(1) A claim for compensation may be filed by a person eligible for compensation as provided in s. 960.065 or, if such person is a minor, by his or her parent or guardian or, if the person entitled to make a claim is mentally incompetent, by the person's guardian or such other individual authorized to administer his or her estate.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), a claim must be filed not later than 1 year after:
(a) The occurrence of the crime upon which the claim is based.
(b) The death of the victim or intervenor.
(c) The death of the victim or intervenor is determined to be the result of a crime, and the crime occurred after June 30, 1994.
However, for good cause the department may extend the time for filing for a period not exceeding 2 years after such occurrence.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) and regardless of when the crime occurred, if the victim or intervenor was under the age of 18 at the time the crime upon which the claim is based occurred, a claim may be filed in accordance with this subsection.
(a) The victim's or intervenor's parent or guardian may file a claim on behalf of the victim or intervenor while the victim or intervenor is less than 18 years of age; or
(b) When a victim or intervenor who was under the age of 18 at the time the crime occurred reaches the age of 18, the victim or intervenor has 1 year within which to file a claim.
For good cause, the department may extend the time period allowed for filing a claim under paragraph (b) for an additional period not to exceed 1 year.
(4) The provisions of subsection (2) notwithstanding, and regardless of when the crime occurred, a victim of a sexually violent offense as defined in s. 394.912 , may file a claim for compensation for counseling or other mental health services within 1 year after the filing of a petition under s. 394.914 , to involuntarily civilly commit the individual who perpetrated the sexually violent offense.
(5) Claims may be filed in the Tallahassee office of the department in person or by mail. Any employee of the department receiving a claim for compensation shall, immediately upon receipt of such claim, mail the claim to the department at its office in Tallahassee. In no event and under no circumstances shall the rights of a claimant under this chapter be prejudiced or lost by the failure or delay of the employees of the department in mailing claims to the department in Tallahassee.
(6) Upon filing of a claim pursuant to this chapter, in which there is an identified offender, the department shall promptly notify the state attorney of the circuit wherein the crime is alleged to have occurred. If within 10 days after such notification such state attorney advises the department that a criminal prosecution or delinquency petition is pending upon the same alleged crime and requests that action by the department be deferred, the department shall defer all proceedings under this chapter until such time as a trial verdict or delinquency adjudication has been rendered, and shall so notify such state attorney and claimant. When a trial verdict or delinquency adjudication has been rendered, such state attorney shall promptly notify the department. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the authority of the department to grant emergency awards pursuant to s. 960.12 .
(7) The state attorney's office shall aid claimants in the filing and processing of claims, as may be required.
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