Crime Victim Assistance

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Justice , Office Of Victims Of Crime
CFDA #: 16.575

Purpose of this program:

Enacted in 1984, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is the central source of federal financial support for direct services to victim of crime. VOCA is administered at the federal level through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime which annually awards a grant to each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories to support victim assistance services for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, drunk driving, homicide, and other crimes. Each state has a designated VOCA assistance agency to administer VOCA grants. Those state agencies in turn, subgrant to organizations that provide direct services to victims of crime. While minimal federal requirements must be met, each state is given great discretion in awarding specific subgrants.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Funds under this program shall be used by States and territories to provide direct services to crime victims with the following exception: States may retain up to 5 percent of their grant for administrative purposes, and 1 percent of their grant for training. All States and most Territories receive an annual VOCA victim assistance grant. Each State, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico receive a base amount of $500,000. The territories of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa, each receive a base amount of $200,000. Additional funds are distributed based on populations. That portion of the then remaining funds will be divided among all States or territories according to population (U.S. Census Bureau). If the amount available for grants under this program is insufficient to provide $500,000 to each State, the base amount available shall be distributed equally among the States and territories. A victim assistance program is an eligible crime victim assistance program under VOCA if it: (A) is operated by a public agency or a nonprofit organization, or combination; (B) meets the appropriate match requirements; (C) uses volunteers unless the VOCA administrator grants a waiver for a compelling reason; (D) promotes coordinated public and private efforts to aid crime victims within the community served; (E) assists victims in applying for crime victim compensation; (F) complies with Federal rules regulating VOCA, including Program Guidelines/Rules and the effective edition of the OJP Financial Guide; (G) maintains civil rights information; (H) complies with additional eligibility or service criteria established by the State grantees; (I) provides services to victims of Federal crimes on the same basis as services are provided to victims of State and local crimes; (J) provides services to crime victims without charge unless a waiver is obtained from the State grantee; and, (K) maintains confidentiality of client-counselor and research information. An eligible crime victim assistance program shall expend sums received under subsection (a) only for providing direct services to victims of crime. The chief executive of each State shall (A) certify that priority shall be given to eligible crime victim assistance programs providing assistance to victims of sexual assault, spousal abuse, or child abuse, and to programs serving previously underserved victims of violent crime, as determined by the State, (B) certify that funds awarded to eligible crime victim assistance programs will not be used to supplant State and local funds otherwise available for crime victim assistance; and provide such other information and assurances related to the purposes of this section as the Director may reasonably require. As used in this program, (1) the term "State" includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States; and (2) the term "services to victims of crime" includes (a) crisis intervention services to provide emotional support in cases arising from the occurrence of crime; (b) providing, in an emergency, transportation to court, short-term child care services, and temporary housing and security measures; (c) assistance in participating in criminal justice proceedings; and (d) payment of all reasonable costs for a forensic medical examination of sexual assault victims, to the extent that such costs are otherwise not reimbursed or paid; (3) the term "chief executive" includes a person designated by the governor to perform the functions of the chief executive under this section.

Who is eligible to apply...

Any State, the District of Columbia, all Commonwealths and any other territory or possession of the United States are eligible. Funds will be subgranted to eligible public and nonprofit organizations or combinations of such agencies or organizations or of both such agencies and organizations, who provide direct services to victims of crime.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Applications from the designated State agency for this program must be submitted on Standard Form 424 electronically via the Office of Justice Programs Grants Management System (GMS), at a time specified by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs. The State grant applicant, by completing the grant application, and by receiving a VOCA victim assistance grant award, certifies: (1) that funds awarded to eligible crime victim assistance programs will not be utilized to supplant State and/or local funds that would otherwise be available for crime victim assistance; (2) that the State will provide such accounting, auditing, monitoring and evaluation procedures as may be necessary, and keep such records as the Office of Justice Programs may prescribe, to assure fiscal control, proper management and efficient disbursement of Federal funds; (3) that the State shall give priority to programs aiding victims of sexual assault, spousal abuse, or child abuse, and to programs serving previously underserved victims of violent crimes as determined by the State; (4) that the State will submit to the Office of Justice Programs Subgrant Award Reports and Performance Reports concerning the activities carried out with the Federal funds received and will maintain and report such data and information as required; (5) that the State will adhere to the audit and financial management requirements set forth in the OJP Financial Guide; (6) that the State will comply with all applicable Federal nondiscrimination requirements; and, (7) certify that the information in the application is correct and that the State will comply with all applicable provisions of the Victims of Crime Act and other Federal laws, regulations, and circulars. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

The applicant applies on-line at under "Grants/Funding" once posted by the Office for Victims of Crime.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

The Director, Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs has final approval authority. Once an award is granted to a State, the State will subgrant the monies to private nonprofit and/or public agencies for the purpose specified in the application and in conformance with all general and special conditions.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Contact the Headquarters Office: Eligible States will be notified of the date for submission of applications through an OVC listserv message.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 3 to 4 weeks.

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency in accordance with 28-CFR, Part 66 (Common Rule), must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under Executive Order 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Hearing by the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Awards are for the year of award plus 3 years; applications will be submitted annually.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Any member of the general public who has been a victim of a crime or those who are survivors of victims of crime.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Formula Grants

Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Base of $500,000 to each State, Commonwealth, and the District of Columbia. Territories of the United States receive a base of $200,000. Remaining dollars will be divided based on population.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $353,027,299; FY 04 est $383,227,000; and FY 05 est $353,027,299.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Potential projects include, but are not limited to: funding to support (a) domestic violence shelter services; (b) rape crisis programs, including coverage for sexual assault examinations: child abuse treatment programs; and (d) support groups for survivors of homicide victim and DUI/DWI crash victims, etc.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Since Fiscal Year 1986, awards totaled $3,062,972,335.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Criteria for selecting proposals are specifically spelled out in the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, as amended. Additional criteria will be developed by the Office for Victims of Crime. These criteria are listed on the OVC web page

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

States have the year of award plus 3 years to expend the funds.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Awards will be made on the basis of population with a base amount of $500,000 for States; $200,000 for the territories of N. Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. Fund availability may necessitate a base change.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Subgrant Award Report for each subrecipient of VOCA funds; Quarterly, final financial reports and Annual Program Performance reports will be required as stipulated in the Program Guidelines/Rules and the OJP Financial Guide.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


All organizations that expend $300,000 or more in federal funds per organizational fiscal year must have a single audit for that year in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-133, as amended. The audit report and transmittal letter must be submitted within 9 months from the end of the state fiscal year.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to a grant shall be retained for a period of at least three years after the grant has been closed.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA), as amended, Public Law 98-473, Chapter 112, 42 U.S.C. 10601 et seq., Section 1402, Section 1404; Children's Justice and Assistance Act of 1986, as amended, Public Law 99-401, Section 102(5)(b)(a)(ii); Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Title VII, Subtitle D, Public Law 100-690; Crime Control Act of 1990, Public Law 101-647; Federal Courts Administration Act of 1992, Public Law 102-572; Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1994; Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Subtitle C, Public Law 104-132; Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Enforcement Act of 2000; Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Public Law 104-298; Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2000; Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-386, and the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, (Public Law 107-56 [referred to as the USA Patriot Act of 2001]).

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Program Guidelines/Rules are published in the Federal Register. The OJP Financial Guide is available at, or call the Office of the Comptroller, Customer Service Center at 1-800-458-0786 to request a copy.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office


Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Toni L. Thomas, Acting Director, State Compensation and Assistance Division, Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice, 810 Seventh Street, NW., Washington, DC 20531. Telephone: (202) 616-3579. Use the same number for FTS.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: