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 4. Scope of Compensation [13957 - 13958]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1141, Sec. 2. )

13957.
  

(a) The board may grant for pecuniary loss, when the board determines it will best aid the person seeking compensation, as follows:

(1) Subject to the limitations set forth in Section 13957.2, reimburse the amount of medical or medical-related expenses incurred by the victim for services that were provided by a licensed medical provider, including, but not limited to, eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, or any prosthetic device taken, lost, or destroyed during the commission of the crime, or the use of which became necessary as a direct result of the crime.

(2) Subject to the limitations set forth in Section 13957.2, reimburse the amount of outpatient psychiatric, psychological, or other mental health counseling-related expenses incurred by the victim or derivative victim, including peer counseling services provided by a rape crisis center as defined by Section 13837 of the Penal Code, and including family psychiatric, psychological, or mental health counseling for the successful treatment of the victim provided to family members of the victim in the presence of the victim, whether or not the family member relationship existed at the time of the crime, that became necessary as a direct result of the crime, subject to the following conditions:

(A) The following persons may be reimbursed for the expense of their outpatient mental health counseling in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000):

(i) A victim.

(ii) A derivative victim who is the surviving parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, spouse, fiancé, or fiancée of a victim of a crime that directly resulted in the death of the victim.

(iii) A derivative victim, as described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (c) of Section 13955, who is the primary caretaker of a minor victim whose claim is not denied or reduced pursuant to Section 13956 in a total amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for not more than two derivative victims.

(B) The following persons may be reimbursed for the expense of their outpatient mental health counseling in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000):

(i) A derivative victim not eligible for reimbursement pursuant to subparagraph (A), provided that mental health counseling of a derivative victim described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 13955, shall be reimbursed only if that counseling is necessary for the treatment of the victim.

(ii) A minor who suffers emotional injury as a direct result of witnessing a violent crime and who is not eligible for reimbursement of the costs of outpatient mental health counseling under any other provision of this chapter. To be eligible for reimbursement under this clause, the minor must have been in close proximity to the victim when he or she witnessed the crime.

(C) The board may reimburse a victim or derivative victim for outpatient mental health counseling in excess of that authorized by subparagraph (A) or (B) or for inpatient psychiatric, psychological, or other mental health counseling if the claim is based on dire or exceptional circumstances that require more extensive treatment, as approved by the board.

(D) Expenses for psychiatric, psychological, or other mental health counseling-related services may be reimbursed only if the services were provided by either of the following individuals:

(i) A person who would have been authorized to provide those services pursuant to former Article 1 (commencing with Section 13959) as it read on January 1, 2002.

(ii) A person who is licensed in California to provide those services, or who is properly supervised by a person who is licensed in California to provide those services, subject to the board’s approval and subject to the limitations and restrictions the board may impose.

(3) Subject to the limitations set forth in Section 13957.5, authorize compensation equal to the loss of income or loss of support, or both, that a victim or derivative victim incurs as a direct result of the victim’s or derivative victim’s injury or the victim’s death. If the victim or derivative victim requests that the board give priority to reimbursement of loss of income or support, the board may not pay medical expenses, or mental health counseling expenses, except upon the request of the victim or derivative victim or after determining that payment of these expenses will not decrease the funds available for payment of loss of income or support.

(4) Authorize a cash payment to or on behalf of the victim for job retraining or similar employment-oriented services.

(5) Reimburse the expense of installing or increasing residential security, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). Installing or increasing residential security may include, but need not be limited to, both of the following:

(A) Home security device or system.

(B) Replacing or increasing the number of locks.

(6) Reimburse the expense of renovating or retrofitting a victim’s residence, or the expense of modifying or purchasing a vehicle, to make the residence or the vehicle accessible or operational by a victim upon verification that the expense is medically necessary for a victim who is permanently disabled as a direct result of the crime, whether the disability is partial or total.

(7) (A) Authorize a cash payment or reimbursement not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000) to a victim for expenses incurred in relocating, if the expenses are determined by law enforcement to be necessary for the personal safety of the victim or by a mental health treatment provider to be necessary for the emotional well-being of the victim.

(B) The cash payment or reimbursement made under this paragraph shall only be awarded to one claimant per crime giving rise to the relocation. The board may authorize more than one relocation per crime if necessary for the personal safety or emotional well-being of the claimant. However, the total cash payment or reimbursement for all relocations due to the same crime shall not exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000). For purposes of this paragraph a claimant is the crime victim, or, if the victim is deceased, a person who resided with the deceased at the time of the crime.

(C) The board may, under compelling circumstances, award a second cash payment or reimbursement to a victim for another crime if both of the following conditions are met:

(i) The crime occurs more than three years from the date of the crime giving rise to the initial relocation cash payment or reimbursement.

(ii) The crime does not involve the same offender.

