2A-2.016. Human Trafficking Relocation Assistance  


Effective on Wednesday, December 11, 2019
  • 1(1) To be eligible for human trafficking relocation assistance, the victim’s need for assistance must be certified by a certified rape crisis center or domestic violence center representative, 29except in cases that exceed the two-year filing requirement and are certified by a state attorney, or statewide or federal prosecutor who has jurisdiction over the crime56. The BVC106HT Human Trafficking Relocation Certification Worksheet must accompany the application.

    68(2) The application and certification shall be mailed to the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation, PL-01, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050; faxed to (850)414-6197 or (850)414-5779; or emailed to VCIntake@myfloridalegal.com, 102or submitted via the department’s web-portal. The application entitled BVC100 Bureau of Victim Compensation Claim Form is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(1), F.A.C. The BVC106HT Human Trafficking Relocation Certification Worksheet is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(4), F.A.C.

    137(3) 138A certified rape crisis or domestic violence center representative is one who has completed specialized training provided by the Office of the Attorney General and is authorized to assist the victim in filing a claim for human trafficking relocation assistance. Center representatives are qualified to certify applications for up to two years after completion of specialized training. Training certification is withdrawn when the center representative resigns or is terminated from their existing position.

    211(4) Certification for relocation assistance must be received by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation within 45 days immediately following the crime or an identifiable threat by a human trafficking offender, as defined in Section 250787.06(3)(b), 251(d), (f), or (g), F.S., to demonstrate the victim is in need of urgent assistance to relocate.

    268(5) For a faxed certification to be timely submitted, the transmittal cover page must bear a faxed date stamp that is within 45 days immediately following the crime or threat.

    298(6) “Urgent assistance” is defined as 45 days directly following the crime, a subsequent event directly related to the crime, or an identifiable threat by a human trafficking offender, as defined in Section 331787.06(3)(b), 332(d), (f), or (g), F.S., Both the crime and identifiable threat must be communicated to the proper authorities.

    350(7) Exceptions to urgent assistance include:

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

    401(b) When law enforcement, state attorney, statewide prosecutor, or federal prosecutor says in writing there is a present need to relocate the victim due to the threat of future violence.

    431(8) The BVC106RS Human Trafficking 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 or rape crisis center representative’s name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and fax number. The BVC106HT Human Trafficking Relocation Certification Worksheet requires the victim to:

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

    522(b) Identify how the human trafficking relocation assistance funds will be used by specifying the dollar amount requested for compensable relocation assistance expenditures;

    545(c) Comply with Section 960.196, F.S., and understands that criminal prosecution for fraud shall be pursued if they make false representations to receive money pursuant to Section 572960.18, F.S.;

    574(d) Verify that they are not currently residing with 583any offender involved in the human trafficking offense;

    591(e) Affirm that they have created a safety plan with a certified domestic violence or rape crisis center representative which includes using the funds to relocate to a safe environment;

    621(f) Attest to understanding that funds must be accepted at the center within 30 days of payment issuance;

    639(g) Acknowledges understanding that receipts must be emailed to VCIntake@myfloridalegal.com, or faxed to (850)414-6197 or (850)414-5779, which must be received by the department within 45 days of payment issuance;

    668(h) Verify understanding that the department shall deny, reduce, or withdraw any award for compensation if receipts are not received 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;

    713(i) Attest to the fact that 719they require financial assistance for relocating based on an urgent need to escape from an unsafe environment directly resulting from the human trafficking offense as described in Section 747787.06(3)(b), 748(d), (f), or (g), F.S.;

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

    781(k) 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 Rule 8102A-2.002, 811F.A.C., and will count toward the maximum lifetime benefit amount established pursuant to Section 960.196(1), F.S.; and

    828(l) Verify understanding that monies paid on any award which is denied, reduced, or withdrawn pursuant to this subsection must be repaid to the department. Any outstanding unpaid amounts will be deducted from any future relocation awards.

    865(9) 866Filing Time. For human trafficking crimes occurring before October 1, 2019, 877applications must be received within one year after the crime, or within two years with good cause shown. 895For human trafficking crimes occurring on or after October 1, 2019, 906applications for relocation must be received within three years after the crime, or within five years with good cause shown. When an application for relocation is received later than the filing time required, the victim/applicant must provide a good cause explanation for the delayed filing. 951Alternatively, 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.

    979(a) Good cause is demonstrated when the record shows the victim/applicant was pursuing other means of recourse; when the victim/applicant was not emotionally, mentally, or physically able to file the claim; when the victim/applicant was unaware that a compensation program exists; 1020or when a language or cultural barrier hinders the access needed to timely file the claim.

    1036(b) 1037A 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 relocation 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 years with good cause shown after turning 18 years of age.

    1123(c) No explanation is acceptable for claims filed more than two years after the occurence for crimes occuring before October 1, 2019, or five years after the occurrence for crimes occuring on or after October 1, 2019, unless Section 1162960.07(3), 1163960.07(4)(a) 1164or (b) F.S., or 1168subsection 11692A-2.016(10), 1170F.A.C. 1171applies.

