Being the victim of a crime can have lasting consequences, especially if your teeth are damaged. Unlike most of our body, our teeth can’t really heal. The body has some limited mechanisms for repairing enamel, but it’s slow and can’t repair or replace teeth damaged by major trauma.
And your smile is something that you show every day, in practically every personal encounter, whether you’re meeting someone new or greeting a longtime acquaintance. It can impact your ability to get a job or meet someone special. But it can be hard to afford major reconstructive dentistry to repair the damage.
That’s where the Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) comes in. It can help pay for the cost of tooth repair and other medical costs related to a crime.
$13 Million a Year on 8600 Claims
According to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, VCAP receives about 8600 new claims per year and pays about $13 million dollars on behalf of victims. VCAP can cover many different types of expenses, including:
- Medical expenses, including needed dental care
- Stolen cash
- Loss of wages
- Loss of support
- Funeral costs
- Cost of travel
- Relocation costs
- Cleanup of the crime scene
- Other costs
The goal is to help with some out-of-pocket costs that can be overwhelming in the period after a crime. This does not offer compensation for pain and suffering, and, usually doesn’t compensate for stolen or damaged property. Depending on your situation, compensation may be capped at a lower rate, but overall the maximum award for the program is $35,000.
Qualifying for Compensation
If you have suffered dental injury in a crime and think you might be eligible for compensation, ask these questions about the crime:
- Did the crime occur in Pennsylvania?
- Did the crime occur less than two years ago?
- Was it reported or did you file for a qualifying protection order in 3 days?
- Have you been cooperating with the police and courts? Are you prepared to cooperate with VCAP?
- Were you involved in illegal activity that caused the crime? This would disqualify you.
- Was your loss at least $100? (Exceptions are made if you are over 60 or under 18.)
Mainly, the requirements relate to the time and place of the crime and how well you have worked with police. Qualifying protection orders for this situation include the Protection from Abuse Order (PFA), the Sexual Violence Protection Order (SVPO), and the Protection from Intimidation Order (PFI).
Reconstructive Dentistry Can Help Make You Whole Again
Being the victim of a crime can dramatically impact your life. It can make it hard to get back to your routine, and hard to feel secure and confident in your person. And if the crime caused dental injury, you will have a long-lasting reminder of the incident.
But reconstructive dentistry can make you whole again. We can repair chipped or cracked teeth with veneers or dental crowns. If you have lost one or more teeth, dental implants can give you a replacement tooth that looks and functions just like a natural tooth.