The Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Trenton and Paterson have set a start date of June 15, 2019 for the Independent Victim Compensation Program (“IVCP”). The IVCP is intended to compensate victims of sexual abuse by their clergy regardless of how many years ago the abuse occurred. Claimants must complete a questionnaire with sworn answers and submit documentation (if such materials exists) to be eligible for compensation. The IVCP is an additional options for clergy abuse victims who may also file a civil lawsuit against the Diocese now that the statute of limitations has been repealed in New Jersey effective December 2019.
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The effective date of the IVCP is June 15, 2019. The program is available to anyone abuse by clergy of one of the New Jersey Dioceses regardless of whether the clergyman was affiliated with a school, parish or other agency of the Diocese. Program administrations report that the claims will be handled in the order in which they are received, starting with claims of sexual abuse that were reported to the Diocese prior to the date of this Protocol. Victims shall be eligible for compensation regardless of whether they have previously reported these incidents to the Diocese or law enforcement. Victims will not be eligible for the program if they have previously settled their clergy abuse claim or if the abuse was committed by a religious Order priest or priest of a Dioceses outside New Jersey. Notably, the entire IVCP process is confidential and claimant will not have their names publicly disclosed by applying for compensation.
The program will be independently administered by neutral fund administrators in two Phases. Phase I, which begins June 15, 2019, is available to victims who reported their abuse on or before June 15, 2019 to their Diocese. Phase II is for victims who have not previously reported their abuse. Phase II victims may register their claims beginning June 15, 2019 and continuing through October 31, 2019. The deadline to file claims for Phase I and II is December 31, 2019.