SD35 - Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund
Information for the Crime Commission's study concerning the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund was gathered through: interviews, working groups, discussions with representatives of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, and discussions with local and state officials. During the course of the study, the Commission addressed and made recommendations on issues pertaining to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. The Commission made the following recommendations:
• Amend § 19.2-368.3.2 of the Code of Virginia to include Child Protective Services as an agency from which CICF can acquire records for investigation of a claim.
• Establish a crime victims' rights ombudsman position within the Workers Compensation Commission. The ombudsman shall operate as a crime victim compensation resolution advisor. The ombudsman will facilitate and assist victims of crime with the filing and processing of claims. The Commission will designate and employ the ombudsman. The ombudsman shall report directly to the Commission and shall act independently of the Office of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF).
• Create a legal rebuttal presumption that any claim filed by an eligible person is valid. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund office can rebut such a presumption in several ways including showing the applicant was directly or indirectly involved in the criminal conduct which gave rise to the claim.
• Amend § 19.2-368.5(B) of the Code of Virginia to increase the amount of time a victim has to initially file a claim from 180 days to one (1) year after the occurrence of the crime.
• Amend § 19.2-368.5: 1 of the Code of Virginia to increase the time a victim has to perfect his or her claim from 90 days to 180 days after the written notice of the defect is sent by the Commission
• Amend § 19.2-368.7 of the Code of Virginia to increase the amount of time a victim has to appeal a decision by the Office of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund from 20 days to 90 days from the time a report is issued.
• To comply with the federal statutes involving victims' compensation and to prevent a loss of these federal funds, amend §19.2-368.4 of the Code of Virginia so victims who are injured as a result of foreign terrorism are eligible for compensation.
• Broaden the list of compensable crimes for victims who suffer emotional injuries to include all violent felonies as enumerated in § 17-237 of the Code of Virginia.
• Specifically add reasonable and necessary moving expenses, not to exceed $500, to the list of compensable services in § 19.2-368.11:1.
• Amend § 19.2-368.11:1 of the Code of Virginia to increase the statutory cap for allowable funeral expenses from $2,000 to $3,000.