The Victims Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) helps victims and their families ease the financial burdens they may face as a result of a crime. Although compensation will not erase the fact that the crime has occurred, it can help victims to begin the healing and recovery process. There may be factors other than those listed below that may determine whether a crime victim may qualify for compensation.
- The crime occurred in Pennsylvania OR
- the crime occurred to a Pennsylvania resident who was injured or killed
- in a foreign country or
- by an act of international terrorism
- A police officer, firefighter, or individual whose employment included the duty of protecting the public, may be eligible for victims compensation for injuries suffered from either on or off-duty crime incidents.
- The crime was reported to the proper authorities within three days OR a Protection From Abuse Order was filed within three days unless good cause is shown, or the victim is a minor.
- The victim has cooperated with law enforcement, the courts, and the Victims Compensation Assistance Program.
The claim must be filed no later than two years after discovery of the occurrence of the crime upon which the claim is based or not later than two years after the death of the victim or intervenor as a result of the crime or the discovery and identification of the body of a murder victim.
Medical expenses may include physical therapy, medications, ambulance, home health care, replacement services, child care medical equipment/supplies, or transportation costs to medical and counseling appointments or pharmacy visits.
Individuals eligible for counseling include: the victim; specific relatives of the victim; person residing with the victim; person engaged to the victim; person maintaining a common-law relationship with the victim; person who is physically present and who witnesses a violent crime; person who discovers a homicide victim; person responsible for the victim’s welfare.
Loss of Earnings
A victim/claimant who is unable to work due to a physical or emotional disability related to a crime may be eligible for compensation. The following individuals may also be eligible for loss of earnings: certain family members who provide home health care or replacement services, or persons who meet specific criteria related to homicide victims.
Loss of Support
Payments may be made for financial dependents of a homicide victim.
Stolen Benefit Cash
If Social Security, pension/retirement, disability or court-ordered child/spousal support is the victim’s main source of income, and cash has been stolen or taken through fraud, he/she may be compensated, within certain limits.
Temporary or permanent relocation expenses may be covered for the victim and individuals residing in their household when it is required for the immediate protection of their safety and/or health. A medical provider, law enforcement, or human service provider must verify the victim’s need to relocate.
If the claimant paid or assumes responsibility to pay for the funeral bill for a deceased victim, he/she may be compensated for those expenses, within certain limits.
If the victim/claimant paid for the costs of cleaning the crime scene of a personal living space, compensation may be awarded. Crime-scene cleanup includes the removal of stains or blood caused by the crime or other dirt or debris caused by processing the crime-scene.
Victim Compensation Claim Form