INDIANAPOLIS – A new state law aims to help get financial assistance to more Hoosiers impacted by violent crime.
Indiana’s victim compensation fund, which is supported by a federal grant, helps cover counseling, funeral services and other expenses for victims of violent crime and their families.
“Eligible expenses that we often routinely pay out: medical expenses up to about $15,000, funeral and burial costs up to $5,000; we pay for mental health counseling related to the victimization up to $3,000,” said Devon McDonald, executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, which oversees the fund.
Starting July 1, House Enrolled Act 1292 allows more Hoosiers to receive those funds.
It extends eligibility to any family members who incur expenses as a result of a violent crime instead of only an immediate family member. And it will also cover additional expenses, such as crime scene cleanup, replacement windows and new door locks.
“Some of the changes that have occurred to be more flexible with today’s issues just needed to be addressed,” explained State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica), the legislation’s author.
These changes in the law will only apply to crimes committed on or after July 1 when the law takes effect, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
For most crime victims, you have to apply for assistance within two years after the crime was committed to be eligible. For more information, click here.