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What's New for Crime Victims


2011 legislation streamlines crime victims program and modifies benefits

June 24, 2011.

The Washington State Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP) provides benefits to victims of violent crime. Victims or their surviving spouses and dependents, may be eligible to receive benefits such as medical treatment, counseling, lost wages, and burial expenses. The program is managed by the Department of Labor & Industries.

What's the background of this legislation?

Legislative changes made to the CVCP during the 2010 session stabilized the program in response to growing caseloads and costs. Unfortunately, the severe state budget shortfall required additional reductions to the state general fund, including the CVCP program.

Since its inception in 1974, the CVCP has been statutorily tied to the workers’ compensation program under Title 51. The new law has streamlined the CVCP by separating it from its connection to the state’s workers’ compensation program and simplified its provisions.

In addition to administrative savings, the CVCP was required to identify an additional $1 million in general fund reductions.

Key provisions include:

  • The one-time cash value payment for permanent partial disabilities is eliminated. Washington was the only state in the nation paying this benefit which originated in the state’s industrial insurance program. It will save about $1 million in the 2011-2013 biennium.
  • $60,000 will be saved in each biennium by the elimination of the home and vehicle modification benefit.
  • The statutory streamlining of the CVCP will save $500,000 in 2011-2013 through administrative savings, including reduction of staff. These savings will not affect victims or other beneficiaries.
  • The calculation used to determine the amount of lost wages has changed and will no longer be based upon marital and dependent status. Additional changes have been made to more efficiently manage claims.

What's next?

SB 5691 passed by the 2011 legislature will take effect on July 1, 2011. In spite of Washington’s difficult budget challenge, these changes will affect the smallest number of victims possible. For most victims, the changes will have limited impact on their claims.

Questions?

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New method to calculate medical payments

May 10, 2011.

The method to calculate payment for Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPC) codes for dates of service on or after July 1, 2011 for Crime Victims Compensation Program will be 37% of L&I's fees.

This doesn't change the current reimbursement rate or the hospital and pharmacy calculations.

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