Under Area Lawmakers' Bill, Victims Of Crime Could See Added Benefits
Reps. Budish, Celebrezze propose changes to Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program

State Representatives Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) and Nick Celebrezze (D-Parma) recently introduced legislation to eliminate filing deadlines for supplemental claims under the Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program, which assists victims of crime affected by physical injury, emotional harm or homicide.

Under current law, a victim has five years following their last claim decision made by the Ohio Attorney General, a Court of Claims panel or judge of the Court of Claims to file a supplemental claim for damages. Juvenile victims’ claims must be filed by the time the victim turns 20. The Northeast Ohio lawmakers’ proposal would do away with those restrictions.

“The limitations were originally put in place to help manage the physical paper storage of the case files. In the cyber storage age, there is no longer a reasonable justification for claim limitations,” said Rep. Budish. “The burden will remain on the victim to prove that their loss is in relation to the crime while removing the unfair and arbitrary deadline.”

Currently, when a victim has been approved for compensation but no medical need is known within the first five years, the victim must file a stand-in, meritless supplemental claim to extend the right to file a claim when such a need for care may be discovered.

“It’s nearly impossible to predict what kind of medical or counseling assistance victims of crime will need many years down the line from their traumatic experiences,” added Rep. Celebrezze. “We must remove the deadline to allow victims of violent crimes access to the reparations they deserve.”

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