Thursday, December 9, 1999
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today released the 1999 Annual Report of the Crime Victims' Compensation Division which stated that the agency paid $37 million dollars to crime victims in 1999. In addition to highlighting the Division's fiscal year efforts to provide financial assistance to victims of crime, the report also outlines the 20-year history of the program.
"I am pleased to report that by working hand in hand with district attorneys, law enforcement and victims' advocates across the state we have distributed a record-breaking $37 million to crime victims. We will continue to work together to see that crime victims get the assistance they need," said Attorney General Cornyn.
During this past fiscal year, more money from the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund was paid to victims and their families than in any other year in the 20-year history of the program. A total of $37.23 million was disbursed. During the same reporting period, the program received 17,659 applications.
Crime Victims' Compensation provides financial assistance with certain out-of-pocket expenses for victims of crime and their family members. Awards may be made for various expenses as long as they are related to the crime.
During the last legislative session, Texas legislators added another benefit to the list of current awards: a onetime-only assistance payment of up to $3,800 to be used for relocation costs including housing rental expenses for victims of family violence.
Existing awards to victims include:
For claims occurring after September 1, 1997, an award may be made for up to $50,000.
However, if the victim suffers a permanent disability due to the crime, a catastrophic injury award may be made for an additional $50,000. People who are victims of child abuse, sexual assault, homicide, kidnaping, aggravated robbery, certain motor-vehicle-related crimes, and other violent crimes are eligible to apply for assistance from the program.
During the 20-year history of Crime Victims' Compensation, a program created by the Texas Legislature in 1979, it has made awards totaling more than $353 million. Money for the program comes from the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund which, according to the guidelines set forth by the Legislature, receives funds from court costs assessed in Texas. Other sources of funding include federal grant funds, restitution reimbursements, donations and money collected from civil cases or subrogation. There are no tax dollars involved in either the awards or the administration of the program.
A copy of the 1999 Annual Report of the Crime Victims' Compensation Division and more information about the Crime Victims' Compensation program are available on the Attorney General's web site at www.oag.state.tx.us or call 1-512-936-1200.
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