It’s rare to turn on the TV or radio these days, without hearing about innocent victims being caught up in acts of crime and violence.
What can a victim do if they’ve been harmed or injured in a criminal act?
If the offender who’s committed the crime doesn’t have any assets or the capacity to pay a civil compensation claim for the injured victim, Victim Assist Queensland may be able to assist.
Victim Assist Queensland gives access to financial assistance and support services, to help a victim recover from an act of crime, including domestic and family violence.
Once an application for assistance is approved, Victim Assist can help cover some, or even all costs associated with recovery, like medical, counselling and travel costs, and loss of earnings.
Although the total grant will vary depending on the victim’s individual circumstances, in some instances the grant can be up to $75,000.
Is it just the victim who can apply?
Violent crimes affect not only the victim (the primary victim), but also any witnesses to the crime, family members and carers in some instances.
Close family members such as a spouse, child, sibling or parent of a person who has died as a direct result of the act of violence, can also apply (as the related victim). Assistance is also available to pay for the victim’s funeral.
What sort of crimes are considered?
Some examples include:
- Physical assault such as being hit, pushed, punched, restrained or choked
- Sexual offences
- Burglary or robbery with violence
- Dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm
- Domestic violence committed by a partner, family member or informal carer
What is required to be lodged with an application, and is there a time limit?
An application needs to be supported by medical evidence and evidence that the crime has been reported to either the police, a medical practitioner, counsellor, psychologist or a domestic violence service, for example.
Evidence of any past and future medical expenses, as well as details of loss of income (if applicable) are some of the types of evidence required.
An Application for Financial Assistance must be lodged within:
- 3 years of the date of the crime for a primary victim, or
- within 3 years of the date of death for a related victim.
In some circumstances the time limit can be extended.
Call us to find out more about financial assistance for victims of crime.