For Immediate Release: May 26, 2023
Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance
– Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director
Victims of Crime Compensation Office
– Mary Ellen Bonsper, Director
NEWARK—Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA) announced the launch of a new online case processing system that will increase and improve access to the critical support the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) provides victims of crime.
Supported by a federal Building State Technology Capacity grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, the updates to the VCCO’s existing case processing system create a more user-friendly experience for applicants filing from both desktop and mobile devices. Users are now able to file applications in 133 different languages and sign the applications electronically. The new system also provides greater flexibility on the methods of future communication from VCCO – electronic, traditional mail, or both.
The VCCO estimates that it will pay out $19 million in financial support to victims of crime in fiscal year 2023, a 20 percent increase over last year.
“We have an obligation to help victims and survivors of crime get the assistance they need by breaking down barriers that slow down or subject them to revictimization,” said Attorney General Platkin. “I applaud the Victims of Crime Compensation Office for putting victims fist and seeking out new and innovative ways to ensure that they have access to the benefits they are entitled to. These changes will help victims and survivors at some of the most vulnerable times of their lives.”
“For many victims and survivors of crime, VCCO is one of the first stops along their healing journey,” said Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director of the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance. “Increasing the ease with which claimants can file the necessary paperwork in their language of choice will reduce unnecessary barriers for those we serve.”
“This is just one step in VCCO’s ongoing efforts to expand the ways in which we can help individuals impacted by crime,” said Mary Ellen Bonsper, Director of the Victims of Crime Compensation Office. “We continue to make intentional strides to expand support for victims and survivors, and it is our hope that with these upgrades, more victims will file claims online and utilize the tools that can expedite the processing of their claims.”
VCCO was established by the Criminal Injury Compensation Act of 1971 to help victims recover from the effects of violent crimes by providing financial assistance to victims, their families, and victim service providers to help alleviate the economic and emotional burdens of victimization. Over the last few years, through a series of regulatory and statutory changes, VCCO has taken strategic steps to increase access to its support. VCCO is now housed within VIVA, which was established by Attorney General Platkin last September as part of his transformational approach to public safety.
For information regarding VCCO eligibility, visit: https://www.njoag.gov/vcco/vcco-eligibility/
To file an online claim, visit: https://vcco.lps.nj.gov/