South Carolina Governor's Office

Victims' Compensation Fund

SOVA can help with certain types of crime related costs. In every case, the expense has to be linked to losses from injury or death as a result of the crime.

*Up to a combined total of $15,000 for:

Medical Costs

  • Doctor ordered medicine, equipment, supplies, and treatment
  • Dental or orthodontic work
  • Other costs such as physical rehabilitation, reconstructive surgery, and transportation to doctor appointment
return to top

Counseling (from a licensed professional)

  • Counselor must confirm that trauma resulted from the crime
  • 20 sessions spread over a period of time; or any number of sessions within a 180 days from the first session; or 180 inpatient days at a mental hospital/facility, whichever amount you (the victim) need most
  • Payment amount is on a set fee schedule which is similar to an insurance company scale
return to top

Burial Bills for a Deceased Victim

  • Reimbursement limit is $4,000
  • Certain funeral items may not be covered
  • Copy of death certificate is required
return to top

Lost Wages / Loss of Support

If you have lost financial support because you or the household wage-earner has been out of work for over two weeks, then you may be eligible for lost wages or lost support payments.
  • You may be eligible if you are the victim or the victim's dependent or spouse
  • You may be eligible to receive up to two-thirds of the average weekly wages

Please call us to discuss how to safely handle this option for you.

Sova Benefits Chart
(download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view chart)

return to top

SOVA Compensation Procedures

Victim/Witness Assistance Services:  The purpose of this department is to assist with the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund as mandated by law and to provide support and advocacy on behalf of the crime victims/claimants.

  • Provide customer service to crime victims, advocates, law enforcement and service providers
  • Assist victims with filing the Crime Victims’ Compensation applications
  • Conduct intake on each crime victims’ compensation application
  • Screen and review each claim
  • Conduct data entry of each incoming claim
  • Provide information about victims’ rights
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Provide case status updates
  • Make referrals
  • Reassign claims to investigators in Eligibility Services 

Eligibility Services:  The purpose of this department is to thoroughly review crime victim compensation claims throughout the state of South Carolina and to determine eligibility as mandated in section 16-3-1130 (1)(2)(3). This includes examinations of police, court and official records related to the injury on which the claim is based.

  • Claims are assigned to investigators by territories.
  • All police, court, medical, funeral, hospital and other official records are examined.
  • Claims are reviewed and a written recommendation is submitted for approval.
  • If eligible, the claim is forwarded to the Restitution recovery program for the possibility of recouping any money from the offender that may be paid on behalf of the victim.
  • If ineligible, the claim is reviewed by an internal staffing team.

Restitution Program: The purpose of this program is to thoroughly review all eligible crime victim compensation claims to determine whether restitution may be recouped from the offender as mandated in sections 16-3-1250, section 16-3-1260, and 16-25-322. This includes the placing of liens upon insurance settlements and receiving money from court ordered restitution.

  • All crime victim compensation claims are reviewed for financial recovery.
  • In the event restitution may be recovered, all parties are notified before the claim is processed for payment by SOVA.
  • In the event restitution recovery is not possible, the claim is forwarded to SOVA’S Processing Services Department for payment consideration.

Processing Services: The purpose of the Processing Services department is to audit all eligible crime victim compensation claims to determine the allowable  benefits and process payments in a rapid and efficient manner as mandated by section 16-3-1180(A).

  • Claims are assigned to examiners by territories.
  • Examiners review all eligible crime victim compensation claims for potential medical payment consideration, including medical, counseling, and lost wages.
  • Examiners may request medical bills, medical records and other documents to assist with making payments.
  • Examiners review SAP/CAP protocol claims for payment.

Appellate Services: The purpose of the appeal process is to ensure that all denied crime victim compensation claims are reviewed as rapid as possible as mandated in section 16-3-1140.

  • Provide the victim/claimant with a hearing or review.
  • Provide all denied victims/claimants with notification of hearings within 30 days prior to the hearing date.
  • Subpoena police records, law enforcement, medical statements, and other documents needed for the hearing.

