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Except in unusual circumstances, you do not need an attorney but you always have the right to hire or consult with one. The Commission investigates each claim and is willing to deal directly with you without an attorney. You can hire an attorney at any stage of the process. However, any attorney fee must be paid by you, and Commission rules do not limit the amount that an attorney might charge you.
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The Michigan Crime Victim Compensation Fund was established to provide financial help to crime victims who suffer personal injury (bodily harm) or lose earnings or support because of the crime. Our Victim Assistance Coordinator will be able to help with any questions you might have.
The actual amount of compensation, if any, depends upon the facts of each case. Do not try to decide for yourself whether you are eligible. If you have any doubt, file a claim and the Board will decide.
Compensation to crime victims is limited in many ways, including:
Note: The minimum loss requirements will be waived for persons retired by reason of age or disability, and for the expense of forensic medical exams for sexual assault victims.
Note: These losses might be recoverable through court-ordered restitution as part of a convicted perpetrator's criminal sentence, or through the enforcement of a judgment obtained in a civil lawsuit against the wrongdoer.
Money to support the Crime Victim Compensation Fund is paid by criminal defendants convicted in Michigan's courts, plus from some criminal fines in Michigan's federal courts.
The Crime Victim Services Commission will consider you to be a "crime victim" if you:
Note: The Prosecuting Attorney does not represent the Crime Victim Services Commission. The Prosecuting Attorney cannot waive any requirement of the law or rules of the Commission.
Obtain and completely fill out an application form. Forms are available from the Crime Victim Services Commission, our office, police or sheriff's departments, and victim assistance agencies. Your claim must be filed with the Commission not later than 1 year after the occurrence of the crime.
File the claim by mailing it to:
Crime Victim Services Commission320 South WalnutLansing, Michigan 48913Phone: 517-373-7373
Note: Do not submit false information! Doing so to get money from the State is a crime. Plus, those who receive money to which they are not entitled, cheat legitimate crime victims by depleting the limited resources the State of Michigan has available for crime victim compensation.
Yes. The Commission is the payor of last resort. Payments from insurance or public funds for out-of-pocket expenses, lost earnings or support (except disability or death benefits paid to a peace officer) are primary resources, and must paid and reported to the program before any award for remaining compensation is considered by the Commission. The claimant must repay the State of Michigan out of any later insurance settlement or court-ordered restitution covering a loss reimbursed by the Commission.
Your application will be reviewed by Commission staff for completeness. An incomplete form will be returned to you with a list of the information or additional paperwork that are needed. Your claim is assigned a claim number. The Commission will notify the Prosecuting Attorney that a claim for compensation is pending. A claim specialist will conduct an investigation to verify the validity of the claim and the extent of any compensable loss. The claimant may be requested to provide documentation if the Commission is otherwise unable to verify the claim.
This depends on the accuracy and completeness of your application, and how long it takes to get additional information the Commission needs to investigate. You will be notified in writing with the record and findings of your claim. If it is approved, the decision will show itemized payments, which will be made within a few days; if you owe money to your medical providers, the Commission will pay the providers.
If your claim is denied, the Commission will notify you in writing, and the legal reasons will be explained. If you are dissatisfied, you have 30 days to appeal the individual Commission member's decision to the full Crime Victim Services Commission. You may request an evidentiary hearing. The decision of the full Commission is final. If still dissatisfied, you may filed a request for leave to appeal with the Court of Appeals within 30 days after the Crime Victim Services Commission's final decision.
A person's papers and testimony before the Commission are private. The Commission may tell only whether a person's claim was approved or denied. Any other information will only be released by a court order.