Son's funeral delayed while father waits for victim compensation approval process

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Financial help is available through the state to help cover funeral expenses for those who are victims of crimes. 

Last year, there were about 26,000 request to help pay for funeral expenses, but the approval can be slow.

Frederick Tolbert is one of many who applied for victim compensation and his son’s funeral has been delayed while he’s waiting on the approval process.

As he looks at old photos, he still can’t believe his son, Joshua Tolbert is gone.

The 22 year old was gunned down during an early morning shooting in West Palm Beach two weeks ago.

Tolbert said, ”It’s hurting me to my heart to have to go through this.”

Tolbert applied for the victim compensation, a program the state offers to help families with funeral cost up to $5,000.00 dollars, but getting approved could take weeks, maybe even months.

Joshua Tolbert’s body still sits in a funeral home.

Funeral home owners, like Timothy E. Kitchens of Timothy E. Kitchens funeral home, works with families who have applied for victim compensation, but they still have to wait for those funds to be approved by the Attorney General’s office.

Kitchens said, ”The application is sent to Tallahassee to an analyst and an analyst determines whether that person is eligible or ineligible.”

In the last six months, Kitchens said there’s been about five applicants  who have come to him for financial assistance. He said the need for help is there.

But for families like the Tolbert’s, it makes the grieving process more difficult.


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