2018 Florida Statutes
(1)(a) No award shall be made unless the department finds that:
1. A crime was committed;
2. Such crime directly resulted in personal injury to, psychiatric or psychological injury to, or death of, the victim or intervenor; and
3. Such crime was promptly reported to the proper authorities.
(b) In no case may an award be made when the record shows that such report was made more than 72 hours after the occurrence of such crime unless the department, for good cause shown, finds the delay to have been justified. The department, upon finding that any claimant or award recipient has not duly cooperated with the state attorney, all law enforcement agencies, and the department, may deny, reduce, or withdraw any award, as the case may be.
(2) Any award shall be granted on an “actual need” basis and shall be provided subsequent to all benefits provided by primary insurance carriers, including, but not limited to, health and accident insurers, workers’ compensation, and automobile accident coverage.
(3) Payment made in accordance with this section shall be considered payment of last resort that follows all other sources.
(4) Any award made pursuant to this chapter shall be made in accordance with the schedule of benefits, degrees of disability, and wage-loss formulas specified in ss. 440.12 and 440.15, excluding subsection (5) of that section.
(5) If there are two or more persons entitled to an award as a result of the death of a person which is the direct result of a crime, the award shall be apportioned among the claimants.
(6) Any award made pursuant to this chapter, except an award for loss of support or catastrophic injury, shall be reduced by the amount of any payments or services received or to be received by the claimant as a result of the injury or death:
(a) From or on behalf of the person who committed the crime; provided, however, that a restitution award ordered by a court to be paid to the claimant by the person who committed the crime shall not reduce any award made pursuant to this chapter unless it appears to the department that the claimant will be unjustly enriched thereby.
(b) From any other public or private source or provider, including, but not limited to, an award of workers’ compensation pursuant to chapter 440.
(c) From agencies mandated by other Florida statutes to provide or pay for services, except as provided in s. 960.28.
(d) From an emergency award under s. 960.12.
(7) In determining the amount of an award, the department shall determine whether, because of his or her conduct, the victim of such crime or the intervenor contributed to the infliction of his or her physical injury or psychiatric or psychological injury or to his or her death, and the department shall reduce the amount of the award or reject the claim altogether, in accordance with such determination. However, the department may disregard for this purpose the contribution of the intervenor to his or her own physical injury or psychiatric or psychological injury or death when the record shows that such contribution was attributed to efforts by an intervenor as set forth in s. 960.03.
(8) If the department finds that the claimant, if not granted assistance pursuant to this chapter to meet the loss of earnings or support or out-of-pocket loss, will not suffer serious financial hardship as a result of the loss of earnings or support and the out-of-pocket loss incurred as a result of the injury, the department shall deny the award. In determining serious financial hardship, the department shall consider all the financial resources of the claimant. Unless a total dependency is established, members of a family are considered to be partially dependent upon a homemaker with whom they reside, without regard to actual earnings.
(9)(a) An award may not exceed:
1. Ten thousand dollars for treatment;
2. Ten thousand dollars for continuing or periodic mental health care of a minor victim whose normal emotional development is adversely affected by being the victim of a crime;
3. A total of $25,000 for all compensable costs; or
4. Fifty thousand dollars when the department makes a written finding that the victim has suffered a catastrophic injury as a direct result of the crime.
(b) The department may adopt rules that establish limits below the amounts set forth in paragraph (a) and establish criteria governing awards for catastrophic injury.
History.—s. 1, ch. 77-452; s. 122, ch. 79-40; s. 308, ch. 79-400; s. 11, ch. 80-146; s. 12, ch. 90-211; s. 8, ch. 91-23; s. 10, ch. 92-107; s. 11, ch. 94-342; s. 3, ch. 96-315; s. 1885, ch. 97-102; s. 6, ch. 99-373; s. 15, ch. 2015-92.