Project Victim Services

The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) is an independent state agency responsible for protecting the legal rights and interest of children in state care. These rights include, but are not limited to, a child’s right to appropriate placement, healthcare and education, and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Project Victim Services, under the OCA, has staff who are dedicated to identifying children who may be eligible for Victim Compensation under the Victims of Crime Act.

The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) & Rhode Island Crime Victim Compensation Program (CVCP)

What is The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)?

VOCA was enacted in 1984 and created the Crime Victims Fund, a special account that provides funding dedicated to helping millions of victims of crimes every year. The Fund comes from Federal criminal fines and penalties – not from taxpayers. One of the programs currently supported by the Crime Victims Fund is the Rhode Island Crime Victim Compensation Program.

What is the Rhode Island Crime Victim Compensation Program (CVCP)?

The program was created in 1984 by The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to help victims with the various costs associated with violent crime, and is operated by the Office of the General Treasurer. The program provides victims with financial compensation for expenses up to $25,000.

Expenses qualifying for compensation include:

  • Medical, dental, and counseling expenses
  • Relocation expenses (up to $2,500)
  • Funeral and burial expenses (up to $8,000)
  • Crime scene cleaning (up to $2,000)
  • Loss of earning

CVCP will only assist with financial expenses not already covered by the following:

  • Insurance
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Temporary Disability
  • Public Funds (Medicaid/Medicare)
  • Paid sick or vacation time
  • Restitution

CVCP will not assist with financial expenses such as:

  • Property loss or damage
  • Trial-related expenses (mileage, parking, lodging, etc.)
  • Pain and suffering
Who qualifies for CVCP?

Innocent victims of violent crime who suffered physical or emotional injury and family members of a deceased victim qualify for CVCP. Children who were victims of physical, sexual, or institutional abuse qualify for Victim Compensation. After September of 2017, children who witnessed abuse now qualify for Victim Compensation.

The crime must occur in Rhode Island and must be reported to police within 10 days, and the applicant must have cooperated with the police investigation. The CVCP application must be filed within 3 years of the crime, though the deadline is extended for minors until they reach the age of 21.

How can I apply for CVCP?

Project Victim Services, under the Office of the Child Advocate, is dedicated to identifying children who may be eligible for Victim Compensation, and will reach out to families, social workers, or the child directly to inform the child of their rights. Project Victim Services staff will assist in filling out the application and sending it to the Office of the General Treasurer.

The application requires victim and claimant information, such as name, social security number, and contact information. Additionally, the application requires crime information such as the acting Police Department and the Police Report Number. For any requests for compensation, the victim or claimant must provide copies of bills.

What happens after approval?

Staff will notify children and their families if they are approved for compensation and explain the process of submitting a claim for reimbursement. Claims will remain open until the maximum award is reached. Additionally, staff will remain available to answer any follow-up questions and concerns after approval.

What happens after denial?

Applicants may submit a request for reconsideration within 15 days of the receipt of the notice of denial. The treasurer or treasurer’s designee will reconsider any award of denial within 30 days of the receipt of the request for reconsideration, and the applicant will be notified of the new decision by certified mail.

Within 30 days of the treasurer’s decision upon reconsideration, the applicant may petition the superior court for judicial review.