(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute says it will take until the end of next year to bring the state's backlogged compensation fund for crime victims under control.
The violent crime victims compensation fund has a three-year backlog of unpaid claims, with nearly 34-hundred victims still awaiting payment.
ICJI Executive Director Neil Moore told a legislative study committee that's actually a significant improvement, a 2007 study completed shortly before Moore arrived at the agency found victims had been waiting as long as six years.
Moore says the goal is to process claims within one year.
Reaching that standard, he says, will require completion of a conversion from a paper-based system to a computerized database, a step recommended in the 2007 study.
Moore acknowledges other states process claims within a matter of weeks.
He attributes the difference to an Indiana law calling for payment from the fund only after any insurance payments have been made.
Moore says some states don't have that restriction, while others make payments promptly but may ask victims to return money later if insurance payments are made.
Indiana law sets a $15,000 dollar cap on compensation payments, with any insurance reimbursement counting against the cap.
ICJI also administers a separate compensation fund for victims of sex crimes.
Moore says that fund makes payments directly to doctors and nurses who perform forensic examinations, and turns claims around within three months.
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