To demonstrate that all participants in the scholarship program are eligible to participate, Victim Compensation should establish and document the eligibility of the three participants for whom it currently lacks such documentation.
The VCGCB sent a certified letter to the three participants in question asking them to provide the requested documentation to verify their eligibility or to sign release forms which were included with the letter. The participants were given a deadline of September 13, 2013 to reply. To date, they have not responded to the request.
Without the requested documentation or signed release forms, the VCGCB is unable to obtain or provide additional information to verify eligibility for the three applicants in question.
The Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board has made a good faith effort to remedy the issues identified in this finding. Because it has exhausted all possible avenues for addresing this recommendation, we consider this issue resolved.
The three applicants discussed in the report cannot be verified as eligible as a dependent of the victim. Most of the scholarship applicants for the September 11th Memorial License Plate Program submitted claims to the Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP). Because they had claims on file with CalVCP, legal documentation such as a tax return was on file and was used to verify dependency. In the case of the dependents in question, they did not file claims for victim compensation. Therefore, their files did not contain legal documentation although the Board did have other documentation indicating dependency.
In April 2013, VCGCB staff reached out to the father of the three September 11th victims in question to seek permission to obtain needed information for verification. The father again indicated that he would not sign any releases for VCGCB to obtain any information, nor would he provide any tax returns or other legal documentation. He verbalized his displeasure with being contacted and indicated that if he was contacted again regarding this issue he would refer them to his attorney among other things.
Without a signed release form, VCGCB is unable to obtain copies of tax returns from the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to verify dependency. In an effort to ensure the applicant is made aware of the scholarship funds available, VCGCB will coordinate with Scholarshare and Treasurer's Office to prepare and send a registered letter from the Scholarshare Program to the applicant explaining opportunities and processes for utilizing scholarship funds.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.