(D) When a relocation payment or reimbursement is provided to a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence and the identity of the offender is known to the victim, the victim shall agree not to inform the offender of the location of the victim’s new residence and not to allow the offender on the premises at any time, or shall agree to seek a restraining order against the offender. A victim may be required to repay the relocation payment or reimbursement to the board if he or she violates the terms set forth in this paragraph.

(E) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (B), the board may increase the cash payment or reimbursement for expenses incurred in relocating to an amount greater than two thousand dollars ($2,000), if the board finds this amount is appropriate due to the unusual, dire, or exceptional circumstances of a particular claim.

(F) If a security deposit is required for relocation, the board shall be named as the recipient and receive the funds upon expiration of the victim’s rental agreement.

(8) When a victim dies as a result of a crime, the board may reimburse any individual who voluntarily, and without anticipation of personal gain, pays or assumes the obligation to pay any of the following expenses:

(A) The medical expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime in an amount not to exceed the rates or limitations established by the board.

(B) The funeral and burial expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime, not to exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500). The board shall not create or comply with a regulation or policy that mandates a lower maximum potential amount of an award pursuant to this subparagraph for less than seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500).

(9) When the crime occurs in a residence or inside a vehicle, the board may reimburse any individual who voluntarily, and without anticipation of personal gain, pays or assumes the obligation to pay the reasonable costs to clean the scene of the crime in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). Services reimbursed pursuant to this subdivision shall be performed by persons registered with the State Department of Public Health as trauma scene waste practitioners in accordance with Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 118321) of Part 14 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code.

(10) When the crime is a violation of Section 600.2 or 600.5 of the Penal Code, the board may reimburse the expense of veterinary services, replacement costs, or other reasonable expenses, as ordered by the court pursuant to Section 600.2 or 600.5 of the Penal Code, in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(11) An award of compensation pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (f) of Section 13955 shall be limited to compensation to provide mental health counseling and shall not limit the eligibility of a victim for an award that he or she may be otherwise entitled to receive under this part. A derivative victim shall not be eligible for compensation under this provision.

(b) The total award to or on behalf of each victim or derivative victim may not exceed thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000), except that this award may be increased to an amount not exceeding seventy thousand dollars ($70,000) if federal funds for that increase are available.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 569, Sec. 5. (AB 1140) Effective January 1, 2016.)

13957.2.
  

(a) The board may establish maximum rates and service limitations for reimbursement of medical and medical-related services and for mental health and counseling services. The adoption, amendment, and repeal of these service limitations and maximum rates shall not be subject to the rulemaking provision of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1). An informational copy of the service limitations and maximum rates shall be filed with the Secretary of State upon adoption by the board. Any reduction in the maximum rates or service limitations shall not affect payment or reimbursement of losses incurred prior to three months after the adoption of the reduction. A provider who accepts payment from the program for a service shall accept the program’s rates as payment in full and shall not accept any payment on account of the service from any other source if the total of payments accepted would exceed the maximum rate set by the board for that service. A provider shall not charge a victim or derivative victim for any difference between the cost of a service provided to a victim or derivative victim and the program’s payment for that service. To ensure service limitations that are uniform and appropriate to the levels of treatment required by the victim or derivative victim, the board may review all claims for these services as necessary to ensure their medical necessity.

(b) The board may request an independent examination and report from any provider of medical or medical-related services or psychological or psychiatric treatment or mental health counseling services, if it believes there is a reasonable basis for requesting an additional evaluation. The victim or derivative victim shall be notified of the name of the provider who is to perform the evaluation within 30 calendar days of that determination. In cases where the crime involves sexual assault, the provider shall have expertise in the needs of sexual assault victims. In cases where the crime involves child abuse or molestation, the provider shall have expertise in the needs of victims of child abuse or molestation, as appropriate. When a reevaluation is requested, payments shall not be discontinued prior to completion of the reevaluation.

(c) Reimbursement for any medical, medical-related, or mental health services shall, if the application has been approved, be paid by the board within an average of 90 days from receipt of the claim for payment. Payments to a medical or mental health provider may not be discontinued prior to completion of any reevaluation. Whether or not a reevaluation is obtained, if the board determines that payments to a provider will be discontinued, the board shall notify the provider of their discontinuance within 30 calendar days of its determination.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 870, Sec. 5. (SB 1299) Effective January 1, 2013.)

13957.5.
  

(a) In authorizing compensation for loss of income and support pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 13957, the board may take any of the following actions:

(1) Compensate the victim for loss of income directly resulting from the injury, except that loss of income may not be paid by the board for more than five years following the crime, unless the victim is disabled as defined in Section 416(i) of Title 42 of the United States Code, as a direct result of the injury.

