Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 2. GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA [8000 - 22980]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 3. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT [11000 - 15986]

  ( Division 3 added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 111. )

PART 4. CALIFORNIA VICTIM COMPENSATION BOARD [13900 - 13974.5]

  ( Heading of Part 4 amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 31, Sec. 102. )

CHAPTER 5. Indemnification of Victims of Crime [13950 - 13966]

  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1141, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 2. Applications for Compensation [13952 - 13954]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1141, Sec. 2. )

13952.
  

(a) An application for compensation shall be filed with the board in the manner determined by the board.

(b) (1) The application for compensation shall be verified under penalty of perjury by the individual who is seeking compensation, who may be the victim or derivative victim, or an individual seeking reimbursement for burial, funeral, or crime scene cleanup expenses pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 13957. If the individual seeking compensation is a minor or is incompetent, the application shall be verified under penalty of perjury or on information and belief by the parent with legal custody, guardian, conservator, or relative caregiver of the victim or derivative victim for whom the application is made. However, if a minor seeks compensation only for expenses for medical, medical-related, psychiatric, psychological, or other mental health counseling-related services and the minor is authorized by statute to consent to those services, the minor may verify the application for compensation under penalty of perjury.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “relative caregiver” means a relative as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) of Section 6550 of the Family Code, who assumed primary responsibility for the child while the child was in the relative’s care and control, and who is not a biological or adoptive parent.

(c) (1) The board may require submission of additional information supporting the application that is reasonably necessary to verify the application and determine eligibility for compensation.

(2) The staff of the board shall determine whether an application for compensation contains all of the information required by the board. If the staff determines that an application does not contain all of the required information, the staff shall communicate that determination to the applicant with a brief statement of the additional information required. The applicant, within 30 calendar days of being notified that the application is incomplete, may either supply the additional information or appeal the staff’s determination to the board, which shall review the application to determine whether it is complete.

(3) The board shall not require an applicant to submit documentation from the Internal Revenue Service, the Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, the Social Security Administration, or the Employment Development Department to determine eligibility for compensation. The board may require and use documentation from these entities to verify the amount of compensation for income or support loss.

(d) (1) The board may recognize an authorized representative of the victim or derivative victim, who shall represent the victim or derivative victim pursuant to rules adopted by the board.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “authorized representative” means any of the following:

(A)  Any person who has written authorization by the victim or derivative victim. However, a medical or mental health provider, or agent of the medical or mental health provider, who has provided services to the victim or derivative victim shall not be allowed to be an authorized representative.

(B) Any person designated by law including, but not limited to, a legal guardian, conservator, or social worker.

(3) Except for attorney’s fees awarded under this chapter, no authorized representative described in paragraph (2) shall charge, demand, receive, or collect any amount for services rendered under this subdivision.

(4) The initial application materials sent by the board to an applicant shall be written in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, East Armenian, Tagalog, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Hmong, Khmer, Punjabi, and Lao. If the applicant selects one of the languages listed in this subdivision, the board shall send all subsequent communications in that language.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 569, Sec. 1. (AB 1140) Effective January 1, 2016.)

13952.5.
  

(a) An emergency award shall be available to a person eligible for compensation pursuant to this chapter if the board determines that such an award is necessary to avoid or mitigate substantial hardship that may result from delaying compensation until complete and final consideration of an application.

(b) The board shall establish the method for requesting an emergency award, which may include, but need not be limited to, requiring submission of the regular application as provided for in Section 13952.

(c) (1) The board may grant an emergency award based solely on the application of the victim or derivative victim. The board may refuse to grant an emergency award where it has reason to believe that the applicant will not be eligible for compensation under this chapter.

(2) By mutual agreement between the staff of the board and the applicant or the applicant’s representative, the staff of the board may take additional 10-day periods to verify the emergency award claim and make payment.

(3) The board may delegate authority to designated staff persons and designated agencies, including, but not limited to, district attorneys, probation departments, victim centers, and other victim service providers approved by the board and under contract with the board, who shall use guidelines established by the board, to grant and disburse emergency awards.

(d) Disbursements of funds for emergency awards shall be made within 30 calendar days of application.

(e) (1) If an application for an emergency award is denied, the board shall notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for the denial.

(2) An applicant for an emergency award shall not be entitled to a hearing before the board to contest a denial of an emergency award. However, denial of an emergency award shall not prevent further consideration of the application for a regular award and shall not affect the applicant’s right to a hearing pursuant to Section 13959 if staff recommends denial of a regular award.

(f) (1) If upon final disposition of the regular application, it is found that the applicant is not eligible for compensation from the board, the applicant shall reimburse the board for the emergency award pursuant to an agreed-upon repayment schedule.

(2) If upon a final disposition of the application, the board grants compensation to the applicant, the amount of the emergency award shall be deducted from the final award of compensation. If the amount of the compensation is less than the amount of the emergency award, the excess amount shall be treated as an overpayment pursuant to Section 13965.

(3) “Final disposition,” for the purposes of this section, shall mean the final decision of the board with respect to the victim’s or derivative victim’s application, before any action for judicial review is instituted.

(g) The amount of an emergency award shall be dependent upon the immediate needs of the victim or derivative victim subject to rates and limitations established by the board.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1141, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2003.)

13953.
  

