Crime Victims Compensation provides financial, medical and mental health benefits to victims of crimes. This program is administered by the Department of Labor and Industries and is a payer of last resort. This means that benefits provided by other insurance held by the victim must be used before the Department of Labor and Industries can pay benefits. A Crime Victim/Witness Coordinator is available in the Island County Prosecutor’s Office to assist victims in filing their initial application and answering questions.
To be eligible for crime victim compensation benefits, a victim must require medical or mental health treatment because of the injuries suffered as a result of a crime. A surviving spouse or beneficiary of the victim may be able to file a claim. The program does not pay for property losses.
If the victim was injured in another state and was a Washington resident at the time of the crime, he/she must apply for benefits from the state where the crime occurred. If the state where the crime occurred rejects the claim, then a claim may be submitted to the Washington State Crime Victims Compensation Program.
1. There is a $150,000 maximum on most medical/mental health benefits.
2. Counseling benefits are available to victims of crime. Limited counseling may be available to family members of sexual assault and homicide victims. Victims and family members must use the mental health providers or benefits covered by other insurance first.
3. When injured and unable to work, the crime victims compensation program may be able to provide the victim with payments to replace a portion of the victim’s normal income.
4. Total and permanent disability may result in eligibility for a pension.
5. Survivor’s benefits are available if the person is a surviving spouse or child of a crime victim (beneficiary). This is either a pension or a lump sum benefit. The program may also pay a portion of the burial expenses incurred through the crime.
Application for Benefits
Applications for Crime Victims Compensation can be obtained from the Island County Prosecutor’s Office or directly from the Crime Victims Compensation program:
Crime Victims Compensation
P.O. Box 44520
Olympia, WA 98504-4520
Completed applications can be returned to the Prosecutor’s Office for processing or may be mailed directly to the Crime Victims Compensation program.
After review of the application and information submitted by the victim, a determination will be made to approve or deny the claim for eligibility. A letter will be sent by the Department of Labor & Industries to the victim approving or denying the claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will I get benefits even after a person is convicted?
2. How long does it take to process the application?
If processed through our office, about a week.
3. Can I obtain benefits even if no formal criminal charges are filed?
If a law enforcement agency investigates and prepares a report, the Department of Labor & Industries will then determine if a “criminal act” has been committed. If so, you may be eligible for benefits, even if the police or prosecutor does not file charges in court.
Labor & Industries crime victim help: http://www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/CrimeVictims/About/default.asp