Interactive Map: Crime Victims Compensation Payments
Average claim paid to crime victimsLess than $3,000 $3,000 - $4,000 $4,000 - $5,000 More than $5,000
The average claim paid in the 2011 fiscal year by the New Jersey Victims of Crime Compensation Office.
Source: NJ Victims of Crime Compensation Office
More than 2,400 victims of crime in New Jersey received an average of $4,013 in the 2011 fiscal year to help with medical bills, counseling, and other needs.
In 2011,distributed $9.7 million to victims, about $200,000 more than the previous year. The average award dipped slightly from $4,041 in 2010, according to data from its annual reports.
With a total of 3,571 claims filed in 2011, the claim payment rate was roughly 68 percent, which was down from 71.3 percent in 2010. But the rate can be misleading because a claim filed in one year may not be paid until the following year. That led to claim payment rates appearing to exceed 100 percent in 2011 in four counties – Bergen, Middlesex, Somerset, and Sussex. While there were more claims in 2011 than in 2010, it was less than the highest number: 4,194 in 2006.
The largest claim paid averaged $5,055 in Morris County, one of the wealthiest in the state. The lowest average payment was in another one of the state’s wealthiest counties, Hunterdon, where the typical victim received $2,041. Nearly a third of all payments went to victims in Essex County, who got a total of almost $3.1 million. People can typically get a maximum of $25,000 from the VCCO, with an additional $35,000 in catastrophic benefits. The office awards compensation for the balance of crime-related expenses not reimbursed from medical insurance or other sources.
Most of those receiving payment were victims of assault: 2,465 or 63 percent. They got more than two-thirds of the money, about $6.5 million. Sexual assault victims accounted for about 15.7 percent of the total, with homicides 11.4 percent. Victims of homicide received the second-highest payout: $1.7 million or 17 percent of the total.
A majority of the money – 51 percent – went to cover medical and dental expenses, while more than a quarter paid for economic support, including childcare, transportation, and compensation for stolen cash or lost earnings.
Victims can apply through the(973-648-2107) or through the local Victim/Witness Coordinator.
To find out the number of claims submitted and approved, the total paid and the average claim paid over the past two years, click on a county.
The mostis available online.
Colleen O'Dea is an editor-at-large for NJ Spotlight.