Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–501. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter the term:

(1) “Board” means the Crime Victims Compensation Appeals Board.

(2) “Claimant” means a person who makes a claim for compensation under this chapter and who is a:

(A) Victim;

(B) Secondary victim; or

(C) Person acting on behalf of a victim or a secondary victim, but not including a provider of services.

(3) “Collateral source” means a source of benefits or compensation available to a claimant for economic loss resulting from a crime of violence. This term includes payments or benefits from:

(A) The offender;

(B) The United States, District of Columbia, a state or territory of the United States or its political subdivisions, or an agency of the foregoing, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Workers’ Compensation, Public Employees’ Disability Compensation, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, the Child and Family Services Agency, and Court Social Services;

(C) A wage continuation program of an employer;

(D) A contract of life, health, disability, liability, or fire and casualty insurance, or a contract providing prepaid hospital or health care benefits;

(E) Proceeds of a lawsuit brought as a result of the crime; or

(F) Life insurance proceeds of more than $50,000.

(4) “Commission” means the Crime Victims Compensation Advisory Commission.

(5) “Court” means the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(6) “Crime of violence” or “crime” means the offense of, or the attempt to commit the offense of, an act of terrorism, use, dissemination, or detonation of a weapon of mass destruction, manufacture or possession of a weapon of mass destruction, arson, assault, assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, assault on a police officer, assault with intent to kill, assault with intent to commit any offense, burglary, stalking, threats, negligent homicide, sexual abuse, kidnapping, maliciously disfiguring another, manslaughter, murder, mayhem, riot, robbery, carjacking, cruelty to children, unlawful use of an explosive, forced labor, benefitting financially from human trafficking, using a minor in a sexual performance, promoting a sexual performance by a minor, attending or possessing a sexual performance by a minor, trafficking in labor or commercial sex acts, sex trafficking of children, a felony violation of an act codified in Chapter 27 of Title 22, where a person was compelled to engage in prostitution or was a minor; a violation of an act codified in Title 50 that resulted in death or bodily injury to a person, including these offenses when motivated by bias as provided by Chapter 37 of Title 22, or any violation of §§ 50-2201.04 and 50-2201.05, notwithstanding that the offender lacked the capacity to commit the offense by reason of infancy, insanity, intoxication, or otherwise. These terms include an offense where the perpetrator and victim are members of the same family or household, an offense whether prosecuted under the District of Columbia Official Code or the United States Code, and a terrorist act or act of mass violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2331, committed in the District of Columbia against any person or outside of the United States against a resident of the District of Columbia. A crime occurs whether or not any person is identified, arrested, prosecuted, or convicted. Unless an application for rehearing, appeal, or petition for certiorari is pending or a new trial or hearing has been ordered, the conviction of a person whose acts gave rise to the claim is conclusive evidence that a crime was committed.

(7)(A) “Economic loss” means:

(i) Reasonable medical expenses incurred, whether provided in the District of Columbia or elsewhere;

(ii) Reasonable funeral and burial expenses, including the reasonable cost of cremation or other chosen method of interment;

(iii) The reasonable cost of temporary emergency food and housing not exceeding 120 days;

(iv) Loss of income or support incurred as a direct or indirect result of an injury or death;

(v) Loss of a victim’s services by a secondary victim, including housekeeping and child care services;

(vi) In the case of secondary victims, reasonable psychiatric, psychological, or mental health counseling expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime;

(vii) Reasonable expenses incurred by the victim for physical or occupational therapy and rehabilitation;

(viii) The reasonable cost of cleaning the crime scene;

(ix) Unless the victim is deceased, the replacement value of the victim’s clothing that is held for evidentiary purposes;

(x) The reasonable cost of replacing doors, windows, locks or other items to secure the victim’s home or other place of residence;

(xi) The reasonable cost of a rental car for the period of time that an automobile is being held by the police as evidence or to collect evidence;

(xii) Reasonable moving expenses where necessary for health or safety; and

(xiii) Reasonable transportation expenses incurred by the victim or secondary victim to participate in court proceedings, to participate in the investigation or prosecution of the case, or to obtain the services described in sub-subparagraphs (i), (vi), or (vii) of this subparagraph, or paragraph (9) of this subsection, or to obtain any other services required as a direct result of the crime.

(B) “Economic loss” does not mean:

(i) Pain and suffering;

(ii) The value of any property damaged or taken during the crime; or

(iii) Any services not described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

(8) “Fund” means the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

(9) “Medical expenses” include:

(A) Ambulance, hospital, surgical, medical, nursing, dental, optometric, ophthalmologic, chiropractic, podiatric, in-patient mental health, and pregnancy-related care;

(B) Medical, dental, hearing, and surgical supplies;

(C) Crutches and prosthetic devices taken, lost, or destroyed during the commission of the crime, as well as new prosthetic devices which became necessary as a direct result of the crime and training in their use; and

(D) Out-patient mental health counseling expenses which became necessary as a direct result of the crime and which are provided by a:

(i) Licensed psychiatrist or psychologist;

(ii) Licensed social worker; or

(iii) Licensed marriage, family, or child counselor practicing within the scope of licensure.

(10) “Personal injury” means physical injury, emotional trauma, or both.

