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Crime Victims Compensation FAQ

Receiving Compensation as a Victim of a Crime:


What You Need to Know

The Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program, which is administered by the Ohio Attorney General with court review provided by the Ohio Court of Claims, reimburses crime victims, their families and others who may incur specific expenses resulting from a crime of violence. These expenses may include medical bills, lost wages, counseling and funeral expenses, although the program was recently amended to also include the following expenses: hearing aids, dental aids, glasses, walkers and wheelchairs. Reimbursement for these expenses is considered after all payments or adjustments from insurance providers or other available sources have been made.

How do I qualify for this program?

If you or a family member are the victim of a crime and you incurred out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance or another source, you may be eligible for compensation from the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program. Family members of an injured victim may also be eligible under certain circumstances.

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What if the person who hurt me is a family member?

Not only are you still eligible to apply for the Crime Victims Compensation Program, but the program may pay for an attorney to help you get a protective order, providing the order requires physical separation between you and the offender.

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Do I need to file a police report in order to qualify for the program?

Yes. Although the former 72-hour deadline for filing a police report has been eliminated, the victim must file a police report.

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What if the person who injured me was never officially charged with a crime?

You can still participate in the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program, although you must fully cooperate with law enforcement officials who are investigating and prosecuting the person who injured you.

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Can I receive compensation for pain and suffering or for stolen, damaged or lost property?

No. However, reimbursements for crime-scene cleanup and repairs, items taken for evidence, and the replacement costs for clothing damaged due to medical treatment and assessment may be available.

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Are there restrictions regarding who can participate in the program?

Yes. If you were the person who committed the crime or you engaged in significant misconduct that caused or contributed to your injuries, you are not eligible for the program. Certain types of serious criminal history will also disqualify you.

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Do I need an attorney to apply for compensation or to appeal a decision by the Ohio Attorney General?

No. An attorney is not required, even if you appeal your case to the Court of Claims. However, if you choose to use an attorney to assist you in applying for compensation, that attorney will be paid by the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program, and any attorney fees will not be deducted from your award. The attorney who worked on your claim cannot charge you for helping to file your claim or for legal representation during the application or appeals process. The attorney must submit his or her fees directly to the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program for consideration.

For more information on self-representation, please visit our Self-Represented Litigants page.

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How do I start my claim?

The Ohio Attorney General investigates and makes the initial decision on all claims. Contact the Ohio Attorney General’s office at 1.877.5VICTIM (1.800.584.2846) or apply online at: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Victims/Apply-for-Victims-Compensation/Apply-Online.aspx

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What if I disagree with the Ohio Attorney General’s decision on my claim?

You may appeal your claim to the Ohio Court of Claims. You may appeal an award, the amount of an award, or the denial of a claim. No fee is required. Click here for the Appeal form.

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What happens if I appeal the Ohio Attorney General’s decision?

The Court of Claims will conduct a hearing within 90 days. You will have the chance to testify, and you may also have witnesses testify on your behalf. To ensure that your witnesses will be there, ask the Court to issue a subpoena requiring their presence. The Court will issue a written decision within 60 days after the hearing. The decision is final and not subject to further review.

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What do I need to know before coming to court?

  • Proper attire is expected at all court proceedings.
  • Cell phones and pagers are allowed in court, but they must be turned off prior to entering the courtroom.
  • Courtroom procedures are open to the public. However, certain subject matters may be inappropriate for small children and younger adults.
  • For information about directions and parking, click here.
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How do I find more details about court Rules and state laws?

Please understand that the Court is obligated to follow certain rules and statutes. Failure to comply with these regulations could impact the outcome of your case. Click here for court Rules and state laws.

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What is the difference between the Ohio Court of Claims Crime Victims Compensation Program and the Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victims Compensation Program?

It is the same Program, but the Attorney General and the Court of Claims have different roles within the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program. The Attorney General reviews and investigates the initial claim, and then issues a decision. If you disagree with the Attorney General's decision, in whole or in part, you have the right to appeal the Attorney General's decision in the Court of Claims. Your appeal must be filed within 30 days of the Attorney General's final decision. The Court will hear your claim and make a final determination.

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