Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gov. Gregoire announces federal recovery money to treat crime victims

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that the Washington State Crime Victims Compensation Program received approximately $938,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds to help about 1,000 crime victims and reimbursement for services to about 570 health-care providers who treat crime victims. These funds provide benefits to crime victims such as medical care and wage replacement.

“These funds are easing the financial burden that victims of violent crime often face,” said Gov. Gregoire. “I am proud our state acted so quickly with this money, helping victims and their families cover unexpected costs in the aftermath of a crime.”

The Crime Victims Compensation Program, within the Department of Labor & Industries, was created to help victims with the many costs associated with violent crime. As a payer of last resort, the program provides financial compensation for expenses such as medical bills, loss of earnings and funeral expenses. The program also covers examinations after sexual assaults to gather evidence for possible prosecution.

The Crime Victims Compensation Program has received about 9,000 claims in the past year, up 20 percent from the previous year. The majority of claims are related to rape and domestic assault. Nearly 70 percent of victims are women and children.

For more information, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/CrimeVictims.

Washington State is administering the federal Recovery Act investments with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Gov. Gregoire created a new Web site (www.recovery.wa.gov) enabling every Washingtonian to see where their tax dollars are going and hold government accountable for the results. On the federal level, President Barack Obama has appointed Vice President Joe Biden to oversee all states' recovery efforts and to root out waste and fraud. This combined oversight will ensure taxpayer dollars are put to good use and recharge the economy.

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