime Victim Services Commission (CVSC):
Crime Victim Compensation Legislation in Michigan
The Crime Victims Compensation Act - PA 223 of 1976 (M.C.L. 18.351 to 18.368) established the Crime Victims Compensation Board responsible for the reimbursement of expenses associated with personal injury resulting from acts of crime. Program eligibility and coverage was expanded up to $25,000 in basic financial assistance in expenses accrued by individuals and/or their families when physically victimized by criminals.
To file a claim for reimbursement, you must use the Commission’s application form (a link is provided below) and you are entitled to a copy of compensation rules upon request.
Claim Filing Rules and Payment Limitations:
The following rules and limitations are not exhaustive. Please refer to the link below to the Crime Victims Compensation Act of 1976 for a full review of the legislation.
When to File a Claim
Victims of crime must file a claim within one (1) year from the date of injury or one (1) year from the time of discovery that the cause of injury was criminal. Victims do not always immediately recognize that certain acts are criminal such as in domestic violence situations and may consider the injury as natural or accidental. In such cases, the victim may file a claim for cause at the time of discovery for a criminal act. Claims for child abuse should be filed within one (1) year from the date of reporting to the police and before the child’s 19th birthday.
Claims may be accepted late for “good cause.” The claimant must submit a written request to be considered for approval after the one (1) year time frame. “Good cause” may be considered if the victim is a child, if injuries are more serious than first believed, or if someone responsible for helping the victim failed to file the claim. Claimants may file a claim immediately after injury and are not required to wait for an investigation, trial or prosecution to be completed. If a claim is denied you must submit a written request for appeal within thirty (30) days. Appeals can be requested in the form of a review of the file or a hearing before the Commission in Lansing.
Applications are available with the Crime Victim’s Service Commission, prosecuting attorney’s office, victim assistance service agencies, the state police, and other care providers. A list of Crime Victim’s Service Agencies is available in the Community Resource section and a link is provided to the application below.
General Summary of Benefits and Limitations
The Michigan Crime Victim Compensation Fund will cover funeral and burial expenses for fatally injured victims, pecuniary damages such as the loss of financial support for legally-dependent and unborn children of fatally injured victims, grief counseling for the family, hospital and medical bills if survivors are legally obligated for payment. The Fund does not cover the loss or damage of property, pain and suffering, relocation and living expenses, or costs to attend or participate in a trial. The loss of earnings for the victim’s family members are also ineligible for reimbursement.
Tips for Filing a Michigan Crime Victim Compensation Application
The National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVCB) maintains a website database with links to all state crime victim compensation programs. The links will provide specific information about each program’s benefits, requirements, and procedures for victim service-related claims. In Michigan, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Crime Victim Services Commission is responsible for the allocation of funds to participating community organizations and processing all reimbursement requests. Below you will find a link to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Application and Checklist form. You may also consult an attorney to submit a claim. By law, attorney’s fees may not exceed 15% of the claimant’s award or 25% in cases involving judicial review unless otherwise waived by the Crime Victim Compensation Board.
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Death, Burial, and Crime Victim Assistance
Community Resources - Crime Victim Service Agencies
National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVCB)
Crime Victim Compensation Application and Checklist
U.S. Department of Justice - Office for Victims of Crime
Crime Victim Compensation Brochure
About Crime Victim Compensation in Michigan
DHHS Bureau of Community Services – Crime Victims Services Commission
Feds Overpaid Michigan DHHS Nearly 260,000 in Crime Victims Funds, Audit Says
Crime Victims Compensation Act of 1976 (PA 223, Michigan Compiled Law 18.353)
For Community Organizations:
VOCA Guidelines, Program Grants, Application, and Regulation Information
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.