New York Child Sex Abuse Compensation
New York has among the nation’s most limiting laws for survivors of child sexual abuse. The state requires victims who want to bring criminal or civil charges against their abusers to do so prior to their 23rd birthday. As a result, many survivors of child sexual abuse by Archdiocese of New York clergy members have been left without an avenue to seek justice later in life — until now.
The Archdiocese of New York has established an independent program to provide compensation from the Church to victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, including for abuse claims that are decades old.
Our team of experts helps victims successfully register with the Archdiocese of New York Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) so that the victims of this heinous crime can receive the compensation and closure they deserve. The IRCP is expected to start reviewing new claims as early as February 1, 2017.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation?
Anyone who was sexually abused before the age of 18 by archdiocesan priests and deacons in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, or Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties and has never told the archdiocese of the crime may be eligible for compensation through the IRCP — regardless of when the abuse occurred.
In addition to the victims themselves, the parents of victims who were minors and the legal representatives of deceased victims can seek compensation, too.
Victims who previously settled their sexual abuse claims with the archdiocese are not eligible. Neither is anyone who was molested by members of religious orders, other priests working in the archdiocese or non-ordained members of a church. Such perpetrators do not fall under the authority of the archbishop and therefore are excluded from the program.
Child sexual abuse victims who reported their abuse to the Archdiocese of New York in the past, but had not yet received compensation from the church were eligible to apply to the IRCP beginning Oct. 6, 2016. Allegations dated back 40 to 50 years and involved roughly 40 archdiocesan priests and deacons. The filing period for those roughly 170 claims ended January 31, 2017.
The Archdiocese of New York Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program is now encouraging claims from:
- Child sexual abuse victims who have not yet come forward;
- Parents of sexual abuse victims who were minors;
- Legal representatives of deceased child sexual abuse victims.
The Archdiocese of New York Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program is available in:
- The Bronx
- Staten Island
- Dutchess County
- Orange County
- Putnam County
- Rockland County
- Sullivan County
- Ulster County
- Westchester County
Filing a Church Sex Abuse Claim
In our experience, filing a child sexual abuse claim is an important step in the healing process, but it can also be overwhelming for survivors. Our team of skilled and compassionate attorneys will efficiently handle this for you while keeping you informed throughout the process and answering any questions you may have.
We will take on the responsibility of registering you with the program and submitting the necessary documentation relating to your case. Our expert attorneys will also manage all communications with the administrators, so you can focus on healing and moving on.
Participation in the IRCP is purely voluntary, and there is no fee associated with filing a claim with the program. Filing a child sexual abuse claim can not only result in compensation, but also it can expose predators, raise awareness and help others speak up.
The IRCP requires each victim to consult with an attorney before accepting compensation. If you do choose to take the money, you will have to waive your rights to sue the archdiocese over sexual abuse allegations in the future. The decision is entirely up to you. Our team will be by your side every step of the way to empower you and help you decide what’s best for you.
Victims may choose to file a claim to:
- Receive compensation;
- Expose predators;
- Protect future children;
- Raise awareness;
- Help others speak up.
Reviewing a Child Sex Abuse Claim
After we register you with the IRCP, the program will send information about its criteria for participation.
In the past, administrators reviewed claims as they came in. The process went as follows:
- IRCP receives a claim form and supporting documentation.
- Administrators process the claim.
- Administrators send the victim a written notice of receipt by mail or by email.
- Administrators review the claim.
- If the claim is incomplete, administrators let the victim know and may ask the victim to make corrections or provide additional documentation.
- Administrators notify each victim of their decision.
Keeping Claims Confidential
Victims who participate in the IRCP can decide whether to go public with their allegations and the results of their claims, or keep their cases private.
The IRCP requires certain information, including the nature, frequency, location and time of the sexual abuse. This information is kept private other than that it will be forwarded to the local district attorney’s office and the archdiocese for review. Even so, all identifying information would be withheld from the public. Administrators of the IRCP will not publicly share your identity or the personal information included in your claim.
Victims will be asked to provide:
- The name of the alleged perpetrator;
- The name and location of the church/parish;
- A summary description of the alleged abuse.
This information is kept private except that it will be shared with the local district attorney’s office and the archdiocese for review.
Determining the Amount of Compensation
Over the years, the Catholic Church has awarded child sexual abuse victims across the country well over $3 billion in major settlements and monetary awards.
Compensation handed out by the IRCP could very well spill into the millions, and the Archdiocese of New York has agreed to pay whatever the independent fund administrators deem appropriate in each and every case. The program has no monetary cap, and the archdiocese has said it will take a long-term loan to cover the cost.
Mediators Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros serve as administrators of the IRCP and have complete and sole discretion over who is eligible to participate in the program and how much money each victim receives. Feinberg ran the federal Sept. 11 victims fund and has overseen compensation for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and the Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando.
Any decision Feinberg and Biros make is not up for appeal, and the archdiocese cannot reject the administrators’ final determination. Victims, however, can choose not to accept the compensation if they are dissatisfied with the amount.
An Independent Oversight Committee will oversee the implementation and administration of the IRCP.
This committee comprises non-church members, including:
- Former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly
- Federal District Judge Loretta A. Preska
- Columbia University Psychiatry Professor Jeanette Cueva
The committee is tasked with monitoring and advising the administrators. It cannot modify or reject any decision regarding a victim’s eligibility or compensation.
Request a Free, Confidential Consultation
Our team is ready to help. Call or fill out a form to speak with one of our dedicated attorneys.
- Otterman, S. & Schmidt, S. (2016, October 6). New York Archdiocese Offers Compensation Program for Sexual Abuse Victims. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/nyregion/new-york-archdiocese-compensation-sexual-abuse-victims.html
- Archdiocese of New York. (n.d.). Administrators Announce Implementation of the Archdiocese of New York Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (“IRCP”). Retrieved from https://www.nyarchdiocese-ircpsettlementprogram.com/ords/m_453841_0001/f?p=NYARCH:PAGE-HOME:3104046259430
- Sit, R. & et al. (2016, October 6). Timothy Cardinal Dolan unveils healing program for victims of sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/timothy-cardinal-dolan-unveils-new-program-sex-abuse-victims-article-1.2819917
- Archdiocese of New York. (2016, November 29). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://www.nyarchdiocese-ircpsettlementprogram.com/ords/m_453841_0001/f?p=NYARCH:PAGE-FAQ:8531113563368
- BishopAccountability.org. (n.d.). Sexual Abuse by U.S. Catholic Clergy Settlements and Monetary Awards in Civil Suits. Retrieved from http://www.bishop-accountability.org/settlements/
- Archdiocese of New York. (2016, October 6). Press Release. Retrieved from https://www.nyarchdiocese-ircpsettlementprogram.com/ords/m_453841_0001/f?p=NYARCH:PAGE-PRESS-RELEASE:13294416635654