409 – Texas Crime Victims Compensation Act

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Purpose

The Texas Legislature, recognizing the need for identification of victims of crime and citizens who suffer personal injury or death in the prevention of crime or the apprehension of criminals, established the Crime Victims Compensation Act to ease the financial and emotional burdens suffered by innocent victims.

Funding of the Crime Victims Compensation Act

The Crime Victims Compensation Act is funded by court costs incurred by felony and misdemeanor offenders and violators of municipal and traffic ordinances. The fines are $20, $15, and $3, respectively.

Definitions

Collateral Source: Benefits awardable other than the Crime Victims Compensation Act, such as: court-ordered restitution, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, disability, insurance, workers’ compensation, wages paid by employer, insurance payments, prepaid hospital, and other health care benefits.

Dependent: A surviving spouse; a person who is the dependent of a victim of intervene under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code; a posthumous child of victim of intervene.

Pecuniary Loss: Expenses reasonably and necessarily incurred, such as:

Child Care: Care of minor children enabling victim his or her spouse (but not both) to work up to $50 per child a week, with maximum of $125 a week per family.

Death: Funeral and burial expenses (up to $3,000) loss of support to dependents not otherwise compensated for as a pecuniary loss for personal injury as long as the dependence would have existed had the victim survived at a rate not more than $200 per week for all dependents are of minor children enabling surviving spouse work (see “Child Care” above).

Earnings: Loss of future earnings because of disability resulting from injury at a rate not to exceed $200 per week (unless victim is an accomplice of the offender or resides in same household as the offender).

Personal Injury: Medical, hospital, nursing, physical therapy, and counseling expenses limited to 40 sessions or an amount not to exceed $3,000. Psychiatric hospitalization care is limited to $400 per day, with a maximum 30-day stay.

Victim: Texas resident or someone in the State of Texas at the time the crime occurs and who suffers personal injury or death as a result of criminally injurious conduct and intervenes; a dependent of a deceased victim who is not dependent but who, as a direct result of the crime, requires psychiatric care or counseling; a person who is not an immediate family member or a dependent, but who resides in the same household as a deceased victim in a relationship with the victim within the second degree of consanguinity and who, as a direct result of the death, a person who legally (or voluntarily) pays the medical or burial expenses; an immediate family member of a victim who is a child, if the immediate family member requires psychological or psychiatric counseling.

Violent Crime: Criminal offenses defined in the Texas Penal Code or federal criminal law that results in personal injury. Automobile crash victims are covered ONLY in the events of Failure to Stop and Render Aid (FSRA) and those attributed to Driving While Intoxicated.

Filing Requirements

The crime must be reported to law enforcement within 72 hours (waived if victim is a child). A claim must be filed within one year of the crime (waived if victim is a child).

Benefits Allowed

The maximum benefits allowable is $25,000 (see Section III, “Pecuniary Loss”).

Emergency Awards

In extreme hardship cases, emergency awards may be approved up to $1,500. This will be deducted from the final award.

Legal Reference

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 56, “Rights of Crime Victims,” Article 56.32, et sequentes.

Revision

This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009

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