Financial Compensation for Crime Victims
Financial compensation is available for victims of crime who have suffered an economic loss. Victims may claim restitution through the criminal justice system or you may be eligible for an award from the Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program.
What is Restitution?
Restitution is the possibility of monetary payments made by the defendant to the victim in order to compensate the victim for financial losses resulting from the crime. Restitution may only be entered if the defendant is found guilty of the crime.
Who May Claim Restitution?
Restitution may be claimed by anyone that has been the direct victim of a crime or is the parent or guardian of a minor that has been a victim of a crime and has suffered injuries, economic loss, or damages.
What Expenses May Be Claimed?
If you have questions as to whether an expense is eligible for compensation, please contact the Perry County Victim Witness Program for assistance.
- Medical expenses (doctor, ambulance, hospital, x-rays and testing, therapy, medications, medical supplies, wheelchair, glasses, hearing aids, etc.)
- Insurance deductibles or co-pays
- Insurance company pay-outs (except medical)
- Dental expenses
- Counseling expenses
- Loss of earnings (physical or mental incapacity, court appearances under subpoena)
- Stolen or damaged property
- Bad checks (face value of check plus service charge up to $50)
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Incidental expenses (e.g., changing locks, towing fees, bank fees)
- Any expense incurred as a direct result of the criminal offense
What Expenses Cannot Be Claimed?
How Do I Claim Restitution?
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Security equipment/devices for crime prevention and/or detection
- Any expense that has been recouped through another source such as insurance, worker’s compensation, vacation or sick pay, civil lawsuits, etc.
- Replacement of non-equivalent property (e.g., replacing wooden door with metal door)
- You may not claim restitution for crimes that have not been charged against the defendant.
Complete a restitution claim form which may be obtained through Perry County Victim Witness Program or you may print one here. Itemize and clearly identify each expense that you are claiming and submit invoices, receipts, or estimates to verify your loss. Return your completed claim form to Perry County Victim Witness Program.
Remember, your restitution claim form is a request to the Court to order restitution on your behalf. It is the Court’s decision as to what restitution will be granted. Therefore, it is very important for you to be as descriptive as possible on your claim form and support your claim with documentation of financial losses.
When Will I Receive My Payment?
After a defendant is sentenced, restitution payments may be made in full or the defendant may set up monthly payment arrangements. All payments are made to the Perry County Probation Department and are then sent to recipients on a monthly basis. If your address changes, notify the Perry County Probation Department immediately to avoid interruption in your payments (717) 582-5125.
By law, sentencing orders must contain specific restitution figures.
If your claim is not received prior to the sentencing of the defendant, you may lose your right to claim restitution.
Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program
The Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program (“VCAP”) was designed to help ease the financial burden imposed by criminal acts. Eligible applicants do not have to wait for a defendant to be found guilty of a crime to apply to VCAP. As such, VCAP may be able to provide relief from financial burdens much quicker than waiting for the defendant to pay restitution in full.
What expenses are covered?
- Medical/dental expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of support
- Stolen cash benefits
- Relocation expenses
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Crime-scene cleanup
- Home health care
- Replacement services (e.g., housekeeping,
Contact Perry County Victim Witness Program to determine eligibility and for assistance in completing your application.