Once a compensation claim is received by the VCAP the information is kept confidential. However, compensation claim confidentiality may not be preserved by some of the agencies/programs assisting with the preparation and submission of the claims.
Confidentiality is owned by the program and the individual that received the confidential information. Programs that preserve confidentiality shall have a written policy that applies to staff, volunteers, board members and student interns. Those individuals shall not disclose, or knowingly permit the disclosure of any information concerning the victim or the victim's family, directly or indirectly to any person unauthorized by the victim. Exception in child abuse cases and when permission to release information has been provided by the victim.
How do the HIPPA rules apply to me as I assist victims in applying for compensation?
HIPPA may constrain the advocate's ability to obtain medical records or other types of documents that support the victim's claim. It is recommended that you rely on the VCAP to obtain protected documentation.
What type of VCAP training should be provided to law enforcement, media, allied professionals and others and how should it be provided.
A basic compensation training should be provided as well as the distribution of the Rights and Services brochure, claim forms, VCAP tear-off pads and a
recommendation to access the PCCD Website at www.pccd.state.pa.us for additional information. It may be possible for the trainings to be provided at roll call or as inservice trainings at the police departments.
How can an agency be sure that law enforcement is meeting its mandatory obligation under the law to inform all potential claimants of VCAP including non-arrest cases? Will an agency be held accountable for the actions or inactions of the police?
In an effort to ensure that police departments are providing the appropriate VCAP information, agencies can provide a basic training, the "Help Available to Victims of Crime in Pennsylvania" brochure, claim forms, VCAP tear-off pads and a
recommendation to access the PCCD Website at www.pccd.state.pa.us for additional information. Agencies cannot be held accountable for anything not within their control. It is recommended that agencies document the measures they have taken to promote the distribution of VCAP information.
If an advocate becomes aware that a victim has received reimbursement from any source that has not already been considered in the calculation of the award, are they required to inform the VCAP?
Yes, the advocate is obligated to inform the VCAP if they become aware that the victim has received any type of reimbursement from any source not considered in the calculation of the award. Including any award for pain and suffering, any funds from the offender or any other person or source which compensates them for the injury resulting from the crime.