(a) An application for compensation shall be filed within three years of the date of the crime, three years after the victim attains 21 years of age, or three years of the time the victim or derivative victim knew or in the exercise of ordinary diligence could have discovered that an injury or death had been sustained as a direct result of crime, whichever is later. An application based on any crime eligible for prosecution under Section 801.1 of the Penal Code may be filed any time prior to the victim’s 28th birthday.

(b) The board may for good cause grant an extension of the time period in subdivision (a). In making this determination, the board shall consider all of the following:

(1) Whether the victim or derivative victim incurs emotional harm or a pecuniary loss while testifying during the prosecution or in the punishment of the person accused or convicted of the crime.

(2) Whether the victim or derivative victim incurs emotional harm or a pecuniary loss when the person convicted of the crime is scheduled for a parole hearing or released from incarceration.

(3) Whether the victim or derivative victim incurs emotional harm or pecuniary loss as a result of the identification of the “East Area Rapist,” also known as the “Golden State Killer,” a person suspected of committing a series of homicide and sexual assault crimes in California between 1974 and 1986. As used in this paragraph, “emotional harm” includes, but is not limited to, harm incurred while preparing to testify. This paragraph shall cease to be operative on December 31, 2019.

(c) The period prescribed in this section for filing an application by or on behalf of a derivative victim shall be tolled when the board accepts the application filed by a victim of the same qualifying crime.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 983, Sec. 1. (SB 1232) Effective January 1, 2019.)

13954.
  

(a) The board shall verify with hospitals, physicians, law enforcement officials, or other interested parties involved, the treatment of the victim or derivative victim, circumstances of the crime, amounts paid or received by or for the victim or derivative victim, and any other pertinent information deemed necessary by the board. Verification information shall be returned to the board within 10 business days after a request for verification has been made by the board. Verification information shall be provided at no cost to the applicant, the board, or victim centers. When requesting verification information, the board shall certify that a signed authorization by the applicant is retained in the applicant’s file and that this certification constitutes actual authorization for the release of information, notwithstanding any other provision of law. If requested by a physician or mental health provider, the board shall provide a copy of the signed authorization for the release of information.

(b) (1) The applicant shall cooperate with the staff of the board or the victim center in the verification of the information contained in the application. Failure to cooperate shall be reported to the board, which, in its discretion, may reject the application solely on this ground.

(2) An applicant may be found to have failed to cooperate with the board if any of the following occur:

(A) The applicant has information, or there is information that he or she may reasonably obtain, that is needed to process the application or supplemental claim, and the applicant failed to provide the information after being requested to do so by the board. The board shall take the applicant’s economic, psychosocial, and postcrime traumatic circumstances into consideration, and shall not unreasonably reject an application solely for failure to provide information.

(B) The applicant provided, or caused another to provide, false information regarding the application or supplemental claim.

(C) The applicant refused to apply for other benefits potentially available to him or her from other sources besides the board including, but not limited to, worker’s compensation, state disability insurance, social security benefits, and unemployment insurance.

(D) The applicant threatened violence or bodily harm to a member of the board or staff.

(c) The board may contract with victim centers to provide verification of applications processed by the centers pursuant to conditions stated in subdivision (a). The board and its staff shall cooperate with the Office of Criminal Justice Planning and victim centers in conducting training sessions for center personnel and shall cooperate in the development of standardized verification procedures to be used by the victim centers in the state. The board and its staff shall cooperate with victim centers in disseminating standardized board policies and findings as they relate to the centers.

(d) (1) Notwithstanding Section 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or any other provision of law, every law enforcement and social service agency in the state shall provide to the board or to victim centers that have contracts with the board pursuant to subdivision (c), upon request, a complete copy of the law enforcement report and any supplemental reports involving the crime or incident giving rise to a claim, a copy of a petition filed in a juvenile court proceeding, reports of the probation officer, and any other document made available to the probation officer or to the judge, referee, or other hearing officer, for the specific purpose of determining the eligibility of a claim filed pursuant to this chapter.

(2)  The board and victim centers receiving records pursuant to this subdivision may not disclose a document that personally identifies a minor to anyone other than the minor who is so identified, his or her custodial parent or guardian, the attorneys for those parties, and any other persons that may be designated by court order. Any information received pursuant to this section shall be received in confidence for the limited purpose for which it was provided and may not be further disseminated. A violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).

(3) The law enforcement agency supplying information pursuant to this section may withhold the names of witnesses or informants from the board, if the release of those names would be detrimental to the parties or to an investigation in progress.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, every state agency, upon receipt of a copy of a release signed in accordance with the Information Practices Act of 1977 (Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1798) of Title 1.8 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code) by the applicant or other authorized representative, shall provide to the board or victim center the information necessary to complete the verification of an application filed pursuant to this chapter.

(f) The Department of Justice shall furnish, upon application of the board, all information necessary to verify the eligibility of any applicant for benefits pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 13956, to recover any restitution fine or order obligations that are owed to the Restitution Fund or to any victim of crime, or to evaluate the status of any criminal disposition.

(g) A privilege is not waived under Section 912 of the Evidence Code by an applicant consenting to disclosure of an otherwise privileged communication if that disclosure is deemed necessary by the board for verification of the application.

(h) Any verification conducted pursuant to this section shall be subject to the time limits specified in Section 13958.

(i) Any county social worker acting as the applicant for a child victim or elder abuse victim shall not be required to provide personal identification, including, but not limited to, the applicant’s date of birth or social security number. County social workers acting in this capacity shall not be required to sign a promise of repayment to the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 569, Sec. 2. (AB 1140) Effective January 1, 2016.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV2