By law, an individual who is denied by the Crime Victims' Compensation Program (CVC) can appeal the program's decisions. Here's how it works.
Your Right to Appeal
After you apply, CVC will review the information and determine if you are eligible for compensation. If you are approved, CVC will also see what costs may be covered. If you disagree with our decision on your application, you have the right to appeal. You can appeal any portion of the decision — including the original decision on the application, whether a cost can be covered, or the compensation amount.
Attorney Fee Compensation
You have the right to have an attorney that you hire assist you at any time during the appeals process. Compensation may be available for attorney fees related to the CVC appeals process. Review what attorney fees are covered by CVC here.
How to Appeal
There are three levels to appeal a CVC decision. Your issue may be resolved at any level in the appeal process. If you have any questions about the process, contact CVC.
Remember: Follow instructions and submit your documentation within the time limits for each appeal level process. If you fail to meet a deadline, you could lose your right to appeal.
Level 1. Reconsideration Review
The reconsideration review level is designed to be an informal, efficient way of appealing the decision by CVC.
CVC will send you a written decision on your application. If you disagree with that decision, you may request that CVC reconsider it. This request must be in the form of a signed letter explaining why you disagree with the decision. You should include any additional information you feel might support your request. The signed written request must be sent to us within 30 days of the date of the letter denying your application or compensation unless good cause is shown.
We will notify you in writing when we have received and accepted your reconsideration request. Upon accepting the request, a legal assistant will review your application – including all reports in the file, victim or witness statements, and any additional information you provide. Once the review is complete, we will provide written notification telling you whether your request was approved or denied and the reason for the decision.
If, after the reconsideration review, you still disagree with our decision, you can request a Final Ruling Hearing to have your appeal considered by an attorney.
Level 2. Final Ruling Hearing
The hearing level is a formal opportunity to testify and present additional information in support of your position.
You must send us a signed letter within 30 days of the reconsideration decision date to request a “final ruling hearing.” If you do not request a hearing within 30 days, the reconsideration decision becomes binding and you waive the right to a hearing. We will notify you in writing when we have received and accepted your hearing request.
If the hearing request is accepted, at least 10 days before the hearing, we will notify you in writing of the scheduled time and date. The hearing will be conducted by phone, and the hearing officer will have access to all documents in your CVC file. You only need to provide the hearing officer with any additional information you plan to discuss at the hearing.
If you don't participate in the hearing (by phone), the hearing officer will make the decision based on available information. The hearing will not be rescheduled unless you call us in advance and request a change.
It's your responsibility to make arrangements to have additional witnesses present for your hearing if you need them. With advance notice, the hearing officer can conduct a conference call so other individuals can join the phone call.
Before the hearing, gather proof in support of your application. For example: if you are claiming that a crime prevented you from working, you may want to provide a doctor's statement of disability or a statement from your employer.
Procedures for a Final Ruling Hearing:
- The hearing officer will explain the law and rules that apply to the hearing.
- You (or your representative) will be asked to state your position — such as, why you feel your application should be approved or you should receive compensation.
- You may present witnesses or documents to support your position. The hearing officer may ask witnesses to swear to their testimony, be cross-examined or testify outside the presence of other witnesses.
- The hearing officer may consider relevant information even though that information might not be admissible in a court of law.
The hearing officer will notify you of the decision in writing and provide reasons for the decisions. You will also be informed of your right to seek judicial review in district court.
Level 3. Judicial Review
If you have been denied at the hearing level, you have the right to seek judicial review in state district court.
To appeal to district court, you must submit a signed "written notice of dissatisfaction" with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) within 40 days of the final ruling decision or you could lose your right to seek judicial review. You, or your attorney, must then file a lawsuit in district court within 40 days of when the Written Notice of Dissatisfaction was received by the OAG.
We recommend you seek the assistance of an attorney if you decide to appeal the Final Decision of the OAG.