Victims of violent crimes can get up to $27,000 for some out-of-pocket expenses under the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act.
A crime victim can be:
- Someone killed or injured in Illinois due to a violent crime
- A spouse or parent of someone killed or injured in Illinois due to a violent crime
- A person killed or injured in Illinois while trying to assist a crime victim
- Someone who personally witnessed a violent crime in Illinois
- An Illinois resident who became a victim of a violent crime in a country that does not have a compensation fund for crime victims. or
- Someone under the age of 18 who is the brother, sister, half brother or sister, child, or stepchild of someone killed or injured in Illinois due to a violent crime
What qualifies as a violent crime?
A violent crime is any of the following:
- First degree murder
- Second degree murder
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Reckless conduct
- Child pornography
- Hit and run of pedestrians
- Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer
- Hate crime
- Criminal sexual assault
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Exploitation of a child
- Driving under the influence
- Domestic battery, or
- Violation of Order of Protection, Civil No Contact Order, or Stalking No Contact Order
Who qualifies for compensation?
To qualify for compensation, you must:
- Tell the police about the crime
- You must do this within 72 hours, or give a good reason why you couldn’t tell the police right away
- Victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse have 7 days to notify the police
- After the incident, a victim of domestic violence can meet this requirement by getting an Order of Protection, a Civil No Contact Order, or a Stalking No Contact Order or complete a sexual assault evidence collection kit if sexual assault was part of the violent crime
- File an application with the Illinois Attorney General
- Cooperate with the police as they investigate or arrest and prosecute the offender
- Note: The offender doesn’t have to be arrested for you to qualify
- Cooperate with the Attorney General by giving information about the claim
- Not have contributed to your injury by doing something illegal, being the offender, or causing the crime
You cannot be paid compensation until you are released from any probation, parole, mandatory supervised release for a felony, or from jail or prison. However, the claim still must be filed within 2 years of the date of the crime or one year of the criminal charge, whichever is later.
Costs covered by the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act
All expenses must be related to the crime. If you can show proof of how much you paid or owe, you can get money for:
- Medical, hospital, and dental costs
- Mental health counseling
- Loss of earnings, up to $1,250/month
- Relocation, including:
- Temporary lodging
- Moving expenses
- First month’s rent
- Security deposit, and
- Replacement costs, including:
- Hearing aids
- Clothing and bedding taken as evidence, and
- Locks or windows damaged as a result of the crime
- Crime scene clean-up
- Accessibility and usability of property, including wheelchairs and ramps
- Loss of tuition
- $1,250/month for replacing the services that the injured or deceased individual would have performed, including:
- Lawn mowing
- Tax preparation
- Child care
- Funeral and burial costs, up to $7,500
- Loss of financial support, up to $1,250/month
- Transportation to and from medical and counseling appointments
What if someone else paid some of the costs?
If someone else paid the costs, that amount will be deducted from the money you get. If any other sources of reimbursement, such as insurance or hospital charity care, are available, those sources must be used before any payments can be made.
You are responsible for telling the program of all available reimbursement sources, including:
- Health, dental, vision, and life insurance
- Free care, examinations, and treatment provided to victims of sexual assault under the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act
- Charity care provided by hospitals and emergency rooms under the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act
- Public benefits, including:
- Public aid
- Worker’s compensation benefits
- Auto insurance
- Court-ordered restitution and civil lawsuit judgments
For more information, call the Crime Victim Compensation Bureau at the Attorney General’s office at 800-228-3368. You can also visit the Illinois Attorney General’s website.
How is the money paid?
Reimbursement is made to the victim for out-of-pocket expenses, or to any person who paid the victim’s expenses. Reimbursement may also be paid directly to service providers, such as hospitals, doctors, funeral homes, and others, for expenses that victim has to pay as a result of the crime.
A denial of funds can be appealed for a hearing before a Commissioner, and a final decision by the Illinois Court of Claims. Any appeal must be filed within 30 days of issuance of the order denying funds.
Updated: March 2018