Benefits vary depending on the date of the crime and are based on expenses the victim/claimant owes for eligible services actually performed. Payment cannot be considered based on estimated costs that might be incurred in the future. The overall maximum benefit currently available under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Program is $30,000. Benefits are reduced by the amount of any other public or private assistance available to the victim/claimant. This includes insurance; workers’ compensation benefits; medical, health or disability benefits, etc. Because the program is a fund of last resort, payment by the program is secondary to all other available benefits. For medical-related, dental and mental health counseling expenses arising from crimes on or after July 1, 2008, the program will only pay up to 75% of billed charges the program finds eligible for uninsured patient services and, if applied, requires the provider to accept the payment as payment in full if payment equals 75% of billed charges.
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- Compensation for Medical or Mental Health Expenses
- Compensation for Lost Wages
- Compensation for Permanent Impairment
- Compensation for Pain and Suffering
- Death Benefits
- Compensation for Crime Scene Cleanup
- Compensation for Property Loss or Damage
- Compensation for Moving Expenses
- Compensation for Travel to Trial
- Compensation for Other Losses
A victim’s medical expenses directly related to a covered injury are reimbursable under the program, up to the maximum award available. Mental health counseling may be available for a victim and, in certain circumstances, for certain relatives of a victim as provided for under program provisions. A “relative” is defined under the program’s provisions in the law.
A victim whose crime-related injuries temporarily prevent him/her from working may be eligible to receive compensation for wages lost due physical inability to work due to the injuries. Reimbursement is determined in accordance with the criminal injuries compensation law and is based on the victim’s weekly wage at the time of the injury. To be eligible for compensation, a victim must be employed immediately prior to the injury. The level of compensation varies according to the victim’s salary at the time of the injury and the amount allowable under program provisions.
A victim may qualify for permanent total or permanent partial impairment that results from injuries incurred as the result of the crime. Payment for such disabilities is paid as allowable under the criminal injuries compensation law and is based on the victim’s weekly wage at the time of the injury, provisions in the law pertaining to the injuries, and a physician’s assessment of those injuries.
Persons who are victims of sexually-oriented crimes may be eligible for up to $3,000, if it is determined that the victim experienced pain and suffering as a result of commission of the sexually-oriented crime. Tennessee is currently one of only two states that allows a criminal injury compensation payment of pain and suffering.
Benefits are available to the dependents of a deceased victim, subject to the maximum amounts available under the program. This may include loss of support, as well as reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses up to $6,000 and crime scene cleanup expenses up to $3,000. Mental health counseling expenses may also be reimbursable up to $3,500 for relatives of the deceased victim (as defined in criminal injuries law), also subject to the overall award amount. All types of reimbursement fall within the overall maximum award amount.
Reimbursement may be considered for expenses incurred to clean a residential homicide, sexual assault or aggravated assault crime scene, provided that the cleaning is necessary due to the crime or processing of the crime scene and the residence is that of the victim or a relative (as defined by criminal injuries compensation law). Compensation may be available up to $3,000, subject to the overall maximum award amount.
Property loss or damage is not covered under the program. The only exceptions are:
- Loss of or damage to “dental devices,” “medically related devices” or “artificial prosthetic devices.”
- Reasonable costs for cleaning, repairing or replacing eyeglasses and hearing aids owned by a victim that were damaged or destroyed by the crime or processing of the crime scene.
- Reasonable costs for repairing or replacing personal property owned by the victim or a victim’s relative (as defined by criminal injuries compensation law) that was damaged or destroyed in processing the scene of a homicide, sexual assault or aggravated assault. This compensation may apply only if the scene was the residence of the victim or the relative of the victim who owned the property.
Reimbursement may be considered for certain moving expenses when the crime occurs in the victim’s primary residence. If eligible, payment may be considered for a victim’s reasonable moving costs, storage fees, and utility transfer fees.
Limited reimbursement may be considered for a claimant’s reasonable travel expenses to attend the trial, appellate, post conviction or habeas corpus proceedings of the alleged defendant(s) who committed the crime upon which the claim is based. This compensation may be available for the victim, guardian of a minor victim, legal representative of an estate (not an attorney who serves as such for a fee), or victim’s relative as defined by criminal injuries law. No claimant may receive an award if he or she is eligible for payment of travel expenses by the state or county as a result of attending the trial as a witness. Travel may not exceed a cumulative total of $1,250 for all claimants and no more than four (4) claimants may receive reimbursement as a result of the “same criminal act.”
Losses or expenses actually incurred by the victim that are related to the crime but which are not listed above may be approved for reimbursement if allowable and deemed appropriate by the Division of Claims Administration.