Attorney General Alan Wilson announces additional aid for families of murder victims

South Carolina Attorney General
South Carolina Attorney General
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(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 9, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson is pleased to announce that the South Carolina Legislature has approved a new Proviso for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019) raising the amount the Department of Crime Victim Compensation (DCVC) can pay towards a funeral and burial for eligible homicide victim claims.  Those victims were able to receive up to $4,000 for funeral and burial expenses. They will now be able to receive up to $6,500. This new cap applies to claims received by the Attorney General’s Department of Crime Victim Compensation on or after July 1, 2018.

“This is aid for families who’ve gone through one of the worst things imaginable, and it’s paid for by criminals,” Attorney General Wilson said. “I want to thank the legislature for approving this increase and bringing South Carolina in line with other states.”

This benefit is to cover funeral and burial costs for victims of homicide who are determined to be eligible under South Carolina law. For example, the homicide victim must not have been involved in illegal activity at the time, or determined to have contributed to their victimization.

The Department of Crime Victim Compensation did a survey and determined that funeral costs had risen since the last time the cap was raised and found the average funeral and burial cost to be about $7,000. This new cap of $6,500 puts South Carolina in line with most other states’ funeral/burial caps. The last time the cap was raised was in 1996, when it was raised from $2,000 to $4,000.

The increase does not require any additional taxpayers’ money. The Department of Crime Victim Compensation is funded by fines, fees, and assessments on individuals convicted of criminal offenses in South Carolina.

In fiscal year 2016-2017, the Department of Crime Victim Compensation provided payments for 344 funerals, with 250 burials, 86 cremations, and 8 remains shipped. The total amount paid by DCVC towards funeral costs was $1,244,222.18.

Of the 344 funerals that fiscal year, 258 of them cost more than the $4,000 cap and would have received additional funds under the new proviso. If the new proviso had been in effect that year, the DCVC would have paid out an additional $532,010.82.

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