Crime Victim Services

Wisconsin Crime Victim Compensation Program

Note – this information was provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Every year hundreds of people are injured or killed in Wisconsin as a result of violent crime. These innocent people may experience the trauma of the event, of medical expenses, grief, other expenses, and loss of earnings. They are victims of assault, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault, homicides, drunk drivers and other serious crimes and many are children or vulnerable adults.

The State of Wisconsin recognizes the needs of victims and their families. WI Statute 949 states the Crime Victim Compensation Program has a moral responsibility to aid innocent victims of violent crime, to ease their financial burden, and maintain their dignity as they go through difficult and often traumatic times.

If you are an innocent victim of violent crime that occurred in Wisconsin, and the crime is compensable by statute, the Crime Victim Compensation Program may be able to help you.

Compensable crimes. Who may be eligible?

  • An innocent person who was the victim of a crime that occurred in Wisconsin
  • An innocent victim who suffers physical and/or emotional harm or death from a crime
  • A dependent or legal representative of an innocent victim who has been killed as a result of a crime
  • A person who is injured while aiding a crime victim or helping a police officer
  • A person who suffers a reaction from the death of a family or household member
  • A person who is injured in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver

What expenses may be paid?

Up to $40,000 in payment for expenses for any one injury or death, including:

  • Medical, hospital, surgical, pharmacy and mental health counseling expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of support to a dependent of a crime victim who is killed
  • Reasonable replacement costs of clothing or bedding held as evidence by the police, prosecutor or crime lab – up to $300
  • Reasonable replacement value for property held as evidence and made unusable by crime lab testing – up to $200
  • Reasonable and necessary costs for securing and cleaning a crime scene – up to $1,000
  • Cost of homemaker services
  • An additional $2,000 may be paid for reasonable funeral expenses.

No property loss or damage is covered other than those described above.

The Crime Victim Compensation Fund is the “payer of last resort.” The State of Wisconsin is the secondary payer of out-of-pocket expenses that are not paid or payable by a private or group insurance plan, public funds, or any other source, including subrogation or restitution for the offender. All other sources of financial resources must be used before the Program can be of assistance. Individuals with insurance, Medical Assistance, or other sources of payment must use providers approved by their plan. If money is received from the offender or a third party through restitution or any civil action, the money must be re-paid to the state for any money paid out on behalf of the victim.

What determines whether someone is eligible?

  • The crime must have been reported to a law enforcement agency within 5 days of the date on which it occurred and,
  • The applicant must file a claim within one year of the date of the crime. This may be waived in certain instances and,
  • The victim’s conduct must not have caused or contributed to the crime that led to the injury or death and,
  • The victim must not have committed a crime that led to the injury or death and,
  • The victim must cooperate with law enforcement officials in their investigation and prosecution of the crime and,
  • The applicant must cooperate with Wisconsin Department of Justice in supplying information for the application, including all records, bills and other information.
  • If the victim has child support obligations and is listed on the statewide lien docket, the victim must have an approved alternative payment plan in place.
  • If the victim was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, the victim must have been:
    • a pedestrian or a passenger in the other car
    • a child passenger in the offender’s car
    • unaware that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug

Note: A victim of sexual assault who does not wish to report the crime to police, or for reasons of confidentiality, to his or her insurance provider, may receive limited assistance through the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Fund (SAFE Fund). The SAFE Fund pays for the sexual assault forensic exam conducted at the hospital to recover evidence of the sexual assault. Click here for more information about the SAFE Fund.

Is an attorney needed to file for compensation?

An attorney is not needed to file a claim.

How does a crime victim apply to the program?

A copy of the Crime Victim Compensation application can be obtained from law enforcement, Victim Witness Coordinators, hospitals, by writing or calling the Office of Crime Victim Services at:

1-800-446-6564 (toll free)

Send the completed and signed application to the address listed below:

Crime Victim Compensation
P.O. Box 7951
Madison, WI 53707-7951

Or download PDF here: Crime Victim Compensation Application

What happens after I apply?

After receiving the application for Crime Victim Compensation, additional information may be requested from the applicant or claimant, law enforcement, employers, medical providers, public agencies and insurance companies and other information necessary for making a decision regarding the claim.

After all the information contained in the application is verified, there will be a notification of eligibility for compensation. The time it takes to arrive at this decision varies depending upon the complexity of the claim. You will be sent a copy of the decision in writing. If the claim is denied, the reason will be explained and an appeal procedure will be provided.

Can I appeal?

If the Crime Victim Compensation Program makes a decision with which the victim or claimant disagrees, the victim or the claimant has a right under the law to appeal the decision. The victim or claimant must notify the Crime Victim Compensation Program of disputed facts within 30 days of the denial notice. If the victim or claimant does not agree with the decision of the hearing judge, an appeal may be made to circuit court.