I have had bankruptcy clients in Texas that were put into bankruptcy by having been a victim of a violent crime. One young fellow in particular was beaten within an inch of his life, such that his brain was injured, and it was difficult if not impossible for him to hold a job, at least the responsible job that he had had previously.

If you have been a victim of violent crime in Texas, you may be entitled to a cash award from the Texas Crime Victim's Compensation Fund. And it is flush! The total amount that it has for victimized Texans is now $1,000,000,000! That's billion with a "B."

You can be eligible for up to $50,000 if you are a violent crime victim in Texas, and another $75,000 if you are totally and permanently disabled. An excerpt from the Texas Attorney General's website reads as follows: The Crime Victims’Compensation Program is administered by the Office of the Attorney General and is dedicated to ensuring that victims of violent crime are provided financial assistance for crime-related expenses that cannot be reimbursed by insurance or other sources.

State law requires that reimbursement first be sought from other sources, such as health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, auto insurance, or Texas Workers Compensation. CVC program staff assists applicants in coordinating the use of all available resources.

Claims may be approved for benefits up to a total of $50,000. Individuals who suffer total and permanent disability as a result of the crime may qualify for an additional $75,000, which may be used for specific and limited expenses, such as lost wages, prosthetics, rehabilitation or making a home accessible, depending upon the law in effect on the crime date. The financial assistance may be limited or unavailable depending on laws in effect when the crime occurred and is dependent upon the applicant providing necessary and required documentation.

For More Information

In your community, contact your local law enforcement agency's Crime Victim Liaison or your prosecutor's Victim Assistance Coordinator. Or e-mail:[email protected] or Call (800) 983-9933 or (512) 936-1200 (in Austin) or Fax: (512) 320-8270.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
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