The Harlan County Chamber of Commerce hosted a guest speaker from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CVCB) at the January Chamber meeting.
Chamber Member Anne Hensley introduced Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Staff Advisor Raymond Shields to the members, who then shed some light on the mission of the CVCB.
“The Claims and Appeals Office provides assistance to three different commissions,” Shields said. “The first is the Board of Claims, which handles the negligence suits that are filed against an agency at the state level. They also run the Board of Tax Appeals… Most importantly, and what we’re here for this after -noon, is a discussion on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
According to Shields, the CVCB can help with the costs associated with being the victim of a violent crime.
“They come to us and ask for help paying for certain types of expenses that they incur as a direct result of their victimization,” Shields explained.
Shields explained that the council deals with sexual assault issues.
“The council also administers the sexual assault review program,” Shields said. “The Sexual Assault Examination Program pays for the collection of forensic evidence collected during the Sexual Assault Examination.”
Shields pointed out that the CVCB may be able to help cover medical costs related to an assault.
“If you or a loved one has been the victim of a physical assault and you need to go to the emergency room for treatment such as a fractured skull, broken arm or other, we may be able to help you with this medical care. .expenses, which include follow-up expenses,” Shield said. “We understand that quite often crimes and physical injuries will be serious enough to warrant ongoing medical treatment.”
Shields added that assistance is available for funeral and burial costs.
According to https://kycc.ky.gov, allowable expenses when related to a violent crime include medical expenses, funeral expenses, corrective eyeglasses or lenses, funeral expenses, loss of income unrelated to crime and not exceeding $150 per week. (must be employed at the time of the incident), loss of financial support resulting from the crime (not to exceed $150 per week), and mental health counseling for up to two years.
Expenses that are not covered include legal proceedings, property loss or damage, household living expenses, moving expenses, appeal of a denied claim, and pain and suffering, emotional distress or the loss of the consortium.
To be eligible for compensation, a claimant must report the incident to law enforcement within 48 hours of the justifiable reason why it was not reported, cooperate with law enforcement and the prosecution, except in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, provide a Social Security number or other form of U.S. government-issued identification. The applicant must also be an innocent victim of a crime or conduct who can be charged as a crime or be a third party who is liable to pay the victim’s crime-related expenses. A conviction is not required to qualify.
Hensley asked how the statute of limitations would apply to victims of human trafficking.
“They can be trafficked for 10 years,” Shield said. “So where does the statute of limitations begin? The wording of the statute is basically that if the interests of justice require it, the board can extend the filing deadline. »
Shields also explained that the program is funded by multiple sources such as garnishment of the offender’s wages and private donations.
“The interesting thing about criminal injuries compensation programs is that they are not funded by taxpayers’ money,” Shields explained.
At the federal level, funding comes from sources including, but not limited to, settlements paid by corporations in federal civil cases.
“Any time you have really big civil cases where federal offenders are being ordered to pay, basically the money paid out of those settlements can go into the federal crime victims compensation fund, which would then be distributed to the state levels.”
Shields explained that in Kentucky, each time a lawsuit is filed, a portion of the court fee is earmarked to fund the program.
“Legal fees are one of our biggest sources of revenue,” Shields said. “In short, we have the state money, then we have the federal matching grant, and then we have the active restitution and collection business, which are the three main sources of revenue.”
For more information about the Criminal Injuries Compensation Program, go to the state website at https://kycc.ky.gov.