The Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Program (CVC) is identified as the "payer of last resort" by Article 56, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. This means that the victim or claimant must first seek payment from all other collateral sources such as medical or auto insurance, employee benefit programs, Social Security, and Medicaid, or Medicare before CVC can consider payment.
Examples of available collateral sources include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Medical, Auto, Home, and Burial Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Disability Insurance
- Social Security
- Veteran's Health Benefits
- Texas Public School Teacher Benefits
- Police Officer Benefits
The CVC Awards case manager assigned to the victim's claim will examine all collateral sources listed on the application or identified through additional correspondence to determine if an additional source of compensation for crime-related expenses exists or becomes available.
When a case manager determines that an additional collateral source is available, they will update the claim file with the appropriate information and then make the necessary written requests for documentation to process payments. In cases where the criminally injurious conduct involved a motor vehicle, the case manager will review the claim file for auto insurance for both the victim and suspect. When medical insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare benefits are available to a crime victim, CVC staff members will interact with service providers in order to obtain copies of explanation of benefits (EOB) so that any payments made by the insurance program can be considered. If expenses are denied by a collateral source, CVC must obtain a written explanation for the denial from the collateral source.
Restitution and Subrogation are other collateral sources that usually come from the offender or a third party. By statute, CVC has a responsibility to attempt recovery from restitution or subrogation awards if CVC benefits are awarded to a victim.
In the case of restitution, CVC works closely with prosecutors and judges to provide payment information and claim status in a timely manner to ensure that restitution orders are issued for repayment to the fund. Restitution, if paid at all, is often received over a long period of time, so in most cases CVC will pay in advance rather than force the victim to wait to receive restitution.
If a victim receives compensation benefits and also receives an award from a civil legal action against the offender or a third party for the same expenses, the victim must repay the program. The victim or claimant may deduct the reasonable expenses of the suit, including attorney fees expended in pursuing the recovery for the state, from the recovered benefits.
Making a Difference
The CVC Application Process
Advice for Advocates
Crime Victims' Rights Week 2007