State Can Pay for Crime Victims’ Mental Health Services
Recovery after surviving a violent crime takes time and care. Yet what if paying for care is itself another problem to overcome?
There is help. If you’ve been injured or have been threatened with injury, California’s Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) can help pay expenses – including mental health services – that result when a violent crime occurs. And family members affected by the death or injury to a crime victim may also be eligible.
Help Getting Benefits for Victim Compensation
Victims of crime have a choice: you can pay for mental health services and then be reimbursed by CalVCP, or you may ask us at Main Street Counseling Group to bill the CalVCP program directly. This way you have no out-of-pocket expenses. We can assist our clients with the paperwork and process. Contact us via this website.
To be eligible for compensation, a person must be a victim of a qualifying crime involving physical injury, threat of physical injury or death. For certain crimes, emotional injury alone is all that needs to be shown. Certain family members or other loved ones who suffer an economic loss resulting from an injury to a victim of a crime may also be eligible for compensation.
The Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) can help victims and family members of victims for crimes such as:
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Sexual assault
- Drunk driving
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Child Witnesses to Violent Crime
The Program Helps Children Too
Minors who suffer emotional injuries from witnessing a violent crime may be eligible for mental health counseling through CalVCP. A law that went into effect in 2009 allows the minor witness to be eligible for assistance even if he or she is unrelated to the crime victim. To qualify, the minor witness must have been in close proximity to the crime.
Qualifying for Help
Certain conditions must be met to qualify for CalVCP help. Visit the CalVCP website to learn more, or call the Ventura County District Attorney’s office at (805) 654-3622.
In addition to being the victim of a qualifying violent crime, applicants must meet other criteria, including:
- Generally, they must report the crime to the police, sheriff, child protective services, or some other law enforcement agency.
- In most cases, they must apply to CalVCP within a year of the time the crime happened. If applying after one year, they can inform CalVCP in writing why the application is late, and an extension of the time limit may be granted for certain reasons. In most cases, if the victim was under 18 when the crime happened, they have until the victim’s 19th birthday to apply. If the specified crime involves sex with a minor, claims may be filed any time prior to the victim’s 28th birthday.
- Applicants/victims must cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution of the crime. Also, a victim cannot have participated in or been involved in committing the crime.
- Applicants/victims must cooperate with CalVCP by providing the information needed to review the application.
Get Help With the Process
If you need assistance with your application, don’t have a printer and need an application mailed to you, or have questions regarding victim compensation, please call CalVCP’s Customer Service Section toll free at 1-800-777-9229. CalVCP may also be able to help with out-of-state crimes if the victim was a California resident at the time of the crime.
For support in the process, call Marriage and Family Therapist Jeri W. Johnson at (805) 798-0405 or contact us via this website.