Priority Processing? Presumptive Eligibility? What’s the difference? How will I know when to use one or the other?
The Priority Process (PP) was established to expedite the processing of time-sensitive claims. Expediting the process of a claim was developed to keep victims and/or claimants from suffering additional hardship and re-victimization by waiting on a decision.
Some of the claims commonly expedited involve funerals for a deceased victim, the relocation of a victim away from an abusive spouse for safety reasons or funding of emergency medical procedures.
Once a claim has been set up and routed to the Eligibility Section of CVC, a decision is made to determine if the claim is eligible for the program only, not for a specific benefit that the victim or claimant may be requesting.
If all the necessary documentation is received at the same time (the application, offense report, a letter requesting PP and a bill or information about a bill), a determination of eligibility can sometimes be made in a matter of hours versus days or weeks. The criteria to determine if a claim qualifies for Priority Processing is whether or not the documentation required for that particular benefit is received.
Presumptive Eligibility (PE) is another avenue for submitting an application for eligibility for the Crime Victims’ Compensation program. The purpose of PE submissions is to accelerate the process based on the available documents received. Presumptive Eligibility Certification trains advocates regarding the paperwork necessary to enable a reviewer to gather the pertinent data up front, eliminating the mailing process and allowing a decision to be made in a more expeditious manner.
PE consists of submitting a cover sheet, an application (completely filled out and signed) and an offense report. The purpose of the cover sheet is to provide our office with information which is routinely sought out by the eligibility section when processing a claim for eligibility. This information, when it is completely accurate, helps expedite the decision-making on a claim without eligibility staff having to follow up with law enforcement. However, when such information is incorrect or not consistent with the information provided in an offense report, it warrants phone calls, thus delaying the making of a decision on that claim. The decision-making on a claim may take two to four days, depending on the case load and on the accuracy of the information provided on the cover sheet. This process has proven to be very successful and is a “win/win” for all.
To obtain information on how to become PE certified, please visit our website www.texasattorneygeneral.gov. Our website provides information on our training schedules and how to register for this training. Additionally, if at any time any questions arise regarding priority processing or presumptive eligibility, please feel free to contact our office at (800) 983-9933.