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Victim's Compensation and DUI Memorial Funds

August 18, 2016

Did you know that innocent victims of crimes and families that have lost loved ones to DUIs are eligible for victim’s compensation or memorial assistance in the State of Georgia? The Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council oversees the Crime Victim’s Compensation Program which helps victims and their families with financial assistance after a tragic crime. The program is designed to help ease the mental and emotional pain of a crime by offering monetary resources to help with expenses due to the crime. Expenses like medical bills, crime scene sanitation, counseling and other costs are eligible to be covered under the program.

Program Requirements

There are several requirements for victim’s compensation. A few conditions that you may meet are:

  • You are an innocent victim of a violent crime and suffered personal injury
  • You are the parent or legal guardian of a minor victim
  • You are the parent or legal guardian of a minor victim and you lost wages or support due to the victimization
  • You are a domestic violence victim who is dependent on support from the offender

You can find all of the requirements on the Victim’s Compensation Program page.

Eligibility Timelines

In addition to meeting requirements to be eligible for compensation, you must also meet a certain timeline for reporting the crime. The victim or witness of the crime must have reported it to authorities within 72 hours of it taking place, or at least demonstrated good cause to do so.  

There are also different stipulations for crimes occurring before and after July 1, 2014.

  • If your crime occurred before July 1, 2014, you must have filed an application within 1 year of the crime, unless good cause is shown. Note: If a claim is filed 3 years after the crime, your eligibility will not be considered.
  • If your crime occurred after July 1, 2014, you must file a claim within 3 years of the crime occurring. However, if the victim is a minor during the time of the crime, they may file a claim up to 3 years after their 18th birthday. Note: the board may give an extension on the filing time if good cause was shown, but this should not be considered a guarantee.

Financial Caps

Each type of compensation has a monetary cap that eligible victims are subject to:

  • Medical/Dental: up to $15,000
  • Counseling: up to $3,000
  • Economic: up to $10,000
  • Crime Scene Sanitation: up to $1,500
  • Funeral: up to $6,000 for crimes occurring after May 6, 2015, and up to $3,000 for crimes occurring before that date

Keep in mind, not all victims of all crimes are entitled to victim’s compensation. Each victim must meet all of the appropriate requirements to take advantage of the Crime Victim’s Compensation Program. Additionally, if you are deemed eligible, it will then be determined how much compensation you will receive. Victims may only receive a maximum of $25,000 total.

There might be extenuating circumstances or additional eligibility requirements, so before applying you may want to call the CJCC at 404-657-2222 for more information and questions.

Other Victim’s Programs

The DUI Memorial Sign Program is for the family of victims killed by someone driving under the influence. Family members can request for the Department of Transportation to place a memorial sign at the site of the accident. Families can apply for this program by submitting a completed DUI Memorial Fund Application by mail or fax.

Sometimes, when someone is convicted of a crime, they could be responsible for paying restitution to the victim. Restitution that has not been claimed is transferred to the Crime Victims Emergency Fund to be held for 3 years. During that time, anyone who is due restitution can submit an Unclaimed Restitution Request Form to receive money that is due to them. The application will be reviewed to ensure eligibility of restitution. (If you think you or your business are owed restitution, search for your name in the database, and you will be advised with next steps.) For funds that have not been claimed within 5 years, the money will be transferred to the Georgia Crime Victims Emergency Fund and it will no longer be available to the victim.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime or could possibly fit into one of the categories discussed above, the CJCC runs an Advocate Service Program to help victims with the victim’s compensation process. The service assists with completing the application, gathering the correct documents and police reports and helping victims with appeals. Because there are different eligibility requirements for each program, applicants are encouraged to email CJCC or call 800-547-0060 for more information and questions about eligibility.


Last updated June 13, 2017.

Chelsea Stephens

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is the Marketing & Training Lead for Digital Services Georgia. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea enjoys writing on topics that citizens and visitors of Georgia can enjoy and learn from. 

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