Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to send with the application?
You do not need to send anything with the application but be sure to sign the application and provide all information requested. If you have already received medical bills, you may enclose itemized copies of them with your application form. The Program will contact you for further information to support your claim. The program relies on police reports that are requested directly from law enforcement agencies. You do not need to provide them.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for the Crime Victim Compensation Program, you must be an innocent victim of crime or a family member of an innocent homicide victim.
- The victim's conduct must not have caused or contributed to the incident;
- The victim must not have committed a crime that led to the incident; the victim must cooperate with law enforcement and with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of Crime Victim Services in supplying requested information;
- If the victim is listed on the Wisconsin Child Support Lien Docket, the victim must provide a copy of his/her payment agreement that has been approved by the county child support agency;
- The incident must be reported to the police within 5 days of the crime, or within 5 days of the date the crime could reasonably have been reported;
- The application must be received within one year of the incident.
- If the victim was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, the victim must have been a pedestrian or a passenger in another vehicle, a child passenger in the offender's vehicle, or unaware that the offending driver was under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug.
If it has been over one year since the incident occurred, can I still apply?
By statute, the crime victim compensation application must be filed with the Department of Justice within 1 year of the date of the crime. However, there are limited circumstances in which this requirement may be waived. If the application is not filed within 1 year, attach a written statement explaining the reason for the delay. Do not wait until court is over or until medical treatment is completed to send in your application.
If a family member was a victim of a homicide, should all surviving family members fill out an application?
A family member, household member or domestic partner may file an application. If other survivors want to apply for crime victim compensation, they should contact the Office of Crime Victim Services to request a family/household member application.
If I don’t want to go to court and prosecute the offender, can CVC pay for my bills?
Generally, no. The Program requires that victims cooperate with the prosecution of the offender including asking for restitution. In some cases where there is a safety issue this requirement may be waived.
Can I get paid for pain and suffering?
The Crime Victim Compensation Program does not pay for pain and suffering.
The police took my cell phone and/or computer, can CVC send me money to replace those items?
The Program may only reimburse for clothing and bedding held as evidence. The Program may pay for other property that has been damaged due to crime lab testing. Because cell phones and computers are usually returned without damage, the Program cannot reimburse for those items.
Can I get paid for mileage to appointments or court appearances and get paid for time off work for these events?
The Program cannot reimburse for mileage or for time off of work for appointments or court appearances.
I had car insurance but they aren’t paying for a while since my attorney is working on the case. Can CVC pay me anyway?
No, we must subtract any money paid (or TO BE paid) on a claim. That means if there is a civil suit pending, the Program must pend payments.
Can I be paid for lost wages if I was paid in cash?
No, all lost wage claims must be documented through paycheck stubs or income tax returns.
If my employer already paid me through vacation pay or sick leave, may I still be paid crime victim compensation?
No, the Program must deduct all money paid for losses.
Do I need a doctor’s excuse if I missed work?
Yes, all time off work needs to be documented as a disability from a physician.
Can CVC pay for the difference between my usual take-home wages and the amount I am now receiving in disability pay or worker’s compensation?
Yes – with proper medical documentation.
What is this Physician Certification Form and what do I do with it?
The form gives the Program information about your treatment or disability. Give it to your treating physician. If you were only treated in an emergency room and are seeking lost wages, you may send the form to the emergency room staff or make an appointment with a doctor for a follow up visit so the form can be completed.
Can I get paid for lost wages if my child was injured as a result of a crime?
The Crime Victim Compensation Program does not pay lost wages to parents of children injured in a crime. However, in the event of a victim’s death, family members may be reimbursed for lost wages.
Can CVC just send the checks to me and I’ll pay the medical providers?
No, the Program pays the medical providers directly because we have a two-thirds agreement with many of the providers. We may send reimbursement checks to applicants if they have paid costs out of pocket already and have documented their payments. They should send in cancelled checks or itemized bills showing their payments.
I sent in a collection notice, is that enough? Why do I need to get an itemized bill?
The Program requires complete itemized bills for all medical, dental, funeral and counseling costs. The itemized bill provides information needed to determine the charges were crime-related, the balances due, the account numbers and the address where to send the payment.
Do I have to submit bills to my insurance?
Yes, this Program is considered the last payer, by law. This means all insurances; public funding like Medical Assistance, Badger Care, Medicare, etc. must be billed first. The Program may pay co-pays due by the patient and costs denied by insurance. The Program will need documentation of all payments and/or denials.
Can parents be paid for counseling costs if they are being seen in addition to the victim?
No, unfortunately, CVC may only pay victim counseling except in the case of a homicide when family members’ counseling costs may be covered. If a young child is in counseling, the Program allows up to 5 visits with custodial parent to be present but family counseling is not covered.
What do I need to do to get counseling paid for? Is there a limit to how long I can be treated?
The Program requires that your therapist complete an authorization form, which gives a diagnosis, treatment plan and estimated length of treatment. After that information is reviewed, the Program may determine what amount of counseling may be covered. The Program requires an authorization update form to be completed if treatment extends beyond 16 visits.
What is the difference between restitution and compensation?
Restitution is ordered by the judge (court) at sentencing when an offender has been convicted of a crime. The offender is responsible to pay restitution if ordered by the court. Crime Victim Compensation is a fund available to assist eligible crime victims with their allowable expenses that are the result of a crime.
If restitution is ordered to me, why should I apply for CVC?
Offenders may be ordered to pay restitution, but may be unable to pay for a variety of reasons. By applying for compensation, if a claim is found eligible, the victim is assured of timely payment of eligible expenses.
Do I have to send copies of my bills to the CVC program and to the DA’s office?
In order to be sure we have all bills and insurance forms, etc., applicants must send copies of their bills and related documents directly to this Program as well as to the DA’s office if there is a pending case. Some costs can be ordered to be paid as restitution that may not be allowable to be paid by CVC.
How does the DA’s office know what CVC pays on my claim?
The Program informs the DA’s office of all payments made on cases.
What if the offender has been ordered to pay my costs through restitution?
If restitution is ordered and the offender is able to begin to make payments right away, the Program will not make payments. If the offender has been ordered to pay restitution but is incarcerated or unemployed, the Program will make payment and inform Probation and Parole of our payments so the offender will be held responsible for repaying this Program.