“The mission of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund is to administer the Compensating Victims of Crime Act in a compassionate, fair and efficient manner. In so doing, the Fund strives to treat every victim and survivor with dignity and respect, recognizing the tremendous impact that violent crime has upon our society.”
History of CICF
In 1977, the Virginia General Assembly found the commonwealth had a moral responsibility to help its citizens who were innocent victims of crime. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund [CICF] was created to pay unreimbursed expenses of victims who suffer personal physical or emotional injury or death as a result of a crime. Virginia was the fourteenth state to establish such a program. Now, every state, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, has a similar program.
The Fund is administered by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. Daily operations are managed by the Director of the Fund, while the Workers' Compensation Commissioners act as a governing board.
Since its inception, the Fund has processed over 25,000 claims from those who have been victims of violent crimes in Virginia. CICF receives between 1800-2000 claims and awards approximately three million dollars annually. Awards assist victims with medical costs, lost wages, funeral expenses, counseling costs, and other reasonable and necessary expenses that are not covered by any other source.
The Fund receives no tax dollars from the citizens of Virginia. CICF is funded by court fees, assessments on offenders, restitution, and a federal Victim of Crime Act Grant to supplement monies available to victims of violent crime.
Over the past few years, the Fund has continued to meet the ever-changing needs of its victims by adding additional benefits and increasing caps on already existing benefits. CICF stays in close touch with victims, local Victim Witness programs, advocates, and providers to continuously stay on top of the ever-changing needs of victims, providers, and advocates. These groups guide the changes in the laws and the policies that govern CICF. With respect to previously existing benefits and eligibility requirements, CICF has worked hard to provide additional support for victims. In 1998, the General Assembly created a new position, the Crime Victims’ Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s role is to assist claimants in obtaining necessary documentation for their claims and to ensure victims’ rights are safeguarded and protected through the claims process.