What is the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Program?
The Arkansas Legislature created the "Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Act" when they passed Act 817 in 1987. The legislation provides a method of compensating and assisting victims and their dependents that have suffered personal injury or death as the result of a violent crime, including DWI and hit and run incidents that are a violation of A.C.A 27-53-10.
Where does the money come from?
The Crime Victims Revolving Fund
One of the most positive aspects of the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Program is that a portion of the funding comes from individuals who commit crimes. A major source of revenue for the program is the assessment of court costs and fees.
The program also receives money through the federal Victims of Crime Act as well as the court-ordered restitution collected from criminals.
Who qualifies as a claimant?
- A dependent of a homicide victim
- An authorized person acting on behalf of one of the above
Is there anyone excluded from acting as a claimant?
Yes. A service provider cannot act as a claimant for the purpose of filing for compensation.
Who qualifies as a victim?
- A person suffering personal injury or death as the result of a criminal act
- Any Arkansas resident suffering personal injury or death as an act of terrorism committed outside the United States
- A minor child of an eligible victim
- An immediate family member of a deceased victim, a sexual assault victim, or a child victim
- A person who resided, at the time of the crime, in the same permanent household as a deceased victim
- A person who discovers the body of a homicide victim
Who is an immediate family member?
- Children of the person suffering personal injury or death as the result of a criminal act
What are the eligibility criteria?
- Victimization must have occurred in Arkansas on or after July 1, 1988
- Claim must be filed within one (1) year of incident (and may be waived for good cause)
- Victimization was reported to the proper authorities within 72 hours (minors excluded, may be waived for good cause)
- Victim must have suffered personal injury or death due to criminal act of another person
- Victim/claimant must be cooperating with the investigation and/or prosecution
- Victim must not have been covered by a collateral source
- Victim/claimant must not have been convicted of a criminally injurious felony
- Victim's conduct must not have contributed to the victimization
- Victim must not have been involved in illegal activity at the time of the incident
- Victim must not have been incarcerated at the time of the incident
- The injury cannot be the result of a motor vehicle accident unless the act was
- Compensation must not unjustly benefit the offender or accomplice
What types of assistance are available to eligible victims?
- Medical, including rehabilitation and dental
- Repair and/or replacement, such as eyeglasses, dentures or hearing aids
- Loss of support for dependents of a homicide victim
What does crime scene clean-up involve?
This expense is available to survivors or dependents of homicide victims only. There is a maximum limit of $3,000 to cover reasonable expenses involved with removing, or attempting to remove, from the crime scene, blood, dirt, stains, or other debris caused by the crime or the processing of the crime scene. Reasonable expenses include, but are not limited to, cleaning supplies, equipment rental, labor, and hazardous waste removal. The location of a crime scene may include a structure or automobile; however, a distinction exists between cleaning and property replacement. Property replacement is prohibited. Additionally, the approval of assistance with this type expense is contingent upon all other eligibility criteria having been met.
What expenses are not covered by the program?
What are the maximum limits?
- Overall maximum is $10,000 per victim, but this can be raised to $25,000 if the victim suffered catastrophic injury that resulted in total and permanent disability;
- Medical expenses are paid at 65% of balance submitted, but if the provider accepts payment they are agreeing to accept as payment in full;
- Mental health expenses are paid up to $3,500 for out-patient treatment and $3,500 for in-patient treatment
- Funeral expenses are paid up to $7,500;
- Crime scene clean-up expenses are paid up to $3,000.
- Up to one week of work loss directly related to participation in criminal justice activities
- Mileage directly related to participation in criminal justice activities can be paid up to $300
- Lodging directly related to participation in criminal justice activities can be paid up to $300 (reimbursement basis only)
- Lodging that is medically necessary for the victim who suffered personal injury can be paid up to $300 (reimbursement basis only)
- Up to $500 can be paid for installation of locks and windows for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence who are victimized in their primary residence (reimbursement basis only)
Who makes the decisions?
The administrative staff is responsible for conducting an investigation on all claims submitted. This involves gathering information regarding the victimization and reviewing all aspects of the case to determine whether the eligibility criteria have been met. The administrative staff will then prepare a synopsis of each claim submitted and forward it to the Board for review during one of its meetings or conference calls. A staff recommendation will accompany the synopsis; however, the Board will make the final decision on each claim.
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