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What compensation is available for sexual abuse victims?

When you're wronged by someone in a civil matter, you may be able to sue them and get compensation. However, what if you're wronged in a criminal matter -- such as sexual abuse? Are you still able to get compensation for the damages, medical treatment and the way that this can change your life?

In Illinois, there is something known as the Crime Victim's Compensation Act. The Illinois Court of Claims is in charge of this fund, and it is used to give those who are victims some sort of financial compensation.

When submitting a claim, the total value cannot be more than $27,000 for each direct victim of the crime. Up to that amount, though, the fund can help those who do not have the money to pay for things like:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical costs
  • Temporary housing
  • Lost wages (with a max of $1,000 for every month)
  • Counseling for the victim
  • Counseling for family members
  • Lost money for tuition
  • Clean up at the scene of the crime
  • Replacement of specific items that were damaged or lost
  • Emergency costs

Now, you may not be the victim of a violent crime, but you may have lost a loved one as a result of such a crime. If so, the fund can also pay for some of the funeral and burial expenses. The max for these payments has been set at $5,000.

Not all victims are eligible, but it's a very good idea to find out if you are and what legal steps to take to claim your compensation.

Source: CyberDriveIllinois.com, "Illinois Crime Victim's Compensation Program," accessed May. 28, 2015

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