Assistance with Financial Recovery
CVC is available to assist victims of crime recover financially from the impact of crime. In addition to Crime Victims Compensation, victims of crime have other resources to obtain financial recovery including but not limited to restitution, civil recourse and emergency financial assistance or support from public and private agencies.
Restitution is a payment that the person or persons who are prosecuted and convicted of committing a crime are ordered to pay directly to the victim. Restitution is ordered as reparation for the financial harm caused by the commission of crime and can only be ordered if the person or persons who commit the crime are convicted. Restitution can only cover actual losses incurred and must be ordered at the time of the sentencing of the offender(s). In Chester County, the payment of restitution is overseen by Chester County Adult Probation. Individuals ordered to pay restitution usually do so by setting up a payment plan through Adult Probation. Chester County Adult Probation then forwards payment to the victim.
If you have any expenses/losses that can be covered by Crime Victims Compensation, you should apply to Compensation for reimbursement even if you are requesting restitution. Receiving Victims Compensation does not relieve the offender(s) of their obligation to pay restitution. If you receive Compensation, the offender will be ordered to reimburse Crime Victims Compensation. To ensure accurate and complete restitution orders, it is necessary for victims to document their losses for the court and/or Chester County Adult Probation.
The types of losses that may be recovered through restitution are listed below:
- Medical care expenses including rehabilitation and health insurance co-payments*
- Mental Health Services*
- Funeral Expenses *
- Crime Scene Cleanup Expenses*
- Cost of replacing locks and security systems
- Child Care Expenses*
- Fees incurred as a result of having to change banking or credit cards
- Reimbursement for stolen property or cash if the property/ cash are not recovered
- Automobile and Home Owner’s Insurance Co- Payments
* Indicate losses/expenses that may be recovered through Compensation
In order to be covered by restitution all of these expenses or losses must be directly related to the crime. If you are a victim in a case that is being prosecuted, you will receive a Restitution Claim Form from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office. It is important to document your expenses/losses by maintaining the following:
- Copies of bills and/ or receipts for items or services
- Documentation of estimates that value stolen property
- Photos of valuables that were stolen
- Documentation of losses that were provided to Law Enforcement
- Copies of any correspondence with the Crime Victim’s Compensation Program
- Copies of insurance claims and related correspondence
Please remember, restitution will not be ordered unless and until there is a conviction in the criminal case. Payments may not begin for several months following the conviction.
Contact CVC for assistance in preparing your restitution claim or with any questions you have regarding restitution by calling CVC’s 24-hour hotlines, 610-692-7420 or 610-692-7273, and asking to speak to a CVC Advocate.
Civil recourse is another way victims of crime can recoup their financial losses as a result of a crime and the only way to receive financial compensation for pain and suffering caused by the crime. The civil justice system can be used by victims to pursue their own private actions against perpetrators for the recovery of monetary damages. Some victims also feel that filing a lawsuit or “suing” offenders assists them in achieving a level of justice. In order to file most civil actions, you must hire a private attorney.
CVC can assist you with filing a civil case in the following ways:
- Explaining the difference between civil and criminal cases;
- Referring you to a private attorney who will assist in determining if a civil suit can or should be filed; and
- Providing advocacy/ accompaniment services if you file civil case and attend hearings related to the civil case.
- If you are a victim of sexual assault and/or stalking and need assistance with civil remedies you may be eligible for assistance from a special CVC collaborative effort, The Crime Victim’s Law Project (CVLP). To find out if you are eligible for CVLP or if you have any questions concerning Civil Justice contact CVC, by calling CVC’s 24-hour hotlines, 610-692-7420 or 610-692-7273, and asking to speak to a CVC Advocate.
Referral: CVC Advocates are aware of private and public resources available to assist victims of crime with emergency needs. If you are the victim of crime and need emergency financial assistance, contact CVC by calling CVC’s 24-hour hotlines, 610-692-7420 or 610-692-7273, and asking to speak to a CVC Advocate.
Please Note: CVC has no emergency funds available and can not guarantee that referral agencies will be able to assist at the time the referrals is made.