California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
The three-member Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) provides oversight for the many programs entrusted to this department within California’s State and Consumer Services Agency. The VCGCB’s diverse portfolio of responsibilities includes the following programs:
Victim Compensation Program
The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter. If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and federal matching funds.
Government Claims Program
The Government Claims Program (GCP) helps resolve claims against State agencies and employees for money or damages. In most cases, a person who is considering suing the state is required to first seek an administrative remedy by filing a claim with the GCP. Typical claims involve state vehicle accidents, contract disputes, outdated State checks and damage to property. The GCP is self-funded, supported by a $25 filing fee and a surcharge paid by state agencies on approved claims.
Additional Responsibilities of the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
- Restitution Recovery: A highly effective revenue recovery program focuses on partnering with counties and other state departments to ensure the collection of restitution fines and orders from criminal offenders that in turn fund compensation for crime victims.
- Compensation for Good Samaritans: The Board administers the provisions of California law that provide for compensation to Good Samaritans who suffer injury or loss as a result of their efforts to prevent a crime, apprehend a criminal, or rescue a person in immediate danger of injury or death.
- Missing Children Reward Program: The California Legislature created the Missing Children Reward Program to assist local law enforcement agencies and other parties involved in the identification and recovery of missing children in California.
- Claims of Erroneously Convicted Persons: Under California law, a person erroneously convicted of a felony and incarcerated in a California state prison may file a claim against the state for pecuniary loss.
- California State Employees Charitable Campaign: The Board assists with the administration of the California State Employees Charitable Campaign. This campaign provides a single, coordinated fund-raising drive that allows state employees to direct contributions from their paychecks to any of the hundreds of participating charitable organizations.
- Bid Protests: California law provides that an unsuccessful bidder may protest the award of a state contract, if the bidder believes they should have been selected based on the criteria in the bid request document.
- Per Diem Rates for Members of State Legislature: California law requires the VCGCB to establish daily living expense compensation rates (commonly known as per diem) for members of the Legislature that are not less than the rate provided to federal employees traveling to Sacramento (Government Code § 8902). By regulation, the per diem rate is equivalent to the rate set by the United States General Services Administration for federal employees traveling to Sacramento (2 CCR § 721). The rate set by the United States General Services Administration as of October 1, 2009 is $170.