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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, June 5, 2023
HomeNewsLocal governmentUSVI Crime Victims Compensation Program Helps Healing Process

USVI Crime Victims Compensation Program Helps Healing Process

V.I. Department of Human Services

The Virgin Islands Crime Victims Compensation Program has paid over $208,329 in FY 2022 to innocent victims of criminal offenses in the territory. Since recently receiving its annual legislative allotment, which was approved by the 34th Legislature and signed by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. for FY 2023, the funds’ replenishment brings hope for local victims who had no other means of helping to defray the costs caused by personal injury due to a violent crime.

The VI Criminal Victims Compensation Commission (CVCC) was originally established in 1968 and operates under the V.I. Department of Human Services’ Office of the Commissioner. The program, which receives guidance from the department’s chief legal counsel, provides monetary assistance to innocent victims of violent crimes for pain and suffering, medical bills, funerals/burials, lost wages, loss of support to financial dependents, and mental health counseling.

Who can get help?

  • Any person who suffers physical injury as a result of a crime
  • A surviving spouse or child of a homicide victim
  • Any person who assumed responsibility for the funeral expenses of a homicide victim

How do I qualify?

  • You must report the crime to the police within 24 hours of the crime and file a notice of intent to file a claim with the Crime Victims Compensation Program within 90 days.
  • Your claim must be filed within two years of the crime.
  • You will not be eligible for compensation if you caused, provoked or contributed to the crime that caused your injury.
  • You are responsible for proving your claim. You must provide proof that you have unreimbursed expenses as the result of a crime.
  • You must cooperate with law enforcement authorities and the VI Victims Compensation Commission.

How do I file a claim?

  • Submit a complete application.
  • Include a copy of the police report and all of the documents below that apply to your claim; a victim’s death certificate; copies of all medical bills, original receipts of all funeral and burial expenses; birth certificates or other proof of relationship for the victim’s children under the age of 18.

In a statement, DHS Commissioner Kimberley-Causey Gomez spoke on the program’s intent and purpose, and she explained that while compensation cannot address all that victims suffer, it can help with the healing process and repairing the harm.

“While money can never erase the scars and painful memories of a crime, this program may ease some of the financial burdens faced by victims and their families. The financial impacts of violent crime on victims can be significant, and that’s why we provide this assistance – so those burdens don’t solely lie on the shoulders of innocent people who experienced a traumatic event,” Causey-Gomez said.

To get an application for the VI Criminal Victims Compensation program call 718-2980 ext. 1612, or send an email to the Administrator of Criminal Victims Compensation at criminalvictimsusvi@dhs.vi.gov for more information on the program.

For general information, visit the Department of Human Services website at www.dhs.gov.vi  or Facebook at www.facebook.com/usvidhs.

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