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Aid to Certain Victims of Crime

NRS Chapter 217 – Overview of Eligibility for a Victim of a Crime to Receive Aid

According to NRS 217.007, a victim may commence any action which arises from the commission of a felony, against the person who committed the felony within five years after the time the person who committed the felony becomes legally entitled to receive proceeds for any contribution to any material that is based upon or substantially related to the felony which was perpetrated against the victim.

Types of Expenses Covered Under Chapter 217

This aid, if approved, may cover:

  1. Medical and psychiatric care;
  2. Nonmedical corrective care and treatment acquired in being healed through a religious method;
  3. Loss of earnings (if the person is the victim) and loss of support (if the person is the dependent) for up to fifty-two weeks.
  4. Any financial loss to the victim’s dependents;
  5. Reasonable funeral expenses; and
  6. Any other loss the compensation officer finds reasonable to add.

The victim may also be awarded a Governor’s certificate for meritorious citizen’s service.

Besides this, if another person pays for a victim’s funeral, the compensation officer may order that Nevada’s Aid to Victims of Crime refund that person.

Who is Eligible?

The following people may be found eligible if they qualify.

  1. The victim;
  2. Victim’s caretaker if they suffered financial loss or incurred expenses;
  3. Victim’s dependents (in the case of a death);
  4. A minor needing psychological counseling due to battery constituting as domestic violence against an immediate family member or another member of the household; or
  5. A person needing psychological counseling due to the murder of his or her immediate family member or another member of the household.

They lose their eligibility status if they fail to apply for aid within one year of the injury or death of the victim or within five days of the day the report could be reasonably made.

When Is a Victim Automatically Ineligible?

  1. When the victim was injured or killed in a motor vehicle, airplane, or boating accident – If the victim was an intended target, if the victim was a pedestrian, or if the offender was driving under the influence of alcohol or a prohibited substance as defined in NRS 484C, the victim or the deceased victim’s defendants are still eligible for compensation.
  2. When the victim was not an American citizen or was unlawfully residing in America at the time of the crime
  3. The dependent of a victim or deceased victim cannot collect aid when he or she was a codefendant, accomplice, coconspirator of the crime or was an adult passenger in the criminal’s vehicle when the crime was committed.
  4. When the victim’s injuries or death happened while in prison or jail
  5. When the victim’s injuries or death happened while in any facility designated for the commitment or detention of minors as described in Title 5 of the NRS
  6. When the victim or the dependent refuses to cooperate with the necessary law enforcement agencies – This does not mean the victim will be forced to prosecute the offender.

Exceptions

  1. As long as the offender will not profit from it, the victim (whether a relative of or in a continuing, personal relationship with the offender at the time of the crime) may be eligible.
  2. Regardless of who may be eligible, the compensation officer may deny the application of a victim or victim’s dependent if no serious financial hardship is bound to come upon them due to the injury or death.

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What If the Crime Was Committed Elsewhere?

If a resident of Nevada was a victim of a crime that happened in another state, he might still be eligible to receive compensation if:

  1. The state where she was a victim doesn’t have a compensation program; or
  2. The victim is not eligible for the other state’s compensation program.

How Eligibility is Determined

In determining a victim’s eligibility for aid, the compensation officer, appointed by the clerk of the State Board of Examiners, will take several things into account. A few of those things are:

  1. Medical bills from the injury;
  2. Medical reports from the treating physicians;
  3. Amount of wages lost due to the crime;
  4. Available insurance benefits to help pay for the injury or death of the victim;
  5. Reports for officers at the scene; and,
  6. Witness statements.

Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault

The county will provide and pay for the initial medical treatment, forensic testing, and necessary continuing care for a sexual assault victim.  The victim and spouse can then apply for psychological care.

To be approved, however, the victim must report the sexual assault within three days of when it can be reasonably reported, and then must apply for aid must within sixty days of the assault.

Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence

Any county with a population of over 700,000 must have a fund specifically for assisting victims of sexual assault. In fact, 15 percent of all of the grant money issued from the Account for Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence must be granted to an organization specifically created to aid sexual assault victims.

Fictitious Addresses

A person can apply to have a fictitious address assigned to them by the Attorney General if they’re victims of:

  1. Domestic violence;
  2. Human trafficking;
  3. Sexual assault; or
  4. Stalking.

Aid to Victims of Sexual Abuse

The county will pay for counseling for any victim of sexual abuse and any family member of the victim that lives with him or her. The offender is not eligible for this aid.

Contingency Account for Victims of Human Trafficking

The Contingency Account must be allocated to establish or provide services or programs to victims of human trafficking. Any agency, nonprofit organization, or subdivision of Nevada has access to these funds upon approval of the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

They can submit an application to the Director. If the application proves there an emergency need for funding, the Director will make the allocation immediately. Otherwise, the application must go through reviewed and then pass through the Grants Management Advisory Committee.

What To Do If Denied

It can take up to sixty days for the victim to hear if the application is approved. If denied, the victim can follow this process:

  1. Request a hearing with the hearing officer within fifteen days.
  2. If he denies you, appeal to the appeals officer within the next fifteen days.
  3. If he denies you, appeal to the State Board of Examiners.
  4. Their decision is final.

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