Ken Paxton

Crime Victims' Compensation:
Reimbursable expenses

Crime doesn't pay, but in Texas, criminals do. Texas courts collect court costs from convicted offenders for the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.

Approved applications may be awarded compensation for the following expenses related to the crime:

  • medical, hospital, physical therapy or nursing care
  • psychiatric care or counseling
  • loss of wages due to medical treatment or participation in, or attendance at, the investigation, prosecutorial and judicial processes
  • care of a child or a dependent
  • loss of support
  • funeral and burial expenses
  • crime scene clean-up
  • replacement costs for clothing, bedding, or property seized as evidence or rendered unusable as a result of the investigation
  • attorney fees for assistance in filing the Crime Victims' Compensation application and in obtaining benefits
  • loss of wages and travel to seek medical treatment
  • one-time relocation expenses for family violence, human trafficking, and stalking  victims or for those sexual assault victims attacked in their own residence

In the case of applications involving extraordinary pecuniary losses resulting in a total and permanent disability, the victim may be eligible for additional benefits for:

  • making a home or car accessible
  • job training and vocational rehabilitation
  • training in the use of special appliances
  • home health care
  • reimbursement of loss of wages

Please note that losses due to property damage, theft or other property crimes are not eligible for reimbursement by the Crime Victims' Compensation Program.

Coordinating the use of all available resources

State law requires that reimbursement must first be sought from other resources. CVC is a secondary source that pays for certain out-of-pocket expenses the victim would be responsible for as a result of the crime. Any other available resources would have to pay before any payment by the Crime Victims' Compensation program.

Maximum allowable benefits

Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000. These funds may be paid to the victim/claimant or to service providers on behalf of the victim.

Medical Expense benefits related to the crime are calculated using statutory medical fee guidelines. Benefits may be paid for hospitals, doctors, ambulance services, prescriptions, dental work, nursing homes, and medical appliances such as wheelchairs and prosthetics.

Mental Health Care in the form of outpatient therapy from a licensed provider is available up to $3,000 for dates of crime prior to August 31, 2014.   For dates of crime after September 1, 2014 the limit is 60 sessions.  Approved in-patient psychiatric hospital treatment is available to victims at the medical fee guidelines.

Lost Wages may be paid to a victim who is unable to work as a result of physical or mental injuries related to the crime. Lost wages may also be awarded when a victim misses time from work to seek medical treatments for crime-related injuries or when the victim and/or claimant takes part in the criminal justice process (other than subpoenaed testimony). The award maximum is $500 per week for dates of crime prior to July 15, 2016.  The limit for dates of crime July 15, 2016 or after is $700 per week.

Bereavement Leave is available for crimes occurring on or after September 1, 2003, to immediate family or household members of a deceased victim.

Child/dependent care expenses may be covered as a new expense directly resulting from the crime. Pre-existing child care costs are not reimbursable. For crimes occurring on or after May 8, 2005, child care benefits for dependent(s) of a surviving victim may be limited to a maximum of 90 days. The award is paid at the actual cost of care, not to exceed $100 per week, per dependent or minor child in a licensed day care facility or provider.  For crimes occurring on or after July 15, 2016 may be limited to a maximum of one year, not to exceed $300 per dependent or minor child in a licensed day facility or provider.

Loss of Support benefits are available to dependents of victims. The maximum benefit is $500 per week for crimes before July 15, 2016 and $700 per week for crimes on or after July 15, 2016 and is calculated from the victim's salary. Loss of support may be based upon the suspect’s income in certain family violence contexts. It may also be available when the victim’s loss of earnings exceeds the limit in effect for loss of earnings (i.e. high wage earners).

Funeral and Burial Expenses include reimbursement for professional burial services, flowers, caskets, urns and grave markers. The maximum award for these costs is $4,500 for dates of crime prior to July 15, 2016 and $6,500 for dates of crime on or after July 15, 2016. Costs for transporting the body to another state or country are awarded in addition to the $4,500 or $6,500 maximum.

Crime Scene Clean-Up costs must relate to the removal of crime scene elements that may cause further trauma to the victim or family members. The reimbursement is limited to $750 for crimes before July 15, 2016 and $2,250 for crimes on or after July 15, 2016.

Evidence Replacement awards may be made for items that have been seized by law enforcement for use in the investigation or prosecution of a case or for items seized and rendered unusable during evidence collection and testing. The maximum award for this expense is $750 for crimes before July 15, 2016 and $1,000 for crimes on or after July 15, 2016.

Attorney Fees may be paid for legal services related to the Crime Victims' Compensation process. Attorney fees are paid only if the victim is awarded compensation. Those fees are limited to the lesser of $300 or 25% of awarded benefits. If the attorney assists on an appeal of a CVC decision, the attorney may be entitled to up to 25% of the total amount awarded through the appeal process.

Travel Expenses

Claims arising from crimes that occurred on or after September 1, 1997, may be reimbursed for travel expenses. The expenses must be for the following reasons:

  • medically indicated services related to the crime injury, or
  • attendance at or participation in scheduled investigative, prosecutorial, judicial, or post- conviction events

Mileage is covered for travel of more than 20 miles one way from the victim’s or claimant’s residence. The actual costs for commercial transportation, food, and lodging are paid for travel of more than 60 miles one way. Additionally, expenses for travel to the funeral or memorial of a victim (who died as a result of criminally injurious conduct committed on or after September 1, 2003) may be paid for certain family or household members.

In order to assist victims or claimants with requests for travel reimbursement related to the crime, a travel form in both English and Spanish are available to print or download. After securing the required signatures on this form, return the form via mail to:

Crime Victim Services Division - CVC Program
Office of the Attorney General - MC011
PO Box 12198
Austin, TX 78711-2198

Extraordinary Pecuniary Loss and Emergency Awards

Extraordinary pecuniary loss applications are those in which the victim has suffered a total and permanent disability. An additional award of $25,000 (for crimes occurring before September 1, 1997), $50,000 (for crimes occurring between September 1, 1997 and August 31, 2001), or $75,000 (for crimes occurring on or after September 1, 2001) may be used to pay for items that directly assist the victim, such as lost wages, making a home or vehicle accessible, job training and vocational rehabilitation, home health care, or training in the use of special appliances.

Emergency Awards may be requested if a victim or claimant would suffer undue harm or hardship if an award is not expedited. The award limit is $1,500 and is deducted from any future awards.