To be eligible for victim benefits, a person must be a victim of crime involving physical or threat of physical injury, emotional injury, or death, as a result of the crime.
Victims of crime may qualify for medical, emotional, and financial assistance due to a crime-related physical injury, threat of physical injury or death.
Family members of a victim of crime may also be eligible.
Other services we offer
HEART4Victims can help crime victims who applied for assistance in California (CalVCB) and have been denied expense requests.
You have the right to appeal.
If your California Victims Compensation Board (CalVCB) application or expense request(s) are recommended for denial and you or your attorney representative do not agree with staff’s recommendation, you have a right to file an appeal. Keep in mind that your appeal must be filed within 45 days of the date the CalVCB mailed the notice to deny the application and/or expense request. In some cases, if additional information is provided, the denial may be reconsidered immediately. Otherwise, most appeals are scheduled for a hearing before a Hearing Officer. This hearing gives you the opportunity to present information supporting your claim.
Our HEART4Victims volunteers can help you understand why your application and/or expense request was recommended to be denied and explain what you may do to resolve the issue.
Denial recommendations are often related to missing required information. For example, if a crime report was not available at the time your application was reviewed, staff may recommend denial of eligibility because they were unable to verify that you were a victim of a crime. However, if a crime report was submitted after the recommendation was made, the issue may now be resolved and your application can be re-evaluated.
Another example could be that staff was not able to verify with your employer that you were employed at the time you became a victim of a crime. This could result in a request for income loss to be recommended to be denied. In this case, you need to ask your employer to verify your employment and you would provide that information with your appeal.
Categories of victimization
In California, elders are defined as persons 65 years and older. Under California law, elder abuse can be both criminal and civil.
Criminal elder abuse occurs where any person who knows that a person is an elder and willfully causes or permits that elder to suffer, or inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on the elder. It also covers situations where a person willfully causes or permits an elder to be placed in a situation in which elder’s health is endangered.
Civil law elder abuse means physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment resulting in physical harm or pain or mental suffering to an elder. It also means the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
Examples of Elder Abuse:
- Abandonment: The desertion of an elder by someone who is a caregiver.
- Abduction: The removal, without the consent of the conservator, of a conservatee to another state.
- Financial Abuse: The illegal or unethical exploitation and/or use of an elder’s funds, property, or other assets.
- Isolation: The intentional prevention of an elder from receiving mail, telephone calls or visitors.
- Mental Suffering: The infliction of fear, agitation, confusion through threats, harassment or other forms of intimidating behavior.
- Neglect: The failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation such as assisting in personal hygiene, providing food, clothing or shelter, protecting an elder from health and safety hazards, or preventing malnutrition.
- Physical Abuse:The infliction of physical pain or injury, sexual assault or molestation, or use of physical or chemical restraints for punishment.
How to Recognize Elder Abuse
1. Possible Physical Abuse and Neglect Indicators: The following are some clues for recognizing signs of physical elder abuse.
- Unexplained weight loss, malnutrition and/or dehydration, bedsores.
- Unseen physical injury: Painful reaction when touched.
- Bruises, skin damage or broken bones.
2. Behavioral Indicators can include:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Hesitation to talk openly
- Implausible stories
- Non responsiveness
3. Possible Relative or Caregiver Abuse Indicators:
- An elder may not be given the opportunity to speak for themself.
- Obvious absence of assistance, attitudes of indifference, or anger toward an elder by a family member or caregiver.
- Social isolation or restriction of activity of an elder.
- Conflicting accounts of incidents by the family or caregivers.
- Substance abuse by individual responsible for the care of an elder.