Massachusetts Payment Resources
Summary of payment program
Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), all patients are eligible to have the cost of their forensic examination covered by the state of Massachusetts . The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Massachusetts Hospital Association developed detailed guidance regarding the billing procedures for a sexual assault forensic examination to ensure that a victim is not billed for any services provided within the emergency department, unless a patient chooses to use their health insurance for this purpose .
Additional costs such as ambulance transportation, care and treatment in the hospital inpatient
setting (such as the ICU, surgical cases, and long term medical care), follow-up visits to an
infectious disease clinic and/or critical care provided outside the initial examination in a hospital
setting, are not considered part of the forensic examination. However, when such services are
incurred by a victim as an out-of-pocket expense, the victim may be entitled to seek direct
reimbursement for any non-covered services by the Victim Compensation and Assistance
Division following separate reimbursement criteria. Hospitals should assist patients by referring
them to the appropriate resources that can assist with applying for this reimbursement if needed.
Massachusetts Victims of Violent Crime Compensation is able to provide financial assistance to eligible victims of violent crime for uninsured medical and dental care, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and income lost due to the inability to work. Victims of crimes that occurred on or after July 1, 2013, may, in addition, be eligible to receive financial assistance relating to compensable expenses.
The division uses funds primarily obtained from perpetrators, and can assist with expenses up to a maximum of $25,000 per crime.
Victims of a crime are to contact the Victim Compensation staff at the Office of the Attorney General for further assistance, at (617) 727-2200 ext. 2160. The victim compensation funds are funds of last resort and are to be rewarded only after all other forms of assistance have been exhausted.
- Victims of violent crime occurring in Massachusetts
- Dependents and family members of homicide victims
- Any person responsible for the funeral expenses of a homicide victim
- The crime must have been reported to police within five days unless there is good cause for delay.
- You must cooperate with law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of the crime unless there is a reasonable excuse not to cooperate.
- You must apply for compensation within three years of the crime. Victims under the age of 18 at the time of the crime may apply until age 21, or later in certain limited circumstances.
To the extent insurance or other funds do not cover your expenses, you may be eligible to be reimbursed for:
- Medical and dental expenses (including equipment, supplies and medications)
- Counseling expenses (for victims, for family members of homicide victims, and for children who witness violence against a family member)
- Funeral/burial costs (limits apply)
- Lost wages (for victims only)
- Loss of financial support (for dependents of homicide victims)
- Homemaker expenses
- Ancillary funeral/burial
- Replacement bedding/clothing
- Crime scene cleanup
- Forensic Sexual Assault Exam
- Security measures
- Counseling for non-offending parents of a child victim
Complete the “Application For Crime Victim Compensation” and return it to the Victim Compensation and Assistance Division for verification.
Office of the Attorney General
Victim Compensation & Assistance Division
One Ashburton Place, 19th floor
Boston, MA 02108-1698
(617) 727-2200 ext. 2160
(617) 742-6262 fax
Coordination with healthcare
List of Massachusetts SANE Program sites
Sexual Violence Hotline: 1-800-841-8371
SafeLink Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-877-785-2020
Massachusetts Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (SAECK) Tracking System – Survivor and User Login