much help can I get from the New Jersey
Victims of Crime Compensation Office?
If you qualify, these are some of the
expenses that can be paid.
do I qualify for financial help?
you are a victim or claimant (person filing
for a victim or dependents of the victim),
you must show that:
losses are not covered?
can I get help with this application?
Law enforcement agencies,
Office of Victim/Witness Advocacy
or call the VCCO at 1-877-658-2221.
I want to apply now, what should I do?
Read the following
instructions and fill out the attached
claim application. Also include copies
of as much related information (i.e. copies
of itemized receipts, bills, insurance
statements) as you have. The more information
we have now, the sooner your application
can be processed. You can send more itemized
bills later as you receive them. The VCCO
will send you a letter when your application
is received. If you have not received
a letter after four weeks, please call
the VCCO. Keep in touch. If you move or
if your phone number changes, please let
A victim of a crime
who has sustained personal injury, mental
trauma or death a surviving spouse, parent/guardian,
child or other relative dependent for
support upon a victim of a crime who died
as a direct result of such crime, or a
person injured while trying to prevent
a crime or while assisting a police officer
in making an arrest.
are the preconditions for eligibility?
claim must be filed within three (3) years
from the date of the personal injury or
death, or after three (3) years if the
VCCO determines that good cause existed
for the delayed filing. The crime must
be reported to the police within nine
(9) months after it occurs, or within
nine (9) months from the time it was known,
or from the time there was reason to believe,
that a crime occurred.
For incidents prior to June 26, 1995,
you must have suffered at least $100 in
out-of-pocket medical expenses and/or
two weeks continuous loss of earnings
or support. There are no minimum loss
requirements for incidents occurring on
or after June 26, 1995. You must cooperate
fully with the police and prosecutor's
office; however, eligibility is not dependent
upon conviction or prosecution of the
offender. Failure to cooperate with the
VCCO investigator or failure to inform
the VCCO of a change of address will result
in a denial of compensation. If you have
any VCCO assessments imposed on you by
the courts for prior convictions, you
must pay them in full before you can receive
any compensation. The crime must occur
in New Jersey, although you need not be
a New Jersey resident; or you must be
a New Jersey resident who became a victim
in another state or jurisdiction that
does not have a crime victim compensation
program or has a program which has not
provided full compensation for your crime-related
is not eligible?
are the crimes for which compensation
The VCCO may order
the payment of compensation for personal
injury or death which resulted from the
commission or attempt to commit any of
the following offenses:
AN EXPLANATION OF OR FURTHER INFORMATION
ON THE LISTED CRIMES, PLEASE CONTACT THE
VCCO AT 973-648-2107
compensation benefits are available?
may be awarded up to a maximum of $25,000
per claim ($10,000 for crimes before December
5, 1982) and may include the following:
the VCCO the primary payer of my crime
The Victims of
Crime Compensation Office is the payer
of last resort. The VCCO will award compensation
for the balance of crime-related expenses
not reimbursed first from other sources
such as medical insurance or disability
"Source or sources" means a source of
benefits or advantages which you have
received as reimbursement for medical
or economic loss which is available to
you from, but not limited to the following
do I apply for compensation?
obtain benefits, you must file a completed
claim form and comply with VCCO regulations
which are explained in the instructions.
You will be asked to submit information
to support your application. Where possible
and to speed up processing, it would be
helpful to submit a copy of a police report
and related bills, receipts and insurance
statements together with the application.
Please send copies only and keep the originals
for your own records.
does the VCCO process my claim?
The claim will be processed in the chronological
order in which it is received by the Office.
Upon receipt of the application, the claim
is opened, given a claim number, an acknowledgment
of receipt is sent to the applicant, and
if needed, additional information is requested.
All requests for emergency assistance
and counseling are reviewed immediately.
Eligibility Phase: After a police
report is received, the Office's eligibility
investigators will review all the circumstances
surrounding the incident, including, but
not limited to, direct discussion with
police and prosecutorial personnel, securing
trial related information from the courts,
and speaking with witnesses. The investigator
will provide the Office's commissioners
with a recommendation either that the
claim is eligible for compensation or
to deny compensation because there has
been a failure to comply with one of the
Compensation Phase: Once determined
eligible for compensation, your claim
enters the compensation phase. The Office's
investigator will verify losses by communicating
directly with providers of medical services,
securing insurance benefit statements,
and gathering loss of earnings and disability
You are required to show a minimum loss
of at least $100 unreimbursed medical
expenses or two continuous weeks loss
of earnings or support. For incidents
occurring on or after June 26, 1995, the
minimum loss requirement no longer applies.
