If the perpetrator has access to the victim’s bank account, checks, or debit card, steps can be taken to close or freeze the account to prevent any further withdrawals. If a new account is opened, arrangements should be made to change the account information on direct deposits for Social Security, pensions, and other items.
If the perpetrator is the representative payee for the victim’s Social Security funds, steps can be taken to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) and set up a new representative payee (usually at the local field office). In some circumstances, restitution or repayment from SSA may be available. Similarly, if the victim receives Veteran’s Benefits and the perpetrator is the fiduciary, the Veteran’s Administration can be notified.
Crime victim compensation is available to victims of crime to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred as a result of a crime. Items that could be covered include medical expenses, lost wages or support, and mental health counseling. Each state’s process varies.
The resources in this section provide guidance for pursuing these options.