New York State just made a big change to a two-decade-old rule that will give Empire State residents more money to help them "focus on healing."

On Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that victims and survivors of crime whose essential personal property were stolen, damaged, or destroyed during the incident may now receive up to $2,500 to replace items deemed necessary for their health, safety or welfare.

Hochul Announces More Money For Victims Of Crimes In New York

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"The cost of replacing items lost or damaged during a crime can create an unnecessary burden for victims and their families still recovering from a traumatic incident," Governor Hochul said. "In New York, we support victims in every way possible, and I'm proud to expand this assistance to take one thing off of victims' and survivors' plates and ensure they receive the support needed to help them recover."

Prior to this change, for over two decades, New York's reimbursed cap was $500. Officials say $500 failed to keep pace with inflation and cost-of-living increases.

New York's Office of Victim Services, which provides "a critical safety net for victims and survivors who have no other resources to pay for expenses resulting from the crime," will handle all claims.

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"Victims of crime often have their entire lives upended in a matter of minutes, and the effects of their experience can linger much longer. Expanding these funds and replacing lost items of necessity will allow these survivors to focus on healing and alleviate some of their worry. Thank you, Governor Hochul, for your steadfast support of survivors," Office of Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin said.

The increased reimbursement money will be applied to all applications filed on or after October 6, 2022.

 Essential Personal Property In New York

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New York State now considers the following as essential personal property that can be claimed if damaged or destroyed during a crime:

  • Clothing, such as shoes, suits and outerwear
  • Bedding
  • Cell phones,
  • Computers
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing Aids
  • Medical Devices
  • Items necessary for safe travel, such as tires, a child's car seat, or a motorcycle helmet

"In addition to replacement or repair of essential personal property, the Office of Victim Services compensates and reimburses eligible individuals for medical and counseling bills; funeral and burial expenses; relocation, security system, and crime scene clean-up costs; and lost wages and support, among other assistance. This assistance comes at no cost to taxpayers. Funding comes from fines, fees and surcharges paid by certain individuals convicted in state and federal courts," Hochul's office states.

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