How 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
Loss of support or earnings
Hospital, physician and physical
How do I qualify for financial help?
If you are a victim or claimant (person
filing for a victim or dependents of the victim), you must
You are a resident of the State
of New Jersey or the crime occurred in this state.
You have financial losses as a result
of injuries you received as a result of a violent or certain
The crime was reported to law enforcement
within 3 months, if possible and you submitted this application
within 2 years from the date of the crime, if possible.
You cooperated fully with the police
and prosecutor's office. However, eligibility is not dependent
upon conviction or prosecution of the offender.
You or your immediate family member
have incurred, or will incur, medical, counseling, funeral
bills lost time from work and/or other losses because of
injuries directly resulting from the crime.
You cooperated with the VCCO investigator
and informed the Office of any change of address.
Insurance and other payment sources
such as restitution paid by the offender will not cover
the bills submitted.
You did not contribute to your injuries,
provoke the incident, and were not responsible for or participated
in the crime that caused your injuries.
You do not have any outstanding
VCCO assessments imposed for convictions. If you cannot
provide proof to the Office that they were paid, the outstanding
amount will be deducted from your compensation award.
What losses are not covered?
Property damage or loss, except
crime scene cleanup.
Care of child or dependent
Funeral expenses up to $5,000
Emergency Relocation Costs
Attorney fees for assistance in
filing a claim and representing you in the appeal process
If I want to apply now, what should
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 us know.
Who is eligible?
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.
What are the preconditions for eligibility?
Your claim must be filed within two
(2) years from the date of the personal injury or death, or
after two (2) years if the VCCO determines that good cause
existed for the delayed filing. The crime must be reported
to the police within three (3) months after it occurs, or
within three (3) 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
A victim whose
behavior contributed to the crime and injuries suffered
A victim who was engaged in illegal
activity at the time of the crime
An offender or an accomplice of
Anyone in prison for a crime when
the incident occurred
A victim of a motor vehicle or boating
accident except those listed under Crimes
for Which Compensation is Available
A victim of a motor vehicle or boating
incident where the victim knew, or had reason to believe,
the vehicle or vessel was being operated by the offender
while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
A victim who is a non-resident of
New Jersey and the crime incurred in a location other than
What 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:
Threats to do bodily harm
Lewd, indecent or obscene acts
Indecent acts with children
Aggravated sexual assault,
sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact,
criminal sexual contact
Any other crime involving violence
including domestic violence
Burglary (personal property loss
or damage will not be compensated)
Tampering with a cosmetic, drug
or food product
Driving a vehicle, commercial or
private, or boat while under the influence of alcohol or
Theft of an automobile, eluding
a law enforcement officer or unlawful taking of a motor
vehicle where injuries to the victim occur in the course
of operating the automobile
FOR AN EXPLANATION OF OR FURTHER INFORMATION
ON THE LISTED CRIMES, PLEASE CONTACT THE VCCO'S LEGAL DEPARTMENT
AT 201-648-2107 OR 609-292-8446.
What compensation benefits are available?
Compensation benefits 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:
Medically related expenses
Loss of earnings in personal injury
Loss of support from the victim
for dependents in homicide cases
Loss of earnings for surviving spouse
whose earning capacity has been reduced in case of victim/spouse's
Loss of support from the offender
in domestic violence cases
Limited transportation costs
Mental health counseling for victim
and immediate family members
Limited domestic service, child
care, day care and after school care costs up to $6,500
Funeral allowances of up to $5,000
Loss of prescription eyeglasses
Crime Scene Cleanup of up to $3,000
Relocation expenses of up to $2,500
Emergency financial assistance of
up to $1,500, if you are employed and unable to work and
face undue hardship as a result of crime-related injuries
For crimes committed after June
26, 1995, if you are at least 60 years old or determined
to disabled and meet financial guidelines, you may be eligible
for reimbursement for up to $200 in stolen cash resulting
from the assault and robbery.
The VCCO will pay legal fees only
if it awards compensation. Attorneys are limited to receiving
fees that are set by statute and by the Office. Attorneys
who represent victim in the criminal justice system may
be eligible to receive up to $1,000 in related legal fees.
Is the VCCO the primary payer of my
crime related expenses?
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
Restitution from the offender which
is payment made by assailants to their victims, as ordered
by the court in a criminal proceeding. It may include compensation
for property loss or damage, or for medical expenses. Restitution
is now mandatory where the offender has the ability to pay.
Please consult your County
Victim-Witness Coordinator, in your County Prosecutor's
The government or any agency of
the United States, the State of New New Jersey or its political
subdivisions, or of any two or more states
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
State disability insurance
Employer or Union Local disability
Insurance payable to the victim
for a loss sustained because of the crime
A contract providing prepaid hospital
and other health care services or benefits for disability
Moneys received from any civil or related third party actions.
However, the first $1000 recovered is not to be included
as money received from another source. This applies even
though a settlement or any other resolution of the action
is worded to recover any economic loss, such as pain and
suffering and property loss, which the VCCO does not compensate.
How do I apply for compensation?
VCCO applications are available at
every law enforcement agency and medical institution in New
Jersey. They are required to and make these applications available.
Applications are also available from the 21 county prosecutors'
offices through their respective Victim/Witness
Coordinator. The Coordinators will assist crime victims
in filling out the form.
You can also get an application from the VCCO. Please call
201-648-2107 for assistance.
There is available on this site a fillable VCCO
Application (PDF*). To 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.
*The VCCO Application form is available as a Portable
Document Format (PDF) file. To view and print these
forms, you must have a PDF reader/viewer. You can download
How does the VCCO process my claim?
Intake Phase: 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 payment information.
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 new decision.
Do 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
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
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 609-292-4822.
What if I am in the need of mental
health counseling services?
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
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 hours.
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
The psychological needs of immediate family members of crime
victims may also be met.
What if I speak in a language other
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 available in Spanish.
What 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
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 state's program.
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 is Travel
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 state's program.
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.