If you find yourself as a victim forced to shoulder unforeseen expenses due to your victimization, we extend our heartfelt sympathy for this additional hardship. It’s unjust that you have to bear the financial burden for something that wasn’t your fault; those responsible should be held accountable. The information below, offering a mix of positive and challenging news, aims to assist you in understanding and preparing for the financial impact of being a victim of a crime or a traumatic event.
Our non-profit organization, Victim Assistance Program, relies on community donations to assist you during emergency and time-sensitive situations. Regrettably, we currently have approximately $4,000 available to support the 5,000 victims we serve annually. Emergency funds are exclusively allocated to Summit County victims we are actively working with on an ongoing basis. This approach is intentional, as these funds serve as a last resort. Our advocates prioritize exploring other community or government programs only after gaining a comprehensive understanding of how the victimization has impacted you and/or your family.
It’s important to note that financial assistance is not directly provided to those who contact our hotline solely seeking financial aid due to resource constraints. However, we strive to support in various ways, such as distributing $25-$50 gift cards for gas, groceries, restaurants, or department stores, providing bus passes, covering expenses for obtaining birth certificates, assisting with the purchase of new locks for your home, a night or two in a hotel, or helping to retrieve towed vehicles involved in a crime. Cash is never directly given to individuals; instead, our agency pays vendors directly, typically averaging $25-$50 per person. It’s not much, but if we receive more donations from the community, we will obviously increase our ability to help.
Generous community members donated (2) burial plots for use to transfer (for free) to eligible co-survivors of deceased victims experiencing financial hardships. Please speak with your Victim Advocate for more information about a Rose Hill burial plot which is for a child, or an adult plot for a loved one who was a victim of domestic violence, located at Hillside Cemetary. Unfortunately, the Cemetary requires the new owner to pay open and closing fees however there is a potential you may be able to be reimbursed by the Ohio Crime Victim Compensation Fund.
Memorials of Angels is an Akron-based monument company that will provide free flat headstones for any child under the age of 18 years who is buried in Summit, Portage, or Medina counties. your Victim Advocate can refer you to this program.
The Crime Victims Fund, also known as Victim Compensation, is a federal pot of money, funded by offenders convicted of Federal crimes, not from taxpayers. The Federal government distributes a portion of this money to each state. In Ohio, the money is provided to the Ohio Attorney General’s (AG’s) Office to manage and distribute these dollars to eligible victim service agencies, like ours, AND eligible individuals who are victims of crime and have exhausted all other assistance (i.e. insurance, gofund me page). A victim is not only a person who was victimized, but it may also include a parent or child whose loved one was victimized (murdered).
The process to apply to be reimbursed, or maybe be paid for loss of work, requires a lot of documentation and can be a tiring process. But we are here to help! First step, review the victim compensation eligibility requirements and guidelines below. These funds only pay for specific things, it’s not a lot but it can help. If you want to apply, Advocates can guide you through the online or mail-in application process and help you photocopy or scan the required and detailed documentation needed to apply.
Although we cannot apply on your behalf, nor do we have any say in whether the AG’s Office approves or denies your application, we are ready to help. If your application is denied, don’t give up! Common denials occur because they don’t have enough information. You can appeal their decision and provide them with the missing information within the specified amount of time.