NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6845
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to
eligibility for awards for victims of a crime
To allow the families of victims of crimes who subsequently commit
suicide to receive monetary awards from the Office of Victim Services.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends Executive Law § 624, subdivision 1 by correcting a
Section 2 amends Executive Law § 624 by adding a new subdivision 3 which
states that a victim of a crime who commits suicide within two years of
such crime shall be deemed to have died as a direct result of such
crime, unless OVS determines that the suicide was unrelated to the
Section 3 amends Executive Law § 631 by adding a new paragraph (h) stat-
ing the OVS shall disregard the victim's responsibility for his or her
own actions where the record shows that the victim committed suicide
within two years of the crime.
Section 4 sets forth the effective date.
Under current law, the Office of Victim Services (OVS) can provide
compensation to victims of crimes after an evaluation by the agency.
This compensation includes lost earnings, rehabilitation services, coun-
seling services, property damage, burial services, medical expenses and
other related services not covered by other insurance or benefit
programs, and more. But under current law, OVS is required to reject or
reduce claims in cases where the victim caused injury to him or herself.
This means that the family members of victims who commit suicide after
being the victim of a crime are no longer eligible to receive the funds.
This is an unfair statute that this legislation seeks to correct.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
Office of Victims Services would likely pay out a small number of addi-
tional awards to the families of suicide victims. This may be several
thousand dollars per victim. The awards are partially funded through the
federal Department of Justice.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
March 21, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. BARRETT -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Governmental Operations
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to eligibility for awards
for victims of a crime
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Paragraphs (i) and (j) of subdivision 1 of section 624 of
2 the executive law, subdivision (i) as amended by section 9 of part A-1
3 of chapter 56 of the laws of 2010 and subdivision (j) as added by chap-
4 ter 427 of the laws of 1999, are amended to read as follows:
5 (i) a surviving spouse of a crime victim who died from causes not
6 directly related to the crime when such victim died prior to filing a
7 claim with the office or subsequent to filing a claim but prior to the
8 rendering of a decision by the office. Such award shall be limited to
9 out-of-pocket loss incurred as a direct result of the crime; [and]
10 (j) a spouse, child or stepchild of a victim of a crime who has
11 sustained personal physical injury as a direct result of a crime[.]; and
12 § 2. Section 624 of the executive law is amended by adding a new
13 subdivision 3 to read as follows:
14 3. For the purposes of this article, a victim of a crime who commits
15 suicide within two years after such crime shall be deemed to have died
16 as a direct result of such crime, unless the office determines that the
17 suicide was not in any way a result of being the victim of such crime.
18 § 3. Subdivision 5 of section 631 of the executive law is amended by
19 adding a new paragraph (h) to read as follows:
20 (h) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this article, the
21 office shall disregard the responsibility of the victim for his own
22 injury where the record shows that the victim committed suicide within
23 two years after such crime, unless the office determines that the
24 suicide was not in any way a result of being the victim of such crime.
25 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.