What is Reparations
The Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board is a state program that was established by the Legislature in 1974 to help victims with their financial losses and aid in their recovery from a violent crime. Reparations can compensate victims for expenses related to the crime, including medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and loss of support. There is no compensation for property loss.
The Board reviews information received from the victim, police, prosecutor, and medical records to determine if eligibility requirements have been met. The Board then votes to pay, reduce, or deny the claim.
- Crime must have been reported to police within 30 days (no time limit for sexual assault and child abuse victims, but crime must be reported)
- Application form must be submitted within 3 years of the crime (child abuse claims must be filed within 3 years of the date the crime was reported to police)
Victims of violent crime should apply for reparations even if they are also requesting restitution.
Victims and their families do not have to wait for the completion of any medical, dental, or mental health treatment to apply for reparations. They are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the incident to accelerate reimbursement.
The Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board is made up of five members including a doctor and a crime victim. The Board meets once a month to review claims with eligibility concerns.
Claim forms are available from the Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board at:
651-201-7300 or the Office of Justice Programs online.
The Crime Victim Service Coordinator at the Redwood County Attorney’s office can assist with Reparations claims. Community victim advocacy programs are also available to assist.
You have 30 days after receiving the Board’s reduction or denial letter to request the Board reconsider its initial decision. You must submit the appeal form or a letter that clearly states you are requesting a reconsideration. You should also explain why you think the Board’s decision was wrong and include any additional or new information that you would like the Board to consider. Your advocate or attorney may assist you in writing the letter, but it must be signed by you.
The Board will discuss your reconsideration request at their next meeting. All information obtained on your claim will be reexamined and the Board will vote to affirm, modify, or reverse its previous decision. If you would like to attend the meeting to discuss your claim, contact the Reparations office to schedule an appointment.
Pre-hearing Conference and Contested Case Hearing
If you do not agree with the Board’s reconsideration decision, you may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. You must send a signed letter stating you are requesting a hearing. The letter should explain why you believe the Board’s decision was wrong and any new information you would like to have included at the hearing. There is no time limit requirement to request a hearing.
You will be notified once a pre-hearing conference has been scheduled. The facts and legal issues of the case will be discussed at the conference and a hearing date will be set.
At the hearing, the Reparations Director will testify to the background of the claim and the basis for the denial or reduction. The Board’s attorney will call witnesses to testify on the Board’s behalf. You will also have the opportunity to testify and to call witnesses to testify on your behalf.
You must attend the pre-hearing conference and hearing. Failure to attend may result in a default judgment for the Board. You may bring an attorney, advocate, or support person if you wish.
After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will make a recommendation to the Board. You will be notified of the recommendation and given a chance to present any final statements to the Board. The Board then makes a final decision to either accept or reject the judge’s recommendation.
Minnesota Court of Appeals
If you disagree with the Board’s final decision, you can seek a review by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. You must file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the court within 30 days of receiving the Board’s final decision.
You may wish to speak to an attorney before making the decision to request a hearing or seek a review by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. For help finding an attorney, you may call the lawyer referral service of the Minnesota Bar Association:
- Ramsey County: 651-224-1775
- Hennepin County: 612-752-6666
- Dakota County: 952-431-3200
- Other Counties: 1-800-292-4152
The Board will not pay for the cost of your attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should contact a Legal Aid Office:
- Hennepin County: 612-332-1441
- Ramsey, Washington, Scott, Carver, and Dakota Counties: 651-222-4731
- Rural Counties: 1-888-575-2954
- Reparations are the payer of last resort.
- Victims do not pay income tax on their awards, they do not have to use life insurance or memorial funds (like Go Fund Me) toward their bills.
- If the crime could’ve been charged higher but wasn’t AND the higher crime is covered by reparations then the victim could apply OR if the defendant is dead so there is no one to charge the victim can apply.
- Reparations will look at car crashes on a case by case basis so you can always check to see if your unique set of facts fits something they can cover.
- Victim’s family members still all fall under one claim number and one set of limitations for the disbursement of funds however, it is easiest if each household fills out an application.
For example: you have a child victim with divorced parents then each household would do an application BUT be under ONE claim number. That protects co-mingling of details the other household may not want known from their application.
- When asking for reimbursement for counseling, victims need to have used a licensed counselor or social worker otherwise the claim won’t be covered.
- Cultural healing ceremonies can be covered through reparations but it is best to have it pre-approved.
- If the victim does not want to put their SS# on the application they don’t have to UNLESS they need to be paid directly from the board so, if they don’t expect a check themselves they can choose to leave their SS# to TIN# off the app.
- You should still apply even if your costs are covered by insurance. You might have mileage or other costs that can be claimed through reparations but not insurance and you never know if your insurance will change or if you will lose it.
- You should still apply even if you are really young, don’t need help right now, or think things will be fine. Once the 3 year window closes you can no longer apply and you might need help later in life, circumstances might change, or medical issues may arise later from the crime.
- Law enforcement getting reports back to reparations folks.
- Lack of response from medical providers.
- Primary insurance processing taking a while.
- Victims not returning release forms.
Use the OJP website when needed:
- The “Financial Help” brochure is in 6 languages.
- The application is in English & Spanish.
- There are links to the handbooks and benefits chart.
- They have a link to the mileage request form in English & Spanish.