Board of Control
The Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) (formally the Board of Control) is a three-member Board which provides oversight for the many programs and functions entrusted to California's State and Consumer Services Agency. The VCGCB's diverse portfolio of responsibilities includes the following programs:
1. The Victim Compensation Program
2. Government Claims Program
3. Victim Restitution Recovery
4. Compensation for Good Samaritans
5. Missing Children Reward Program
6. Bid Protests
7. Claims of Erroneously Convicted Felons
8. Local Assistance for Victims of Crime
Summaries of each program are listed as follows:
The Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and federal matching funds.
Government Claims Program
The Government Claims Program (GCP) helps resolve claims against State agencies and employees for monetary damages. In most cases, a person who is considering suing the state is required to first seek an administrative remedy by filing a claim with the VCGCB. Typical claims involve state vehicle accidents, contract disputes, and damage to property. When a claim is received, GCP staff will investigate and make a recommendation to the Board regarding the disposition of the claim. The Board either rejects the claim or orders the responsible state agency to pay the claim. The GCP is self-funded, supported by a $25 filing fee and a surcharge paid by state agencies on approved claims.
Victim Restitution Recovery
A highly effective revenue recovery program focuses on collecting restitution payments and reimbursements from criminal offenders that in turn fund compensation for crime victims.
Compensation for Good Samaritans
The Board administers the provisions of California law that provide for compensation to Good Samaritans (excluding public-safety workers in the course and scope of their employment) who suffer injury or loss as a result of their efforts to prevent a crime, apprehend a criminal, or rescue a person in immediate danger of injury or death. The immediate family or dependents of a Good Samaritan who dies as a direct result of their meritorious actions can also seek compensation. Claims cannot exceed $10,000.
Missing Children Reward Program
The California Legislature created the Missing Children Reward Program to assist local law enforcement agencies and other parties involved in the identification and recovery of missing children in California. The program allows rewards of up to $500 for individuals providing information leading to the location of any child listed in the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Missing Persons System database. Awards are made upon the recommendation of the DOJ. As a condition to the award, an amount equal to or greater in non-state funds must first have been offered for information leading to the location of the missing child.
California law provides that an unsuccessful bidder may protest the award of a state contract, if the bidder believes they were the low bidder meeting specifications or should have been selected based on the criteria in the bid request document. Protests are filed with the Department of General Services (DGS), which forwards them to the Board. Protests are assigned to a hearing officer, who prepares a proposed decision or recommendation for consideration by the Board.
Claims of Erroneously Convicted Felons
Under California law, a person erroneously convicted of a felony and incarcerated in a California state prison may file a claim against the state for pecuniary loss with the VCGCB within six months from the date he or she was acquitted, pardoned, or released from state prison. In order to be successful, the person filing the claim must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, the following three elements: (1) he or she did not commit the crime or that the crime never took place; (2) he or she did not intentionally or negligently contribute to his or her arrest or conviction; and (3) he or she suffered a monetary loss because of the incarceration. If the claim is granted, the Board will make a recommendation for a legislative appropriation in the amount of $100 for each day of incarceration served after conviction. Such payments are made from the State General Fund.
Local Assistance for Victims of Crime
Victim advocates throughout the state can help victims apply for compensation and learn about the criminal justice system. There are 59 Victim Witness Assistance Centers – one in each county and one in the City of Los Angeles – that work directly with the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) in assisting victims. In addition, the VCGCB has 21 joint powers agreements with 20 counties and the city of Los Angeles that assist in processing claims. For information regarding local Victim Witness Assistance Center locations and contact information, see the "Local Help" page in the "Victim Compensation" section of the VCGCB web site:
Any complaints or issues must be related to damage or monetary loss caused by the State of California.
Board of Control
630 K Street, 4th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 955-0045 (recorded message)
Victim Compensation Program and Government Claims Program
P.O. Box 3036
Sacramento, CA 95812-3036
California Relay Service (800) 735-2929
Publications available:None are offered by the Consumer Information Center
See also: Victims of Crime
Other referrals: Controller (Office of the State)