(11) “Program” means the Crime Victims Compensation Program.

(12) “Provider of services” means a person or entity providing services pursuant to paragraphs (7) and (9) of this subsection.

(13) “Secondary victim” means a:

(A) Victim’s spouse, children, including biological, step, and adopted, grandchildren, parents, stepparents, siblings, half siblings, or spouse’s parents;

(B) Person who resides in the victim’s household at the time of the crime or at the time of the discovery of the crime;

(C) Person who is a survivor of a victim and who was wholly or partially dependent upon the victim for care and support at the time of the commission of the crime upon which the claim is based, including a child of the victim born after the victim’s death;

(D) Person who legally assumes the obligation, or who voluntarily pays the medical expenses, or in the event of death caused by the crime, funeral and burial expenses, incurred as a direct result thereof;

(E) Person with close ties to the victim; or

(F) Person who witnessed the crime.

(14) “Victim” means a person who suffers personal injury or death in the District of Columbia, a person who is a resident of the District of Columbia and suffers personal injury or death as a result of a terrorist act or act of mass violence committed outside of the United States, or a person who is a resident of the District of Columbia and who suffers personal injury or death outside the District of Columbia in a state that does not have a crime victims compensation program that is eligible for funding under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (98 Stat. 2170; 42 U.S.C. § 10601 et seq.), as a direct result of:

(A) A crime;

(B) Assisting lawfully to apprehend a person reasonably suspected of committing or attempting to commit a crime;

(C) Assisting a person against whom a crime has been committed or attempted, if the assistance was rendered in a reasonable manner;

(D) Attempting to prevent the commission of a crime; or

(E) A violation of §§ 50-2201.04 and 50-2201.05, or a comparable state law regarding driving infractions.

(15) “Victims assistance grants agency” means the District of Columbia agency that is responsible for the administration of federal funds received for crime victims assistance under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, approved October 12, 1984 (98 Stat. 2170; 42 U.S.C. § 10601 et seq.).


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-243, § 2, 44 DCR 1142; Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 202(a), 47 DCR 6308; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-194, § 151, 49 DCR 5306; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 31, 51 DCR 881; Oct. 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-239, § 201(a), 57 DCR 5405.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 3-421.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-172, in subpar. (3)(B), substituted “Public Employees’ Disability Compensation, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, the Child and Family Services Agency, and Court Social Services,” for “and Public Employees’ Disability Compensation”; in par. (6) substituted “assault, assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, assault on a police officer, assault with intent to kill, assault with intent to commit any offense, burglary, stalking, threats,” for “assault”; rewrote par. (7), which had read:

“ ‘Economic loss’ means, except for pain and suffering:

“(A) Reasonable medical expenses incurred, whether provided in the District of Columbia or elsewhere;

“(B) Funeral and burial expenses, including the reasonable cost of cremation or other chosen method of interment, not exceeding $3,000 per death;

“(C) In the case of battered partners or children, the cost of temporary emergency housing not exceeding 90 days;

“(D) Loss of income or support incurred as a direct or indirect result of an injury or death;

“(E) Loss of a victim’s services by a secondary victim, including housekeeping and child care services;

“(F) In the case of secondary victims, reasonable psychiatric, psychological, or mental health counseling expenses incurred as a direct result of the crime;

“(G) Reasonable expenses incurred by the victim for physical or occupational therapy and rehabilitation;

“(H) The cost of cleaning the crime scene, not exceeding $1,000; and

“(I) Unless the victim is deceased, the replacement value of the victim’s clothing that is held for evidentiary purposes.”; rewrote par. (13), which had read:

“ ‘Secondary victim’ means a:

“(A) Victim’s spouse, children, including natural born, step, and adopted, grandchildren, parents, stepparents, siblings, half siblings, or spouse’s parents;

“(B) Person who resides in the victim’s household at the time of the crime or at the time of the discovery of the crime;

“(C) Person who is a survivor of a victim and who was wholly or partially dependent upon the victim for care and support at the time of the commission of the crime upon which the claim is based, including a child of the victim born after the victim’s death; or

“(D) Person who legally assumes the obligation, or who voluntarily pays the medical expenses, or in the event of death caused by the crime, funeral and burial expenses, incurred as a direct result thereof.”; and added par. (15), defining victims assistance grants agency.

D.C. Law 14-194, in par. (6), inserted “an act of terrorism, use, dissemination, or detonation of a weapon of mass destruction, manufacture or possession of a weapon of mass destruction” following “to commit the offense of,”.

D.C. Law 15-105, in par. (6), validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 18-239, in par. (6), substituted “unlawful use of an explosive, forced labor, benefitting financially from human trafficking, using a minor in a sexual performance, promoting a sexual performance by a minor, attending or possessing a sexual performance by a minor, trafficking in labor or commercial sex acts, sex trafficking of children, a felony violation of an act codified in Chapter 27 of Title 22, where a person was compelled to engage in prostitution or was a minor; a violation of an act codified in Title 50 that resulted in death or bodily injury to a person,” for “unlawful use of an explosive,”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of chapter, see § 2 through 19 of the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-447, December 5, 1996, 43 DCR 6669), and § 2-19 of the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-34, March 11, 1997, 44 DCR 1915).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 202(a) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).