To be eligible for compensation, a person must be a victim of a qualifying crime involving physical injury, threat of physical injury or death. For certain crimes, emotional injury alone is enough to qualify. Certain family members and loved ones who suffer an economic loss from an injury to, or death of, a victim of a crime may also be eligible for compensation.
The Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) can help victims and family members of victims of crimes such as:
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Sexual assault
- Drunk driving
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Human trafficking
In addition to being the victim of a qualifying violent crime, applicants must also:
- Be either a resident of California or the victim of a crime that happened in California. Learn more in our FAQ.
- Generally, report the crime to the police, sheriff, child protective services, or some other law enforcement agency.
- In most cases, apply to CalVCP within three years of the time the crime happened. Learn more in our FAQ.
- Cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
- Not have participated in or been involved in committing the crime.
- Cooperate with CalVCP by providing the information needed to review the application.
Child Witnesses to Violent Crime
Minors who suffer emotional injuries from witnessing a violent crime may be eligible for up to $5,000 in mental health counseling through CalVCP. A law that went into effect in 2009 allows the minor witness to be eligible for assistance even if he or she is unrelated to the crime victim. To qualify, the minor witness must have been in close proximity to the crime.