September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Email Text:
October 1, 2001

Ms. Carol Watkins, Director
State Compensation and Assistance Division
Office for Victims of Crime
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531

Dear Ms. Watkins:

Following review of Title IV-Compensation, of the Air Transportation Safety and
System Stabilization Act, the following questions are submitted for your review and
response.

1. Payor of Last Resort Status

Section 409 of the Federal statute provides that the United States shall have
the right of subrogation with respect to any claim paid by the United States under this title.

This appears to be in conflict with the Victims of Crime Act, as amended, [42 U.S.C.
10602(e)] which provides"...if the compensation paid by an eligible crime victim
compensation program would cover costs that a Federal program, or a federally financed
State or local program, would otherwise pay, (1) such crime victim compensation program
shall not pay that compensation; and (2) the other program shall make its payments without
regard to the existence of the crime victim compensation program". Similarly, the Final
Guidelines for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victim Grant Program, provide that
"The compensation program is the payor of last resort with regard to Federal of Federally
financed programs...The Federal or federally financed program must make payments
without regard to benefits awarded to a crime victim by a state crime victim compensation
program."

The Board would like clarification as to who is the payor of last resort between the two
programs.

2. Single Claim

Not more than one claim may be submitted under this title by or on behalf of a deceased
individual. What effect does this have on multiple family members who have separate
claims? Do all have to agree for one claim to be filed with the Federal program, and will all be compensated under that one claim?

3. On-going payments

When a claimant is determined eligible for a loss of earnings or support award, a lump
sum decision is rendered paying up to the date of the decision. Additional payments, up
to the maximum allowable ($30,000) are paid on a monthly basis. In the event a Federal
claim is filed, what will happen to claims on protracted status with the Board? Will they
continue under the State program or be transferred to the Federal program? Will the State
be eligible for a supplemental grant to compensate for on-going awards, or be limited to the 40% Federal share?

4. Supplemental Grants

In the event the victim or survivors decide not to file with the Federal program will the State only get the 40% Federal match or full funding as a supplemental grant?

5. Treatment of claims based on non-injured victims.

Under current Board practice (based on statute as affected by the Executive Orders issued
specific to World Trade Center Claims) the Board can provide counseling for witnesses
to the crime, or the immediate aftermath of the crime and to rescue workers, who have
not sustained a personal physical injury. As claimants for the Federal program must be
injured as a result of the crime, or survivors of victims who died as a result of the crime,
the victims who were not injured will not be eligible for the program. Will the Board
receive supplemental funding to compensate for these claims or will it be limited to the 40% Federal share that is generally received in medical claims?

The following question does not relate to the new Federal Compensation program but is an issue regarding the World Trade Center attack claims.

6. FEMA has made a grant to the New York State labor Department for provision of
compensation to victims or survivors. Part of the compensation that is provided under
this grant duplicates payments for loss of earnings/support and burial which the Crime
Victims Board is empowered to make. Both the State Labor Department program and the
Crime Victims Board claim payor of last resort status. As there is a Federal component to
the grant it would appear to be affected by the language set forth in question 1 above.
Please clarify the relationship of the two programs, and which is payor of last resort.
Thank you for the opportunity to raise these issues. I look forward to your guidance on these sensitive issues during this difficult time. Please be assured that the New York State Crime Victims Board will continue to strive to meet the needs of all crime victims.

Sincerely,
Comment By:
Chairwoman
Crime Victims Board
Albany, NY

Email Date:2001-10-01


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