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Know the Laws: Alaska

UPDATED July 29, 2013

Monetary compensation may be available for residents of Alaska who have been the victim of a violent crime.  Read below to see if you might qualify.

back to topWhat is victim compensation?

Alaska has a Violent Crimes Compensation Board that can provide compensation (money) to the following victims:

  • innocent people who are injured;
  • dependents of people who are killed; and
  • to certain other people who, due to their relationship to the victim of a crime, incur actual and reasonable expenses as a result of:
    • certain serious crimes;
    • an attempt to prevent a crime from happening; or
    • an attempt to capture or an actual capture of suspected criminals.*
Please continue reading the rest of this section for more information on various eligibility requirements.

* Alaska Statute § 18.67.010
:

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back to topWhat are the requirements to be eligible to apply for compensation?

You may be eligible for compensation based on personal injury or death that resulted from:

  • an attempt on the part of the applicant (victim) to:
    • prevent a crime from happening;
    • capture a suspected criminal
    • help/attempt to help a police officer to capture a suspected criminal; or
    • help a victim of crime; or
  • someone committing or attempting to commit any of the following crimes:
    • murder in any degree;
    • manslaughter;
    • criminally negligent homicide;
    • assault in any degree;
    • kidnapping;
    • sexual assault in any degree;
    • sexual abuse of a minor;
    • robbery in any degree;
    • threats to do bodily harm;
    • driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs or another crime resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, boat, or airplane when the offender is under the influence of an alcohol/drugs;
    • arson in the first degree;
    • sex trafficking in the first degree or in the third degree (as it relates to causing someone over age 20 to prostitute him/herself);
    • human trafficking in any degree; or
    • unlawful exploitation of a minor.*
In addition, you must:
  • report the crime (that caused the personal injury or death) to the police within (5) days of when it happened or if it could not reasonably have been reported at that time, it must be reported within 5 days of when a report could have reasonably been made;
  • file an application with the program within (2) years from the date of the personal injury or death; and
  • cooperate with law enforcement and prosecution authorities in prosecution of the crime and you must take steps to avoid further injury to you or those in your care who are exposed to the offender.
Lastly, the victim:
  • must not have caused or contributed to his/her injury or death by violating a criminal law; and
  • cannot be injured as the result of the use of a car, boat, or plane unless:
    • the vehicle was used by the offender while intoxicated; or
    • as a weapon to intentionally attempt to injure or kill the victim.**
* Alaska Statute § 18.67.101
** Alaska Statute § 18.67.130

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back to topHow much can compensation can I receive? What expenses are covered?

You may get compensation for:

  • expenses actually and reasonably incurred as a result of the personal injury or death of the victim;
  • loss of earning power as a result of total or partial incapacity of the victim, and reasonable expenses to cover job retraining or similar employment-oriented rehabilitative services for the victim;
  • financial loss to the dependents of the deceased victim; and
  • any other loss resulting from the personal injury or death of the victim that the Board determines to be reasonable.*

The highest amount the compensation can be is $40,000 per victim per incident unless:

  1. a victim has more than one dependent who is eligible for compensation (i.e., a parent is killed and has two dependent children); or
  2. two or more victims in the same incident have a dependent eligible for compensation (i.e., a husband and wife are both killed and they have a dependent child).**

In each of these cases (in #1 and #2, above), the total compensation that may be awarded as a result of the victim's death is $80,000.**

* Alaska Statute § 18.67.110(a)
** Alaska Statute § 18.67.130(c)

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back to topMore information and where to get help

There is more information available, including an application you can download on the Violent Crimes Compensation Board website. 

If you need help in filling out the application, you may be able to get the assistance of an advocate at a local resource center, which can be found on the AK State and Local Programs page.

Note: It is possible that after reviewing your application, the Board may decide to hold a hearing.  At the hearing, you can present witnesses, testimony and other evidence and you can be cross-examined.*  If you choose to hire an attorney to represent you, and you win your case, the Board can award reasonable attorney fees in addition to any money that is awarded to you.  The fees would be in the following amount:

  • up to 25% of the first $1,000 amount awarded as compensation;
  • up to 15% of the next $9,000 amount awarded as compensation; and
  • up to 7.5% of the amount awarded as compensation over $10,000. 
An attorney cannot ask you for an amount greater than what is listed above.  If s/he does ask for or demand more money, s/he would be in violation of the statute and can be made to forfeit (give up) any fee awarded by the Board and repay it to the state.**  For legal referrals, go to our AK Finding a Lawyer page.

* Alaska Statute § 18.67.040(a),(c)
** Alaska Statute § 18.67.050

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WomensLaw.org would like to thank the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for its assistance in providing the information on this page.

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