Accordingly, please respond to the Office's
requests as quickly as possible.
If additional information comes to the
VCCO's attention which requires the VCCO
to change its determination of eligibility,
you will be notified and you will be given
an opportunity to respond to the Office's
I have a right to appeal a VCCO determination?
If you disagree
with any determination of the VCCO,
you may request a formal hearing.
Hearing Phase: The investigator
may send you a recommendation denying
eligibility or may recommend an amount
of compensation with which you disagree.
You will have twenty (20) days to advise
the Office in writing whether you accept
the recommendation. You are entitled
to a hearing. At the hearing you will
be given an opportunity to submit proofs
in support of your position.
The VCCO does not require that you appear
at formal hearings with an attorney.
You have the right, however, to be represented
before the VCCO at all stages of proceedings
by a New Jersey licensed attorney.
At the hearing you will be called upon
to respond to questions from the VCCO's
legal counsel and the VCCO's commissioners.
You will have the opportunity to make
a statement and question witnesses.
There may be issues and questions for
which legal advice would be beneficial.
If you decide to obtain an attorney,
you must notify the VCCO within twenty
(20) days of your hearing date. Your
attorney must also send a letter to
our Legal Department confirming that
the attorney is representing you.
The VCCO does not assign or provide
attorneys for you, but will be able
to refer you for assistance. For further
information, please contact the VCCO's
legal staff at 973-648-4076.
For frequently asked questions about
hearings, see Hearing
If, after the hearing, you are not in
agreement with the VCCO's determination,
you can appeal the decision directly
to the Appellate Division of the Superior
Court within forty-five (45) days from
the date the Office's order is received.
For further information regarding the
procedure for filing an appeal, you
may contact the Appellate Division at
if I am in the need of mental health counseling
The VCCO provides
referral services for emergency crisis
counseling and therapy to victims of violent
crime. A listing of statewide resources
is used to help victims obtain the services
of various agencies, organizations and
licensed psychotherapists in the victim's
immediate geographic area.
To obtain counseling services you must
file a completed claim form and comply
with VCCO regulations which are explained
in the instructions. To specifically ask
for counseling services, check the counseling
request box and provide a phone number
where you can be reached during our office
You must have a police report or letter
from the prosecutor's office describing
the incident and highlighting the victim's
innocence to be eligible for VCCO authorized
mental health counseling. Cooperation
with law enforcement officials is also
necessary. A compelling health or safety
reason for your lack of cooperation may
excuse such failure to cooperate.
If you are a minor you must apply for
assistance through a parent or guardian.
You may apply on your own within two years
after reaching the age of eighteen. Parents
of minor victims may be eligible for counseling
where it helps in child or family therapy.
The psychological needs of immediate family
members of crime victims may also be met.
if I speak in a language other than English?
The VCCO can arrange
for translation services to assist you
in processing your claim. Please call
ahead for an appointment to ensure the
services of a translator. Applications
are also available in Spanish.
if I am victim of a crime in a place other
than New Jersey?
If you are visiting
or traveling through another state and
are injured as a result of a crime in
that state, you may be eligible for victim's
compensation in the state where the incident
occurred. Each of the 50 states and Washington,
DC have a victim
compensation program to meet your
crime victimization needs.
You must make application for compensation
in the state where the injury incurred.
If the that state compensation program
does not fully compensate you for your
out of pocket expenses, you may then file
an application with the NJ VCCO for the
payment of any crime related expenses
incurred which were not paid by the first
If you are visiting or traveling outside
the country and are a victim of a crime,
there are a number of countries that have
victim compensation programs. The U.S.
State Department's Overseas Citizens Services
should be contacted immediately at 1-888-407-4747
(Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 8 PM) or 202-647-4000
(after hours and weekends). Their website
If the foreign nation's compensation program
does not fully compensate you for your
crime related out of pocket expenses or
where there is not victim compensation
program in that country, you may then
file an application with the NJ VCCO for
the payment of any crime related expenses
incurred which were not paid by the first
If you are a victim of international terrorism,
there is a special victim compensation
program now being established by the US
Department of Justice, Office of Victim
of Crime. Please contact OVC directly
at 202-307-5983. However,
until such time as the program is established
by OVC, the previous paragraph provides
the appropriate answer to the question.