Victims of Crime Compensation – Who is Eligible?

Being the victim of a violent crime, having a family member who has been a victim of a crime or witnessing a violent act can be very distressing and can have a disastrous financial and emotional impact on those involved. If you’ve suffered physical or psychological harm as a result of a crime, there are organisations and services available for help and support and you may also be eligible for financial assistance or compensation. If you are looking for an experienced victim of crime solicitor in Melbourne to give you expert advice or help you through the application process, you can trust the team at Robert Wood and Associates for honest, affordable guidance. Read on for our guide to Victims of Crime compensation.

What is Victims of Crime Assistance?

Victims of Crime Assistance is a Victorian Government funded scheme to help victims recover from a physical and/or psychological injury as a result of a violent crime. The Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) is responsible for awarding financial assistance to victims of crime in Victoria.

What Are Some Examples of Violent Crimes?

Violent acts that are claimable by application to VOCAT may include:

  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Aggravated Burglary
  • Sexual assault / childhood sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Deprivation of liberty
  • Threats to harm or kill
  • Dangerous or culpable driving
  • Conduct endangering life

Compensation and Financial Assistance

If your financial situation has been impacted because of a crime, you may be entitled to financial assistance to help with your expenses. You may be able to get a payment as recognition for your pain and suffering, and to help with counselling and medical costs, safety related expenses, loss or damage to clothing worn at the time of the incident, loss of earnings and/or funeral costs.

A Person May Apply for Financial Assistance from VOCAT if:

  • a violent crime was committed against them and they have suffered a physical or psychological injury
  • the crime occurred in Victoria
  • they are a primary, secondary or related victim of that violent crime as defined by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996, or a person who has incurred funeral expenses as a direct result of the death of a primary victim.

Persons Not Eligible for Assistance

The Act contains specific criteria that may exclude eligibility for victims support in certain circumstances. A person is not eligible to receive victims of crime compensation if:

  • They have been paid, or are entitled to be paid compensation awarded by a court, in respect of the act of violence.
  • If that act took the form of, or the injury arose as a consequence of, a motor vehicle accident. This can include intentional acts involving the use of motor vehicle as a weapon.
  • The act occurred while the person was engaged in behaviour constituting an offence.

There are also other reasons why a person may be ineligible, including if the act of violence occurred while they were imprisoned as a convicted inmate.

Applying for victims of crime compensation can be both time consuming and complicated for those without legal expertise. The team at Robert Wood and Associates are here to help. Our experienced team will guide and support you through the process and assist you in determining the level of compensation you are entitled to, as well as collate all evidence in support of your application, ensuring you are awarded the maximum amount. When you choose Robert Wood you can rest assured that we will put you needs first and get the outcome you deserve. Give us a call today on (03) 9762 3877 or submit an online enquiry.

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