    1172(10) In cases that exceed the filing requirement timeframe, the victim’s need for urgent assistance must be verified in writing by a state attorney, or statewide or federal prosecutor who has jurisdiction over the crime. The verification must affirm that there is an active ongoing investigation, and that the victim needs to relocate from an unsafe environment due to the threat of future violence which is directly related to the human trafficking offense.

    1245(11) 1246By certifying the victim’s need for relocation assistance using the BVC106HT Human Trafficking Relocation Certification Worksheet, the certified rape crisis center representative, certified domestic violence center representative, state attorney, or statewide prosecutor affirms the following:

    1281(a) The application meets the requirements of Section 960.196, F.S.;

    1291(b) The crime incident was identified by the proper authorities as human trafficking defined by Section 1307787.06(3)(b), 1308(d), (f) or (g), F.S.;

    1313(c) 1314The victim’s urgent need to relocate results from the human trafficking crime, and that this certification is being completed within 45 days immediately following the crime, or an identifiable threat by a human trafficking offender, which has been communicated to proper authorities; or that it has been more than 45 days from the last date of the crime or identifiable threat and a State Attorney, Statewide or Federal Prosecutor has determined the victim’s need to relocate is due to the threat of future violence, and there is currently an active and ongoing investigation.

    1407(d) The victim/applicant has provided personal identification which was reviewed prior to certifying the application;

    1422(e) The victim has developed a safety plan;

    1430(f) Acknowledge understanding that they or another representative must witness the victim’s acceptance of payment and forward a signed Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form to the department;

    1461(g) The victim/applicant was notified that if funds are awarded, he/she must accept the funds at the center/office within 30 days of payment issuance. If the payment is not collected, they acknowledge that the department will rescind eligibility and revoke their certification of that application;

    1506(h) The victim/applicant has cooperated with the proper authorities, which includes the state attorney, in investigating and prosecuting known offenders;

    1526(j) The victim/applicant has been notified of all applicable rules and regulation, and that failure to comply with those requirements shall result in a denial of the award.

    1554(12) Proof of a human trafficking crime which meets the definition of Section 1567787.06(3)(b), 1568(d), (f) or (g), F.S., must 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 is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(9), F.A.C., and contains a checklist of the eligibility criteria and shortened narrative detailing the incident, and is available only from the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation.

    1643(13) It is the responsibility of the certifying representative to obtain and review personal identification documentation before certifying a victim’s need for assistance.

    1666(14) If approved, the award will be made payable to the victim/applicant as a reimbursement or advance based on the written specified dollar amount recorded by the victim/applicant on the certification worksheet. Payments will be forwarded to the certifying center or office. Awards will be administered based on the availability of funds. The department shall determine how those funds are disbursed. Monies paid may be made in the form of a bank card, voucher, check, electronic transmittal, state warrant, or any other method approved by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation.

    1761(15) A certified representative from the certifying center or office must witness the victim/applicant’s acceptance of payment and will be responsible for having the victim/applicant acknowledge and sign a Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form before providing the award to the victim/applicant. The distributing representative must forward same to the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation.

    1823(16) The representative who is distributing the payment must verify that they have counseled the recipient in regards to all aspects of the program and the obligations and responsibilities for receiving the funds, and verify the certification information as it was originally submitted.

    1866(17) The BVC421HT Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(7), F.A.C., and 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:

    1912(a) The victim/applicant acknowledges understanding that they must comply with the obligations set forth in Section 960.196, F.S.;

    1930(b) The victim/applicant agrees that 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 a denial of the award;

    1969(c) The victim/applicant agrees to submit receipts for approved expenses 1979which 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;

    2016(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 received, or if the victim fails to cooperate with proper authorities as required in paragraph 2058(b), above;

    2060(e) The victim/applicant understands that no additional benefits of any type can be approved by the department until the award authorized for relocation is verified by the proper submission of compensable relocation assistance receipts;

    2094(f) The victim/applicant agrees to spend the award for compensable relocation assistance expenses;

    2107(g) The victim/applicant is aware that they will face possible criminal prosecution for fraud if false representations to receive the money or use the funds for purposes other than relocating as identified on their safety plan are proven;

    2145(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

    2173(i) The victim/applicant acknowledges that any monies which are not repaid pursuant to this subsection will be deducted against any future relocation awards.

    2196(18) If the victim/applicant has not accepted the funds at the center or office within 30 days of issuance, the certified rape crisis or domestic violence center, state attorney, or statewide prosecutor shall return the funds to the department and certification of urgent need will be revoked. Upon receipt of the returned funds by the department, eligibility will be rescinded.

    2256(19) By delegation or appointment by a state attorney, an assistant state attorney is qualified to complete the certification worksheet, certify the victim’s cooperation, and witness payment acceptance.

    2284Rulemaking Authority 2286960.045(1)(b) FS. 2288Law Implemented 2290960.07(1), 2291960.07(2), 2292960.13(1), 2293960.13(2), 2294960.13(3), 2295960.196, 2296960.199 FS. 2298History–New 10-20-14, Amended 2-29-16, 5-20-19, 12-11-19.