(2) Compensate an adult derivative victim for loss of income, subject to all of the following:

(A) The derivative victim is the parent or legal guardian of a victim, who at the time of the crime was under the age of 18 years and is hospitalized as a direct result of the crime.

(B) The minor victim’s treating physician certifies in writing that the presence of the victim’s parent or legal guardian at the hospital is necessary for the treatment of the victim.

(C) Reimbursement for loss of income under this paragraph may not exceed the total value of the income that would have been earned by the adult derivative victim during a 30-day period.

(3) Compensate an adult derivative victim for loss of income, subject to all of the following:

(A) The derivative victim is the parent or legal guardian of a victim who at the time of the crime was under the age of 18 years.

(B) The victim died as a direct result of the crime.

(C) The board shall pay for loss of income under this paragraph for not more than 30 calendar days from the date of the victim’s death.

(4) Compensate a derivative victim who was legally dependent on the victim at the time of the crime for the loss of support incurred by that person as a direct result of the crime, subject to both of the following:

(A) Loss of support shall be paid by the board for income lost by an adult for a period up to, but not more than, five years following the date of the crime.

(B) Loss of support shall not be paid by the board on behalf of a minor for a period beyond the child’s attaining the age of 18 years.

(b) The total amount payable to all derivative victims pursuant to this section as the result of one crime may not exceed seventy thousand dollars ($70,000).

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 569, Sec. 6. (AB 1140) Effective January 1, 2016.)

13957.7.
  

(a) No reimbursement may be made for any expense that is submitted more than three years after it is incurred by the victim or derivative victim. However, reimbursement may be made for an expense submitted more than three years after the date it is incurred if the victim or derivative victim has affirmed the debt and is liable for the debt at the time the expense is submitted for reimbursement, or has paid the expense as a direct result of a crime for which a timely application has been filed or has paid the expense as a direct result of a crime for which an application has been filed and approved.

(b) Compensation made pursuant to this chapter may be on a one-time or periodic basis. If periodic, the board may increase, reduce, or terminate the amount of compensation according to the applicant’s need, subject to the maximum limits provided in this chapter.

(c) (1) The board may authorize direct payment to a provider of services that are reimbursable pursuant to this chapter and may make those payments prior to verification. However, the board may not, without good cause, authorize a direct payment to a provider over the objection of the victim or derivative victim.

(2) Reimbursement on the initial claim for any psychological, psychiatric, or mental health counseling services shall, if the application has been approved, be paid by the board within 90 days of the date of receipt of the claim for payment, with subsequent payments to be made to the provider within one month of the receipt of a claim for payment.

(d) Payments for peer counseling services provided by a rape crisis center may not exceed fifteen dollars ($15) for each hour of services provided. Those services shall be limited to in-person counseling for a period not to exceed 10 weeks plus one series of facilitated support group counseling sessions.

(e) The board shall develop procedures to ensure that a victim is using compensation for job retraining or relocation only for its intended purposes. The procedures may include, but need not be limited to, requiring copies of receipts, agreements, or other documents as requested, or developing a method for direct payment.

(f) Compensation granted pursuant to this chapter shall not disqualify an otherwise eligible applicant from participation in any other public assistance program.

(g) The board shall pay attorney’s fees representing the reasonable value of legal services rendered to the applicant, in an amount equal to 10 percent of the amount of the award, or five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is less, for each victim and each derivative victim. The board may request that an attorney provide verification of legal services provided to an applicant and the board may contact an applicant to verify that legal services were provided. An attorney receiving fees from another source may waive the right to receive fees under this subdivision. Payments under this subdivision shall be in addition to any amount authorized or ordered under subdivision (b) of Section 13960. An attorney may not charge, demand, receive, or collect any amount for services rendered in connection with any proceedings under this chapter except as awarded under this chapter.

(h) A private nonprofit agency shall be reimbursed for its services at the level of the normal and customary fee charged by the private nonprofit agency to clients with adequate means of payment for its services, except that this reimbursement may not exceed the maximum reimbursement rates set by the board and may be made only to the extent that the victim otherwise qualifies for compensation under this chapter and that other reimbursement or direct subsidies are not available to serve the victim.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 569, Sec. 7. (AB 1140) Effective January 1, 2016.)

13958.
  

The board shall approve or deny applications, based on recommendations of the board staff, within an average of 90 calendar days and no later than 180 calendar days of acceptance by the board or victim center.

(a) If the board does not meet the 90-day average standard prescribed in this subdivision, the board shall, thereafter, report to the Legislature, on a quarterly basis, its progress and its current average time of processing applications. These quarterly reports shall continue until the board meets the 90-day average standard for two consecutive quarters.

(b) If the board fails to approve or deny an individual application within 180 days of the date it is accepted, pursuant to this subdivision, the board shall advise the applicant and his or her representative, in writing, of the reason for the failure to approve or deny the application.

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

GOVGovernment Code - GOV4