If you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault or sexual harassment, you usually must bear the burden of the financial costs associated with the sexual assault. These costs could include costs stemming from physical injuries you incurred, and possibly overcoming psychological trauma from post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders.

There are crime victim compensation programs in New York that could provide valuable and needed help, including financial assistance, to you as a victim of these crimes.

Being a victim of violence or abuse can inflict inordinate stress on you and your family. During this trying time, you should not have to be concerned with worrying about paying the bills associated with your medical recovery, counseling services, lost income, or the funeral and burial expenses if a loved one died because of the abuse and attack.

The good news is that help is available to you. New York state has crime victim compensation programs designed so that you (or your family) can receive funds under various acts that provide financial help after a sexual assault.

In addition to government funds, the crime victim’s compensation fund obtains this money almost exclusively from the penalties, fees, and fines assessed by the perpetrators who were found guilty of the crime.

In New York State, as a victim of sexual harassment or assault, you can apply to receive money from the crime victims’ compensation fund by applying with the NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS), formerly referred to as the NY Crime Victims Board (CVB).

Admittedly (as with most government agencies), this can be an arduous and complex matter. Therefore, it is highly beneficial for you to consult with a Bronx, or New York sexual harassment or assault lawyer, who will be vital to help you file professionally and correctly. This will result in getting you the needed medical and financial help you need and deserve.

What Types of Losses or Items Can I Expect to Get Compensation For?

If you, or a member of your family, was a victim of rape, sexual assault or harassment, stalking, domestic abuse, elder sexual assault, your sexual assault lawyer can help you apply to determine what programs you may qualify for, and how much compensation you could receive.

Some of the items you could get assistance with, or compensation for are:

  • Medical, dental, psychological counseling bills and expenses.
  • Loss or damage to your essential personal property (up to $5,000).
  • Burial/funeral costs and expenses (up to $6,000).
  • Lost income, loss of wages, or lost support including those of parents if your child victim is hospitalized (up to $30,000 or more).
  • Transportation costs and expenses (necessary court appearances for prosecution).
  • Occupational / vocational rehabilitation for you if needed.
  • Crime Scene clean-up (up to $2,500).
  • Good Samaritan property losses (up to $5,000).
  • Moving expenses (up to $2,500).
  • Attorney fees, and more.

By consulting, and providing all the details of your case, to your sexual assault, or personal injury lawyer you can be sure to be aware of all the programs you can benefit from, and get all the medical, and financial help you deserve.

What Criteria Must I Have to Apply for Compensation?

New York has its specific requirements to be eligible for compensation, but there are a few general rules that tend to apply for eligibility.

They are:

  • You must report the crime to law enforcement – Most programs require victims to report the crime within a certain amount of time, usually 72 hours. This time frame varies and your lawyer will know the deadlines involved.
  • You must cooperate with law enforcement – Your cooperation is vital in getting help from the state and the criminal justice system. This includes both law enforcement officers and prosecutors, even if no arrest has been made. There are, however, programs that allow waivers for victims who decline to cooperate because of legitimate fears for their health or safety.
  • Submitting documents on time – Deadlines for submitting a financial claim can vary between 180 days up through 2 years following the crime. This is another area where your personal injury lawyer will be invaluable, as all relevant documents, such as a police report or medical bills, must be collected and professionally presented.
  • Victim compensation as a final resource – Some compensation only kicks in once other insurance options, such as Medicaid or Medicare, have been applied to cover costs or losses due to the crime.

Again, you need the help and rightfully deserve it by law. Your Bronx sexual assault lawyer will prepare your case professionally and thoroughly during this stressful time. You need to make sure you receive what you need to move forward!

Who May be Eligible for Compensation for Sexual Assault or Harassment Cases?

It may surprise you, but you may be eligible for compensation, and not even realize it.

Some of the criteria for eligibility are:

  • You were an innocent victim of the assault, or the crime committed.
  • You were physically injured because of the crime.
  • You are under 18, 60 and over, or disabled, and were not physically injured.
  • Your relatives and dependents, including a surviving spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, stepparent, or person primarily dependent on you for support.
  • Those who paid for or incurred burial costs.
  • Your child who witnessed the crime.
  • If you have been the victim of certain types of stalking.

This is only a partial list but to assure you are not missing the help or compensation you deserve, discuss the details of your case with a qualified, Bronx sexual assault lawyer who will know all the types of compensation available to you and your family.

I Have Been Sexually Assaulted or Harassed, What Should I Do First?

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, harassed, or suffered from other forms of erotic misconduct, you have the right to pursue legal recourse. For over three decades, the Law Offices of Thomas Lavin have been successfully, professionally, and empathetically helping New York victims of sexual crimes. Consult with them immediately, and get the help, and compensation you lawfully deserve.