Office of the Attorney General, State of Texas

CVS Update

Volume I . Number IX

Office of the Attorney General
Crime Victim Servcies Division's (CVSD)
Regional Coordinators

CVSD maintains regional offices in Amarillo/Panhandle, Austin/Central Texas, Dallas/North Texas, El Paso/West Texas, Houston/Southeast Texas and San Antonio/South Texas. The Houston and Dallas offices currently do not have regional coordinators. The Regional Coordinators are available to assist advocates, law enforcement and providers with Crime Victims’ Compensation. They can provide technical assistance for Crime Victims’ Compensation program questions and provide training and information for local crime victim advocates and government agencies. At the request of a local law enforcement agency or prosecutor, a victim advocate or provider, the regional coordinator may provide direct victim assistance to victims and/or the families of victims.

Regional Coordinator contact information:

Carole McDanielAmarillo/Panhandle Region(806) 371-0999
Karen MartinAustin/Central Texas Region(512) 463-6294
Christine KruhalskiEl Paso/West Texas Region(915) 834-5815
Manny RuizSan Antonio/South Texas Region(210) 270-1117
VacantDallas 
VacantHouston 

If one of the regional coordinators is in your region, please give them a call and introduce yourself.

View the Regional Coordinator map.

Should I submit the application as a Priority Processing request or as a Presumptive Eligibility application?

Priority Processing? Presumptive Eligibility? What’s the difference? How will I know when to use one or the other?

The Priority Process (PP) was established to expedite the processing of time-sensitive claims. Expediting the process of a claim was developed to keep victims and/or claimants from suffering additional hardship and re-victimization by waiting on a decision.

Some of the claims commonly expedited involve funerals for a deceased victim, the relocation of a victim away from an abusive spouse for safety reasons or funding of emergency medical procedures.

Once a claim has been set up and routed to the Eligibility Section of CVC, a decision is made to determine if the claim is eligible for the program only, not for a specific benefit that the victim or claimant may be requesting.

If all the necessary documentation is received at the same time (the application, offense report, a letter requesting PP and a bill or information about a bill), a determination of eligibility can sometimes be made in a matter of hours versus days or weeks. The criteria to determine if a claim qualifies for Priority Processing is whether or not the documentation required for that particular benefit is received.

Presumptive Eligibility (PE) is another avenue for submitting an application for eligibility for the Crime Victims’ Compensation program. The purpose of PE submissions is to accelerate the process based on the available documents received. Presumptive Eligibility Certification trains advocates regarding the paperwork necessary to enable a reviewer to gather the pertinent data up front, eliminating the mailing process and allowing a decision to be made in a more expeditious manner.

PE consists of submitting a cover sheet, an application (completely filled out and signed) and an offense report. The purpose of the cover sheet is to provide our office with information which is routinely sought out by the eligibility section when processing a claim for eligibility. This information, when it is completely accurate, helps expedite the decision-making on a claim without eligibility staff having to follow up with law enforcement. However, when such information is incorrect or not consistent with the information provided in an offense report, it warrants phone calls, thus delaying the making of a decision on that claim. The decision-making on a claim may take two to four days, depending on the case load and on the accuracy of the information provided on the cover sheet. This process has proven to be very successful and is a “win/win” for all.

To obtain information on how to become PE certified, please visit our website www.texasattorneygeneral.gov. Our website provides information on our training schedules and how to register for this training. Additionally, if at any time any questions arise regarding priority processing or presumptive eligibility, please feel free to contact our office at (800) 983-9933.


Training

The OAG will continue efforts to inform the public about the availability of crime victim services. In 2010, we are stepping up our program training and outreach services to our Texas community.

The training and outreach curriculum includes CVC Presumptive Eligibility Process and Address Confidentiality Program training classes in Austin, held bi-monthly at no cost. In addition, CVSD Regional Trainers are stationed in El Paso, San Antonio and Amarillo to further assist with CVSD victim services and training/outreach. Our Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Service staff will continue to administer S.A.N.E., S.A.R.T. and sexual assault prevention training throughout the state. We also remain active in assisting our Texas counties and the private sector with establishing understanding, support and working relationships with the VINE program.

For a complete list of all of our current training opportunities and registration forms visit our website. For additional training information and specific training requests, please contact CVC by calling (800) 983-9933 and ask to speak with Doris Contreras, Assistant Director of CVC, or Tracy Morales, Eligibility Reviewer/Trainer.


Material Requests

In our continued efforts to assist victim service providers and allied professionals in their response to victims of crime, we are pleased to announce that there is a new supply of victim publications at OAG. Many of the brochures, palm cards, guide books, reports and posters are available at no cost.

To place a publication order please use our Crime Victims Materials Request Form. Mail or fax your supply request form to the OAG at the contact number listed on the bottom of the form.

We encourage you to view each of the victim service publications online. There are a few documents that are only available online and have been provided to you so that you may produce and distribute. If you are interested in producing and/or distributing paper copies of these documents, simply save the PDF of the brochure on a disc or flashdrive, take it to a local copy center and print as many copies as you need on the paper of your choice.

The OAG publications are printed in limited quantities, and our ability to fill orders is based upon availability.

Remote Access to the CVC Claims System

In telecommunication, the term remote access applies to communication with a data processing facility from a remote location. Remote access can also refer to a type of software. However, for many victim service advocates and allied professionals, remote access is a common terminology referring to the convenience of using their computers to communicate online with the CVC program’s mainframe computer system.

For those of you not familiar with CVC Remote Access, we believe you will be pleased to learn that you bypass the CVC telephone call center and gain access from your computer or computer network via the Internet into our mainframe system to retrieve basic and pertinent CVC claim information. Considering that the Crime Victim Service Division’s call center receives up to 2,500 calls per week, CVC Remote Access is a valuable feature giving you the confidence and convenience of knowing that when you connect to the Internet and link your computer to our system you will be able to quickly gather CVC claim information. For security reasons, this is not a system for victim use.

Our Remote Access database is designed to assist law enforcement personnel, non-profit victim advocates and service providers with general case information. Specifically, all applicable users shall be able to view CVC claim status, CVC staff assignment and CVC staff contact information. In addition, service providers may view information specific to their own service provider tax identification number. Nonprofit victim advocates may view additional information to include all medical bills paid and system history.

For all Remote Access users, valuable time spent on the telephone or waiting for a return call will be reduced dramatically, improving your ability to manage, record and monitor your victim services. If you would like to join or find out more about CVC Remote Access, e-mail your request to CVCRemoteUsers@texasattorneygeneral.gov.