The Government Claims Program (GCP) processes claims for money or damages against the state. The program was transferred to the Department of General Services from the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board in July 2016. In general, anyone who wishes to file a lawsuit against the state or its employees for damages must first pursue an administrative remedy through the GCP claims process. Only if the claim is rejected or denied may the claim be pursued through the courts. In some cases, claims may be resolved through the GCP process.
If you have questions regarding the Government Claims Program, contact the program toll-free at (800) 955-0045 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to submit a claim against a state department or agency, please use the Government Claim Form.
For details on how to prepare and mail a claim, see Frequently Asked Questions . If you do not use the Government Claims Program claim form, you must provide sufficient information to process the claim and the request must be appropriately signed.
A processing fee of $25 is required to file a claim. See the Government Claims Filing Fee and Fee Waiver page for more information about the fee and the option of having the fee waived under certain conditions. In particular circumstances when a claim is awarded, the $25 filing fee will be refunded to the claimant by the paying agency.
Claims for death or injury to a person, damage to personal property or damage to growing crops must be filed within six (6) months after the incident occurred. All other claims must be filed within one (1) year after the incident occurred.
If the claim should have been filed within six (6) months after the incident occurred and the deadline was missed, claimants must file a "leave to present a late claim" within one (1) year. For more details on late claims, please see the Frequently Asked Questions About Filing Government Claims.
When the GCP receives a claim, staff determines if it meets criteria for sufficiency, jurisdiction and timeliness. Often, the program works closely with the affected department in an effort to resolve the matter. Staff then develops a recommendation based on the case facts and input from the affected department.
Payment is made either by the affected department from existing funds or through an appropriation established by legislation (an annual omnibus claims bill) approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor.
For additional information please see Government Code Sections 910 - 913.2.
People may choose to sue the state for a variety of reasons. Usually this involves an allegation that the individual has suffered damages because a state agency or employee is responsible for a death, physical injury or property damage.
If the case involves a county, city or other local governmental entity or employee, the claim should be filed directly with the local city or county's governing board or clerk. Claims can be delivered in person or by mail.
Claims against a judicial branch entity, such as a court or judge, should be submitted as described in California Government Code section 915(c). Generally, a claim, claim amendment, or an application for leave to file a late claim shall be presented to a judicial branch entity as follows:
Delivering or mailing it to the court executive officer, if the claim is against a superior court or a judge, court executive officer, or trial court employee.
Delivering or mailing it to the clerk/administrator of the court of appeals, if against a court of appeals or a judge of that court.
Delivering or mailing it to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, if against the Supreme Court or a judge of that court.
Delivering or mailing it to the Secretariat of the Judicial Council, if against the Judicial Council or the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Please contact the Court involved for further details.
Claims for death or injury to a person, personal property, or growing crops must be filed within six months after the incident occurred. Any other claim must be filed within one year after the incident.
If the claim should have been filed within six months, and the deadline was missed, claimants must file a "leave to present a late claim" within one year. For more details on late claims, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.
A $25 filing fee is required for all claims submitted to the GCP. The fee was established by the Legislature in the Budget Act of 2004 to provide funds to support the program. In some circumstances when a claim is awarded, the $25 filing fee will be refunded to the claimant by the paying agency.
Claimants should send the filing fee in with the Government Claim Form.
Claimants who are unable to pay the $25 filing fee may apply to have the fee waived. To request a fee waiver, you must fill out the Affidavit for Waiver of Government Claims Filing Fee and Financial Information Form.
Inmates in correctional facilities who wish to request a fee waiver must also use the form, attach a certified copy of their trust account balance, and provide their inmate identification number.
Persons who are receiving benefits pursuant to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and State Supplemental Payments (SSP) programs (Section 12200 to 12205, inclusive, of the Welfare and Institutions Code), the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act (CalWORKs) program (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code), the Food Stamp program (7 U.S.C. Sec. 2011 et seq.), or Section 17000 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Persons whose monthly income is 125 percent or less of the current monthly poverty line.
Persons who are sentenced to imprisonment in a state prison or confined in a county jail, or who are residents in a state institution and, within 90 days prior to the date the claim is filed, have a balance of $100 or less credited to the inmate's or resident's trust account. A certified copy of the statement of the account shall be submitted.
What is the process for filing a claim?
What is the address for mailing a claim?
What deadlines exist for filing a claim?
When is a "leave to present a late claim" granted?
What if I don't know the amount to claim?
How can I check on the status of my claim?
Claims for erroneously convicted persons
New law regarding reimbursement of extradition expenses
If your claim is under $10,000 and is against Department of Transportation (Caltrans), do not file a claim with the Government Claims Program.
File your claim with Caltrans directly with the Claim against Department of Transportation for Amounts $10,000.00 and Less form (LD0274):
Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
1120 N St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
A claim against the California State University must be filed with the Office of Risk Management and Public Safety at the address below within six (6) months after which the incident or event occurred along with a $25 claim filing fee made out to "Trustees of CSU". Completed claims must be delivered or mailed to:
The California State University - Office of the Chancellor
Risk Management and Public Safety
401 Golden Shore, 5th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802-4210
Visit the CSU Risk Management and Public Safety web site for further information or to obtain a claim form.
Do not file a claim with the Government Claims Program. Contact the campus directly.
Claims involving campuses of the University of California, such as parking lot defects, dormitories or health centers are handled at the campus from which the claim arose.
For a listing of those campuses, please visit http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/campuses/welcome.html.
Claims against State Compensation Insurance Fund are handled directly by State Compensation Insurance Fund.
Claims must be mailed or delivered to:
State Compensation Insurance Fund
Attn: Frank Floyd
2450 Venture Oaks Way
Sacramento, CA 95833
Please contact the court involved for further details.
Claims for unredeemed bonds must be filed with the State Treasurer's Office.
Claims must be mailed to:
State Treasurer's Office
PO Box 942809
Sacramento, CA 94209-0001
For more information, contact the State Treasurer's Office at (916) 653-2995.
If your claim is under $100.00, do not file a claim with the Government Claims Program.
Contact the agency directly. For a list of agencies, see CA.gov's Agency Directory.
Do not file a claim with the Government Claims Program.
See the name of the agency below for their contact information.
California Highway Patrol Legal Coordination Unit
P.O. Box 942898
Sacramento, CA 94298-0001
Department of Consumer Affairs, Legal Affairs Division
1625 North Market Blvd, Suite S-309
Sacramento, CA 95834
Department of General Services Attn: Risk Management
For claims involving state-owned vehicles
707 3rd St, 1st Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
As of July 28, 2009, Section 13943.2 of the Government Code now authorizes state agencies to seek authority from the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to discharge from accountability debts owed of $500 or less. The previous limit was $250 or less.
For more information for agencies that wish to apply for this higher approval limit, please read the following Sep 8, 2009 memorandum, Change in Government Code for Discharge from Accountability from $250 or less to $500 or less.
Effective Dec 4, 2007, the Government Claims Program implemented a $30 fee for a claim search request for the purpose of obtaining a certified copy of a Government Claim.
Pursuant to Government Code section 11256, a state agency furnishing services and materials to another state agency may charge for the direct and indirect costs associated with the services and materials. The $30 claim search charge is consistent with the claim search fee currently charged for other agencies.
Questions regarding this process may be directed to the Government Claims Program Manager at (800) 955-0045.
When the Government Claims Program approves an award on a claim filed against a state department or agency, the department is required to pay up to a 15 percent surcharge on that award to support the Government Claims Program.