WEST LIBERTY – Victims of crime face many setbacks as a result of trauma and other unforeseen circumstances that often arise in the aftermath of distressing events. While we often think victims of violent crime suffer only physical wounds, it is imperative that we acknowledge and repair our mental well-being as well. That is why The Ohio Attorney General’s Crime Victim Service Unit has partnered with West Liberty-Salem Local School to provide cost assistance for those actively receiving or seeking mental health services related to the school shooting on Jan. 20, 2017.
WL-S students, families and faculty impacted by events of that day may be eligible for reimbursement through funding from the Crime Victim Compensation Program. The Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program helps victims with certain out-of-pocket expenses when people are physically injured or emotionally harmed by violent criminal acts. Program costs are paid by criminal fines and other grant funding and not by Ohio’s taxpayers. Reimbursement for medical and related expenses include victim counseling up to $50,000, family counseling of victim up to $2,500, material loss or damage, travel expenses, and lost wages. Those directly impacted by the events surrounding that day may apply for reimbursement for mental health services they are receiving or have received up to six years after the event.
Students who have received or are currently receiving counseling services as a result of the events on Jan. 20, 2017 may be eligible for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred. Reimbursement is contingent upon the documentation your provider submits on your behalf and will be discussed personally between you and your claim advisor. Students seeking or receiving treatment who may have more than one diagnosis will be considered for reimbursement based on a percentage of what services provided are directly related. This is a great opportunity for those who wish to seek treatment but haven’t explored options. The financial burden of mental health services often deters victims and their families from receiving the help they truly need. We hope that by offering a compensation program, our students, families and staff are encouraged to seek the treatment they need to lead happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.
Students, faculty and families interested in investigating reimbursement should file a claim with Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program (link to application is on the website). Claims are kept completely confidential, and a trusted claim advisor will handle sensitive information related to each case with extreme care.
More information may be found at www.wlstigers.org (click on the Parents Tab and then on Reimbursement Notification Letter).
Allison Wygal is the communication specialist for the West Liberty-Salem school district.