Provide victim support, advocacy and accompaniment to each victim during the appeal process.

return to top

Sexual Assault Protocol &
Child Abuse Protocol

The State Office of Victim Assistance is authorized by state law to pay medical facilities for allowable charges incurred in gathering bodily evidence from a victim at law enforcement’s request. The attending physicians must use one of the protocol kits develop by SLED for the exam: the Sexual Protocol Kit for an adult or Child Abuse Protocol Kit for a minor. Kits should be used only as instructed to obtain evidence to assist in the prosecution of the offender.

return to top

Basic Reimbursement Requirements:

To receive reimbursement for performing the SAP/CAP exam, you must submit a copy of the protocol with the itemized bill for services rendered. This bill must show individual charges for lab work test, emergency room fee, physician’s fee, etc.

The SAP/CAP program will pay your facility directly on a monthly basis for exams conducted. If your office submits multiple claims together at the same time, then only one collective check will be issued. A list if victims’ names covered by that particular check will be included.

Victims are NOT to be billed, nor should you file with their health insurance.

return to top

Release Form Requirements:

You must also complete the entire medical release form to submit to us along with the copy of the protocol and itemized bill. To avoid processing delays, make sure that the necessary information and signatures are included:

  • Name, address, and signature of victim/guardian
  • Name and signature of the attending physician
  • Name and address of the health care facility
  • Name of law enforcement agency that took report
  • Name of investigation/reporting officer and signature (if available)

This protocol program is NOT permitted to pay for any additional procedures such as:

  • Surgery
  • X-rays
  • Testing
  • Treatment
  • Alcohol or drug screens
  • Stat charges, etc
  • Follow-up counseling
  • Hospital admission
  • Follow-up exam certain blood work

Injured victims of assault or abuse who incur other crime related medical bills may submit a separate Crime Victims’ Compensation application to SOVA. It will be reviewed for eligibility for certain benefits. If deemed eligible, SOVA can pay up to $15,000 towards medical bills, lost wages, counseling and burial costs. SOVA is a last resort for payment. A victim must file with his or her health insurance first. We can consider balances due after insurance.

When a sibling group is examined, an incident report that names each child as a direct victim is required along with the billing information. If an examined child is not listed on the incident report as a victim, then we will not be able to cover the costs for that particular minor.

return to top

Forensic Interviews

As of August 15, 2004, SOVA will pay for Forensic Interviews for children of sexual and physical abuse. Here are the guidelines in place regarding payment.

Forensic Interview must be performed to standards defined by SOVA

Centers approved by SOVA

Must submit the SOVA Forensic Interview Report, the SOVA Forensic Interview Release Form, and an Itemized bill

Questions about protocol billing:
Call the SAP/ CAP Claims Processor at (803) 734-1900

return to top

Anonymous Reporting

Sexual Assault Forensic Medical Examination – 18 and older
‘When victims elect not to report the crime to law enforcement’
Pursuant to new South Carolina law which follows the guidance of the federal Violence Against Women Act, victims of sexual assault in the State of South Carolina are entitled to a forensic examination whether or not the victim chooses to cooperate with law enforcement and criminal investigation.  SOVA is the sole reimbursement provider for forensic examinations in South Carolina. What does all this mean to you?  If you are sexually assaulted, but do not choose to call law enforcement, for whatever reason, you can still have forensic evidence collected and stored in case you change your mind and choose to proceed with criminal investigation and prosecution at a later date.  Health Care Providers will bill SOVA directly for the charges for lab work, treatment for venereal diseases, emergency room fees, SANE fee, physician’s fee etc.  Any fees beyond the actual collection of any evidence during a forensic examination will be the responsibility of the victim, but payment options with the medical provider are usually an option.  Should law enforcement be involved, the option of SOVA victim compensation reimbursement becomes available.

This new law gives more flexibility to the system, and allows for a choice to be made on reporting and prosecution after the initial trauma has occurred.

For more information on this and other related crime victims services and compensation, please call SOVA at (803) 734-1900.

return to top

Important to Remember...

Payments are dependent upon the following conditions:

  • The crime must have occurred in South Carolina
  • The victim (or guardian) must file an incident report with law enforcement
  • The medical-legal examination must be performed using the protocol standards developed by SLED
return to top