Guidelines for Applying for Mental Health Counseling Benefits
The Victims’ Compensation Program can help pay for mental health counseling for primary victims and some family members, both adults and children. The following explains how to complete parts of a Victims’ Compensation Application to request mental health counseling reimbursement and answers frequently asked questions about how we process such a request.
- How do I ask for mental health counseling now?
- Go to the section on the application entitled “IV. Expenses.” If counseling is for the victim, check the box next to “counseling for victim.” If counseling is for a claimant who is not a primary victim or for another family member, check the “counseling for family members” box. Fill out the name and other information requested in Section IV. Expenses. Failure to provide this information delays benefits.
- What if I do not want counseling now, but may want it later?
- Check the counseling request box on the application and write “later” next to it. You can delay counseling for a family member as well.
- When I want to start counseling, do I choose my own counselor?
- Yes. When the timing is right either for you or a family member to seek mental health counseling services, you need to contact a counselor, make an appointment, and be seen by the counselor. The counselor must be licensed, not just registered. You need to explain to the counselor that you have applied to the Victims’ Compensation Program for help with counseling bills. The counselor’s role at this time is to meet with you or family member(s) to do an initial evaluation.
- After I have chosen a counselor, what do I do?
- You need to be in touch with the Victims’ Compensation Program and provide the name, address, and telephone number of the counselor and which person, you or a family member, the counselor will be seeing.
- What does the Victims’ Compensation Program do then?
- Victims’ Compensation will send a treatment plan to each counselor for each person being seen by that counselor. After treatment plans are returned, your case can be reviewed by the Victims’ Compensation Board for an award to cover counseling costs.
- What must the counselor do?
- A counselor’s obligation to our program is to complete the treatment plan and submit it to Victims’ Compensation for consideration by the Board. The treatment plan includes a description of the services the counselor will provide to you.
- What if I need more counseling?
- Your counselor will indicate on the treatment plan approximately how many sessions you or a family member may need. For example – your counselor may indicate that you need 20 sessions over a period of six months. Near the end of the six month period, if you feel you need further counseling, you must contact Victims’ Compensation to request an additional award. Usually, you will receive a letter to remind you that the end date for your award is approaching.
- How does the billing process work after the Victims’ Compensation Board awards me benefits to cover counseling?
- Your counselor needs to bill any insurance, Medicare, or MaineCare first and bill Victims’ Compensation last. We always will need the counselor to provide explanation of benefits (EOB) forms, showing insurance payments, for consideration by the Victims’ Compensation Board. Your counselor can send us copies of your bills and the Victims’ Compensation Fund will pay them, as long as they are within the limits of the award. If you pay the counselor up front, the Victims’ Compensation Fund can pay you back.
- If I stop counseling, can I start again later?
- Yes, you would need to contact the Victims’ Compensation Program office, and we would send a new treatment plan to your counselor.
- What if I want to change counselors?
- That is perfectly acceptable. Please notify Victims’ Compensation that you are changing counselors and we will send a new treatment plan to the new counselor.
**Please urge all counselors to complete treatment plans and return them promptly to Victims’ Compensation. Delays often result when counselors are tardy in submitting their treatment plans to Victims’ Compensation. Your case cannot go before the Board without the completed treatment plan.
***We also urge you to contact Victims’ Compensation before your counseling time runs out if you wish to request further counseling.
If you or your counselors have questions, we urge you to call us at 1-800-903-7882 (victims) or (207) 624-7882. We hope that the services of the Victims’ Compensation Program will be able to help you during this difficult time. 06/2007