In 2000, Congress amended the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984 [34 U.S.C.§ 20106] (Public Law 98–473) to include authorization for the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to establish a federal program that would uniformly and equitably provide assistance to victims of designated terrorist acts for certain expenses, regardless of the victim’s legal state of residence.
Later that year, Congress established the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP) through the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA) of 2000 to reimburse certain expenses to eligible victims of acts of international terrorism. Eligible victims include U.S. nationals and foreign nationals working for the U.S. government at the time of the terrorist act. The program began operations on October 6, 2006.
ITVERP is funded through the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve (the Emergency Reserve), a component of the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund). The Fund is financed by fines, penalties, and forfeitures paid by convicted federal criminal offenders as well as gifts, donations, and private bequests; it does not use tax dollars.
The OVC Director may authorize the use of funds from the Emergency Reserve for the following purposes:
- To support compensation and assistance services for victims of domestic terrorism or mass violence.
- To support assistance services to victims of international terrorism.
- To fund ITVERP directly.
Through ITVERP, OVC provides reimbursement to victims of international terrorism and their families for expenses related to medical and mental health care, funeral and burial, repatriation of the victim’s remains, property loss, and miscellaneous expenses such as emergency travel.