Violent crime impacts every aspect of a person's life. The resulting physical and psychological injuries can affect a person's ability to work, go to school, and meet their own individual goals and aspirations. Often victims may require treatment to address the injuries caused by the violent acts of another. The monetary expenses incurred - after losing a loved one, for medical and dental care, psychological assistance, crime scene clean up services, and future security measures - should not serve to further victimize those who are affected by violent crime.
Through the Victim Compensation Division, the Attorney General's Office is often able to provide financial assistance to eligible victims of violent crime for medical and dental care, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, crime scene clean up services, and security measures. Our division uses funds obtained from perpetrators, and can assist with expenses up to a maximum of $25,000 per crime or up to a maximum of $50,000 per crime for cases where the victim sustained catastrophic injuries. Experienced staff within this division will assist victims in understanding their rights as a crime victim, determining what expenses may be eligible for compensation, and assessing what other resources are available to assist them.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of violent crime, please contact the Victim Compensation staff at the Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley for further assistance, at (617) 727-2200 ext. 2160. Please note that victim compensation funds are funds of last resort and are to be rewarded only after all other forms of assistance have been exhausted. For further information about victim rights and victim services, visit the Reporting a Violent Crime section of our website.
Who is eligible?
- Victims of violent crime occurring in Massachusetts
- Dependents and family members of homicide victims
- Any person responsible for the funeral expenses of a homicide victim
What are the requirements?
- The crime must have been reported to police within five days unless there is good cause for delay.
- You must cooperate with law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of the crime unless there is a reasonable excuse not to cooperate.
- You must apply for compensation within three years of the crime. Victims under the age of 18 at the time of the crime may apply until age 21, or later in certain limited circumstances.
What expenses are covered?
To the extent insurance or other funds do not cover your expenses, you may be eligible to be reimbursed for:
- Medical and dental expenses (including equipment, supplies and medications) not covered by insurance
- Counseling expenses (for victims, for family members of homicide victims, and for children who witness violence against a family member)
- Funeral/burial costs up to $4,000
- Lost wages (for victims only)
- Loss of financial support (for dependents of homicide victims)
- Homemaker expenses
- Expenses not covered: property losses, compensation for pain and suffering, and all other losses
Due to recent changes in the law, in cases where the victim was an adult and the crime occurred on or after November 5th, 2010 or where the victim was a child and the crime was reported on or after November 5th, 2010, we may also be able to reimburse for the following:
- Crime scene clean up services for victims and their families, up to $1,500
- The replacement of clothing and bedding seized as evidence, such as during a sexual assault investigation, up to $250
- The replacement, repair or installation of locks or other security devices to promote victims' safety, up to $500
- An increase in funeral/burial reimbursement to $6,500
As a result of additional changes in the law, in homicide cases where the victim was an adult and the crime occurred on or after July 1, 2013 or where the victim was a child and the crime was reported on or July, 1 2013, we may also be able to reimburse for the following:
- An increase in funeral/burial reimbursement to $8,000
Complete the "Application For Crime Victim Compensation" and return it to the Victim Compensation and Assistance Division for verification.
Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley
Victim Compensation & Assistance Division
One Ashburton Place, 19th floor
Boston, MA 02108-1698
(617) 727-2200 ext. 2160
(617) 742-6262 fax
In general, you will receive a decision 4 to 6 months later. Your claim can be reopened for future expenses.
- Victim Compensation: Financial Assistance for Victims of Crime in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (PDF)
- Compensación Para Víctimas: Asistencia Financiera Para Víctimas del Crimen en el Estado de Massachusetts (PDF) (Victim Compensation: Financial Assistance for Victims of Crime in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Spanish)