2A-2.014. Domestic Violence Relocation Assistance  


Effective on Wednesday, December 11, 2019
  • 1(1) To be eligible for domestic violence relocation assistance, the victim must contact and application must be made through a certified representative in the State of Florida at a domestic violence center, certified by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The center must certify the application according to the requirements of section 53960.198, F.S. 55A BVC106DV Domestic Violence Relocation Certification Worksheet must accompany the application BVC100 Bureau of Victim Compensation Claim Form for assistance. The application and certification forms shall be mailed to the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation, PL-01, The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050; faxed to (850)414-6197 or (850)414-5779; emailed to 107VCIntake@myfloridalegal.com; 108or submitted via the department’s web portal. Failure to submit a properly completed certification will result in denial of benefits128. 129The application entitled BVC100 Bureau of Victim Compensation Claim Form is incorprated in subsection 2A-2.017(1), F.A.C. The BVC106DV Domestic Violence Relocation Certification Worksheet is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(2), 157F.A.C.

    158(2) A certified domestic violence center representative is a person who has been designated by the Office of the Attorney General to assist in the certification process. Domestic violence center representatives are qualfied to certify applications up to 2 years after completion of specialized training.  Training certification is withdrawn when the domestic violence center representative resigns or is terminated from their existing position.

    221(3) Certification for relocation assistance must be received by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation within 30 days immediately following the occurrence of the domestic violence offense to demonstrate there is an immediate need to relocate. 261For a faxed certification to be timely submitted, the transmittal cover page must include the name of the victim and must bear a faxed date stamp that is within 30 days immediately following the domestic violence offense.

    298(4) Filing Time. For domestic violence crimes occurring before October 1, 2019, applications must be received within one year after the crime, or within two years with good cause shown. For domestic violence crimes occurring on or after October 1, 2019, applications must be received within three years after the crime, or within five years with good cause shown. When a claim is received later than the filing time, the victim/applicant must provide an explanation for the late filing demonstrating good cause for the delay. 383Alternatively, BVC102 Filing Time Explanation Form, which is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(10), F.A.C., may be used by the victim/applicant in lieu of submitting other written good cause explanation.

    411(a) Good cause is demonstrated when the record shows the victim/applicant was pursuing other means of recourse; when the 430victim/applicant was not emotionally, mentally, or physically able to file the claim; when the victim/applicant was unaware that a compensation program exists; 452or when a language or cultural barrier hinders the access needed to timely file the claim.

    468(b) 469A victim who was under the age of 18 at the time of crime has one year or two years with good cause shown after turning 18 years of age for the department to receive their application for crimes occurring before October 1, 2019. For crimes occurring on or after October 1, 2019, a victim who was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime has three years or five with good cause shown after turning 18 years of age for the department to receive their application.

    559(c) No explanation is acceptable for claims filed more than two years for crimes occuring before October 1, 2019, or five years after the occurrence for crimes occuring on or after October 1, 2019, unless Section 595960.07(3) 596or 597960.07(4) F.S., 599applies.

    600(5) Immediate need is defined as 30 days directly following the occurrence of the domestic violence offense, as defined in Section 621741.28, F.S. 623Exceptions include:

    625(a) Victims for whom a convicted domestic violence offender is within 30 days of pending release from incarceration. In cases involving release, the original domestic violence offense report must be provided along with court or Department of Corrections documentation regarding pending release of the offender.

    670(b) When law enforcement or the assistant state attorney says in writing there is a present need to relocate the victim due to the threat of further domestic violence.

    699(6) The victim must cooperate with proper authorities, except when:

    709(a) The victim has already moved outside the geographical vicinity where he or she resided with the abuser and has no means of providing sworn testimony by phone or in person;

    740(b) The victim is planning to leave the vicinity and cannot be available to assist proper authorities;

    757(c) The victim is in fear of the abuser, or

    767(d) A language or cultural barrier precludes effective communication with proper authorities.

    779(7) The BVC106DV Domestic Violence Relocation Certification Worksheet requires the victim to:

    791(a) Provide a brief summary describing how funding would be used to execute the safety measures outlined in their safety plan;

    812(b) Identify how the domestic violence relocation assistance funds will be used by specifying the dollar amount requested for compensable relocation assistance expenses;

    835(c) Certify that he or she will comply with Section 845960.198, F.S., 847and verify understanding that criminal prosecution for fraud under Section 857960.18, F.S., 859may be pursued if he or she makes false representations to receive money;

    872(d) Affirm that they have created a safety plan with a center representative which included using the funds to relocate to a safe environment;

    896(e) Agree to accept the funds at the center within 30 days of payment issuance;

    911(f) Agree to submit receipts, via email to 919VCIntake@myfloridalegal.com, 920or via fax to (850)414-6167 or (850)414-5779, which must be received by the department within 45 days of payment issuance;

    940(g) Affirm understanding that a determination of claim eligibility constitutes an award for the amount certified up to the maximum specified on the Schedule of Benefits located in subsection 9692A-2.002(7), 970F.A.C., and will count toward the maximum lifetime benefit amount established pursuant to Section 984960.198 F.S.;

    986(h) Duly swear to cooperate with proper authorities, including but not limited to the state attorney, statewide and federal prosecutors, all law enforcement agencies, and the department;

    1013(i) Acknowledge that the department shall deny, reduce, or withdraw any award if receipts are not received by the department within 45 days of payment issuance, if receipts do not reflect compensable relocation assistance expenses or if the victim fails to cooperate with proper authorities; and

    1059(j) Affirm understanding that any monies paid on an award which is denied, reduced, or withdrawn pursuant to this section must be repaid to the department. Any outstanding unpaid amounts will be deducted from any future relocation awards.

