The California Victim Compensation Board has made it easier for victims of human trafficking to qualify for up to $20,000 in lost income.

Assembly Bill 629, making victims of human trafficking eligible for up to $10,000 of lost income per year, for up to two years, went into effect on Jan. 1. But the Office of Administrative Law only recently approved the regulations adopted by CalVCB in May that allow the board to rely on evidence other than official employment records.

“It’s clear the trauma of human trafficking extends far beyond the time having been trafficked,” said Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-38), a cosponsor of the bill. She said the law removes “a loophole in the victim compensation system” that required survivors to obtain “a note from their employer,” who may have been their trafficker.

Prior to the passage of AB 629, victims could only prove income loss with formal employment records or voluntary cooperation from their traffickers, meaning most could not qualify. However, even before the new regulations were approved, the CalVCB had approved five human trafficking income-loss claims this year, paying survivors more than $70,000.

“By providing financial support, along with options for medical and mental health treatment and other compensation, CalVCB is able to play a small part in victims’ recovery,” said CalVCB Executive Officer Lynda Gledhill.

The Office of Administrative Law had until July 1 to approve the regulations.

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