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Who is Eligible to Receive Compensation from Missouri’s Tort Victims Compensation Fund?

When an individual suffers injury or death due to the negligence and/or wrongful acts of a person or entity, seeking compensation for their injury or loss is often that individual’s primary recourse. In the state of Missouri, in addition to seeking a civil recovery for compensation against the negligent person or entity, victims of certain torts may have an additional avenue for seeking compensation via Missouri’s Tort Victims Compensation Fund (TVCF). Established to aid those who might otherwise face significant challenges in receiving fair compensation, the TVCF plays a crucial role in Missouri’s legal landscape. In this blog post, we dive further into the intricacies of the TVCF, exploring who is eligible to receive compensation from this fund.

What is the Tort Victims Compensation Fund?

The TVCF is a program administered by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. It aims to assist individuals who have suffered harm or injury resulting from certain tortious acts, particularly when the responsible party lacks adequate insurance coverage or assets to provide full compensation. The fund operates as a payor of last resort for tort victims who may otherwise struggle to obtain fair compensation.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for compensation from the TVCF, claimants must satisfy specific criteria outlined by Missouri law. These criteria include:

  1. Lack of Alternative Sources: Claimants must demonstrate that they have exhausted all reasonable efforts to seek compensation from other potential sources, such as insurance policies, assets of the responsible party, or any other applicable funds. This is often done by showing the TVCF that all applicable liability insurance limits have been paid on a claim, or by showing the TVCF that a final money judgment has been obtained against the responsible party but the responsible party lacks assets to satisfy such judgment.
  2. Personal Injury or Death: The TVCF primarily focuses on compensating victims who have suffered serious personal injuries or, in cases of wrongful death, their surviving dependents. The fund does not cover property damage claims.
  3. Missouri Resident: If the injury occurred outside of the state of Missouri, and the injured person was not a Missouri resident, there is no one eligible to make a claim with the TVCF for the injury.
  4. Timely Reporting: Claimants must submit their claim to the TVCF within the applicable statute of limitations for the underlying tort (this may be extended if a final judgment was obtained).

Application Process

To initiate a claim with the TVCF, eligible individuals must complete and submit an application form provided by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The application requires detailed information about the incident, the claimant’s injuries, and any related expenses incurred.

In addition to the application, claimants must also submit supporting documentation, which may include medical records, police reports, witness statements, and any other relevant evidence. It is crucial to provide accurate and comprehensive information to facilitate the evaluation process.

Evaluation and Compensation

Upon receiving a completed application, the TVCF conducts a thorough review to determine eligibility and assess the extent of the claimant’s injuries and damages. This evaluation process typically involves verifying TVCF eligibility, investigating the details of the incident, examining medical records, and assessing the extent of the claimant’s damages.

If the claim is approved, the TVCF may offer compensation to the eligible claimant. The amount of compensation granted is based on a variety of factors, including the severity of the injuries, claimant’s other verifiable damages, and the available funds within the TVCF.

It is important to note that the TVCF may not fully compensate victims for their losses. Instead, it seeks to provide some measure of financial assistance when other avenues for restitution are insufficient. Currently, the fund caps recovery on a single claim at $300,000 (although this may be reduced pro-rata depending on available funds within the TVCF on a given year).


The Tort Victims Compensation Fund in Missouri serves as a vital safety net for victims of certain negligent and tortious acts who would otherwise face challenges in obtaining fair compensation. By providing financial assistance to eligible claimants, the TVCF aims to alleviate some of the burdens associated with serious personal injuries and/or wrongful death.

Understanding the eligibility criteria and application process is crucial for those seeking compensation from the TVCF. However, navigating the eligibility and application process of the TVCF can be a challenging process for individuals. The process is document intensive and may require precedent legal steps to ensure eligibility. As payment from the fund is provided on a case-by-case basis, an attorney can help ensure your claim is properly submitted and that receive maximum compensation. An attorney can also appeal a compensation decision from the TVCF and request a hearing on your claim.

If you have been injured in an accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and to see if you may qualify for compensation from the TVCF. An attorney can help guide you through the process and protect your rights. Please reach out to The A.W. Smith Law Firm for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.