    1097(8) By certifying the victim’s need for relocation assistance using the BVC106DV Domestic Violence Relocation Certification Worksheet the domestic violence center representative must:

    1120(a) Certify compliance with the provisions of Section 1128960.198, F.S.

    1130(b) Affirm that the victim/applicant has been notified of all applicable rules and regulations, and that failure to comply with those requirements shall result in a withdrawal of the award; and attach acceptable proof of crime with the application and certification being submitted;

    1173(c) Verify that the crime incident documented by the proper authorities was domestic violence committed by a family or household member pursuant to Section 1197741.28, F.S.;

    1199(d) Verify that the domestic violence occurred within 30 days of issuing the certification, it is within 30 days prior to the offender’s release from incarceration which is documented by the attached Department of Corrections order, or there is a present need to relocate the victim due to the threat of further domestic violence as specified by the attached written documentation from a law enforcement officer or the assistant state attorney;

    1270(e) Verify that the victim/applicant has cooperated with the proper authorities which includes the state attorney investigating and prosecuting known offenders;

    1291(f) Acknowledge understanding that they or another certified representative must witness the victim’s/applicant’s acceptance of payment and forward a signed BVC421DV Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form to the department. The BVC421DV Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(5), F.A.C.;

    1341(g) Verify that the victim/applicant was notified that if funds are awarded, he or she must accept the funds at the center within 30 days of payment issuance;

    1369(h) Acknowledge that if the payment is not collected, the department will rescind eligibility and revoke certificaton of the application;

    1389(i) Verify that the victim/applicant has provided personal identification which was reviewed prior to certifiying the application; and,

    1407(j) Verify that the victim has developed a safety plan.

    1417(9) It is the responsibility of the center representative to obtain and review personal identification documentation before certifying a victim’s need for assistance. The center is not required to forward any personal identification documentation to the department.

    1454(10) Proof of a domestic violence crime which meets the definition of Section 1467741.28(2), F.S., 1469must come from a proper authority. A BVC430 Law Enforcement Information Reporting Form may be used instead of a complete law enforcement report to prove a crime occurred. The BVC430 Law Enforcement Information Reporting Form contains a checklist of the eligibility criteria and shortened narrative detailing the incident, and is incorporated by reference in subsection 2A-2.017(9), F.A.C.

    1526(11) The BVC106DV Domestic Violence Relocation Certification Worksheet shall include the victim’s name and date of birth; the applicant’s name and date of birth, if applicable; the last four digits of the victim/applicant’s social security number for authentication purposes; and the certified domestic violence center representative’s name, mailing address, email address, telephone number and fax number.

    1582(12) If approved, the award will be made payable to the victim as a reimbursement or advance based on the written estimate provided on the BVC106DV Domestic Violence Relocation Certification Worksheet. Payments will be mailed to the respective certified domestic violence center. The victim must accept the funds at the certified domestic violence center within 30 days of payment issuance. A certified domestic violence center representative must witness the acceptance of payment, and must complete and submit a 1660BVC421DV Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form to the department. The BVC421DV Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form reiterates the importance of utilizing funds for approved expenditures in accordance with the obligations acknowledged on the certification worksheet. The following must be signed by the victim/applicant:

    1711(a) The victim/applicant acknowledges understanding that they must comply with the obligations set forth in Section 1727960.198, F.S.;

    1729(b) The victim/applicant agrees they will fully comply with the requests of the proper authorities, and in prosecuting known offenders, and that failure to cooperate will result in a denial of eligibility and withdrawal of the award;

    1766(c) The victim/applicant agrees to submit receipts for approved expenses which must be received by the department within 45 days from payment issuance. Efforts to recoup the monies will be initiated if the necessary documentation is not received by the department within 45 days from payment issuance;

    1813(d) The victim/applicant is aware that the victim/applicant will be required to repay any monies not used for compensable relocation assistance expenses, for which receipts are not timely received, or if the victim fails to cooperate as required in paragraph (b), above;

    1855(e) The victim/applicant understands that no additional benefits of any type can be approved by the department until the award authorized for the purpose of relocating is verified by proper submission of compensable relocation assistance receipts;

    1891(f) The victim/applicant agrees to spend the award for compensable relocation assistance expenses;

    1904(g) The victim/applicant is aware that they will face possible criminal prosecution for fraud under Section 1920960.18, F.S., 1922if false representations to receive the money or use the funds for purposes other than relocating as identified on their safety plan are proven;

    1946(h) The victim/applicant acknowledges receipt of the funds in the amount of the payment as approved by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation; and

    1974(i) The victim/applicant acknowledges that any monies which are not repaid pursuant to this subsection will be deducted against any future relocation awards.

    1997(13) Monies payable under Section 2002960.198, F.S., 2004may be made in the form of a bank card, voucher, check, state warrant, 2018or any other method determined by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation. Awards will be administered based on the availability of funds. The department shall determine how those funds are disbursed.

    2053(14) If the victim has not accepted the funds at the center within 30 days of payment issuance, the center shall return the funds to the department and certification of immediate need will be revoked.

    2088(15) Upon receipt of the returned funds by the department, eligibility will be rescinded.

    2102Rulemaking Authority 2104960.045(1)(b) FS. 2106Law Implemented 2108960.198 FS. 2110History–New 7-1-10, Amended 10-1-14, 2-29-16, 10-29-17, 5-20-19, 12-11-19.