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New York State Crime Victim Board’s Eligibility for Surviving Spouses May Soon Include Domestic Partners

Regardless of where one sits on the issue of rights to domestic partners, there have been some current legislative activities in the New York state legislature that people should give some attention. The New York State Assembly Bill # A04024 is a bill intended to amend the executive law, “in relation to eligibility of domestic partners for compensation from the crime victims’ board, introduced in January 2014.”

This bill allows for domestic partners to be eligible to receive awards under the crime victims compensation allocation. On April 24, 2013, this bill passed the New York State Assembly and was delivered to the New York State Senate for consideration.

The New York State Office of Victim Services is the state entity involved with providing legal recourse and compensation for victims. There is a laundry list of eligibility requirements as well as a list of what a victim may be entitled to. That list includes:

“The victim must be an innocent victim of the crime • Victims of crime who were physically injured as a result of the crime • Victims of crime who are under 18, 60 and over, or disabled, who were not physically injured • Certain relatives and dependents, including surviving spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, stepparent or person primarily dependent on the victim for support • Those who paid for or incurred burial costs for an innocent crime victim • Child victims, a child who witnesses a crime, and the child’s parent, stepparent, grandparent, guardian, brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister • Certain victims of unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping • Certain stalking victims • Certain victims of labor trafficking or sex trafficking • Victims of terrorist acts outside of the US who are a resident of New York State • Victims of frivolous lawsuits brought by a person who committed a crime against the victim”

The current New York State legislature bill would expand eligibility (the third bullet above) to include a domestic partner.

The rest of this bill would mirror the current legal requirements to obtain eligibility for compensation. That involves filing an application with the Office of Victim Services. That application involves a number of requirements outlined as part of the application process.

Among other things, an applicant will need to provide information about:
– the victim;
– the crime;
– the suspect;
– your expenses;
– the personal property that needs replacement;
– limited details if the victim was injured or killed;
– the victim’s dependents;
– any counseling sought by survivors;
– the victim’s employment;
– the victim’s insurance status; and – financial status
While this list may appear complex, you should understand that this list is fairly straightforward and logical. To consider whether you may have a claim with the New York State Crime Victim’s Board, consult an injury attorney experienced in NY personal injury law.