Victims of Crime QLD - Have you been a victim of crime? You may be entitled to victims assistance from QLD Government.
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Explaining Financial Assistance Offered by the Government


The Queensland Government provides financial assistance through Victim Assist Queensland and may pay for or reimburse the costs of goods and services needed by a victim to recover from the physical and psychological effects of an act of violence. This financial assistance is designed to be available for victims to help reduce the stress and trauma involved in incidents of violent crime.

Applications for financial assistance will be decided by a government assessor and we will help you with the necessary applications and guide you through the process. Please take note that the financial assistance is designed to cover the costs of goods and services needed by a victim to recover from the act of violence. It is not a lump sum compensation scheme.

Depending on whether the person is a primary victim, a secondary victim or a related victim then there may be varying degrees of assistance available. The type and seriousness of the act of violence committed and the injury suffered by the victim will also be considered. We can ensure that the application process undertaken is smooth and expeditious so that the government assessor can make a decision as quickly as possible for our applicants. It usually takes an assessor of Victim Assist between 5 to 6 months to process an application but it this can take longer if the application is not completed correctly.

We also ensure to include all of the relevant financial assistance in the victimís application so that maximum assistance is obtained. Financial assistance under this scheme may also be available should other cover such as medical insurance and Workers Compensation have not already met the victimís needs.

Applying for financial assistance

Financial assistance is available to primary victims, related victims and secondary victims. Applying for financial assistance is a relatively simple process

Children and young people

A parent or legal guardian must apply on behalf of a victim under 18 years of age.

If a young victim is 12 years old or over they are able to apply themselves but they must have a lawyer to represent them.

In certain circumstances, Victim Assist Queensland may authorise someone else to act on behalf of a victim under 18 years old.

Adults with an impaired capacity

A person such as a legal guardian, administrator or a member of the personís support network can apply on behalf of an adult with an impaired capacity.

Other victims that require assistance

If a victim requires assistance in making an application, the application may be made by someone else approved by Victim Assist Queensland. For example, a relative may be approved to apply on behalf of a victim that cannot understand English.

Time limit for applications for financial assistance

In most cases an application for assistance must be made within three years from the act of violence.

Children and young people

If the victim was under 18 at the time of the act of violence, an application must be made within three years from when they turn 18 (by the time they turn 21).

Related victims of a deceased primary victim

Where the primary victim has died, a related victim must apply within three years from the death of the primary victim.

Possible exceptions for applications made after three years

It may be possible for a victim to apply after three years from the act of violence. In this case the applicant will be asked to explain why on the application form.

The Qld Government through their Victim assist Programme may take into consideration the age of the victim at the time of the act of violence, if the victim has an impaired capacity, if the person who committed the act of violence was in a position of power, influence or trust in relation to the victim and the physical and emotional effects of the act of violence on the person.

Expenses covered by financial assistance

Financial assistance covers the costs of goods and services that assist the recovery of the victim from the act of violence. The types of expenses covered are different for each victim. A person can only apply under one type of victim category.

This is a guide to what expenses can be covered by the funding to assist the recovery of primary victims, secondary parent victims, witness secondary victims and related victims from the act of violence.

All victims:
  • reasonable counselling expenses
  • reasonable medical expenses
  • reasonable incidental travel expenses
  • reasonable report expenses such as the cost of obtaining a medical report.
Primary victims only:
  • Special assistance (lump sum payment) up to the value of $10,000 for primary victims in relation to the act of violence.
  • Loss of earnings up to the value of $20,000 during a period of up to 2 years after the act of violence.
  • Expenses for loss of or damage to clothing the victim was wearing when the act of violence happened.
Related victims only:
  • Up to the value of $10,000 for distress suffered by a related victim.
  • Up to the value of $20,000 that the related victim would have been likely to receive from the primary victim if they had not died, up to two years from their death. However, if there is more than one related victim, only a combined total of $20,000 may be granted to the related victims.
Parent secondary and secondary witness to a more serious act of violence only:
  • If exceptional circumstances exist for the victim they may be able to receive assistance up to the value of $20,000 for the loss of earnings suffered as a direct result of witnessing the act of violence up to 2 years from the act of violence.
  • However, if there is more than one secondary parent victim or secondary witness to a more serious act of violence, only a combined total of $20,000 may be granted to the victims.
Primary, related, parent secondary and witness secondary to a more serious act of violence only:
  • if exceptional circumstances exist for the victim other expenses incurred by the victim to significantly help the victim recover from the act of violence may be considered. Such as relocation expenses or costs of new security locks on the victimís home.
  • up to $500 legal costs.

Maximum amount of financial assistance available to victims

The maximum amount of financial assistance a victim can be granted to cover goods and services required to assist their recovery depends on the type of victim. The following is a guide to the maximum amounts of assistance available to each type of victim:

Primary victims

A primary victim may be granted assistance up to the value of $75,000. Also, $500 for legal costs incurred by the victim in applying for assistance is available if the application is successful.

Secondary victims

Parent secondary victim

A parent secondary victim may be granted assistance up to the value of $50,000.

If there is more than one parent of the child who was injured, only a combined total of $50,000 may be granted to the parents. Also, $500 for legal costs incurred by each parent in applying for assistance is available if the application is successful.

Witness secondary victim to a more serious act of violence

A witness secondary victim to a more serious act of violence may be granted up to the value of $50,000. In addition $500 for legal costs incurred by each witness in applying for assistance is available if the application is successful.

Witness secondary victim to a less serious act of violence

A witness secondary victim to a less serious act of violence may be granted up to the value of $10,000 for counselling and medical expenses.

Related victims

A related victim may be granted assistance of up to the value of $50,000. Where there are two or more related victims a pool of assistance up to the value of $100,000 is available. In addition $500 for legal costs incurred by each witness in applying for assistance is available if the application is successful.

Please note: these assistance values are a maximum amount to cover the goods and services a victim requires to recover from the act of violence and eligible victims will only receive the amount within the maximum they reasonably need.

Table of costs

A table of costs is available to inform applicants and providers of the levels of assistance available to cover counselling services, medical treatment, ambulance services, incidental travel or obtaining a report from a health practitioner or counsellor.

The table can be obtained by request from the legal practitioner assigned to your application.

Funeral expense assistance

Funeral expense assistance is available to any person that incurs expenses for the funeral of a primary victim who has died as a direct result of an act of violence.

Assistance up to the value of $6,000 is available for funeral expenses. If more than one person pays for the funeral of a primary victim, only a combined total up to the value of $6,000 will be paid.

Funeral expense assistance must be applied for within three years from the death of the primary victim.

Funeral expense assistance can be paid to the applicant before or after the funeral has taken place. Payment for goods and services used, or likely to be used, can be made directly to the applicant or to the funeral service provider.

Interim assistance

Interim assistance is financial assistance that can be granted to primary, related and secondary victims. Interim assistance can cover the costs of goods and services necessary to assist the victimís recovery before a general application for assistance has been decided. Interim assistance allows the early needs of a victim to be met quickly.

Interim assistance is available up to a value of $6,000. Expenses that the government assessor may decide are necessary to be incurred before the final grant of assistance is decided include:

  • crime scene clean up
  • improving the security locks on a victimís house
  • funeral expenses
  • counselling needed immediately for the victim.

Special assistance for primary victims

Special assistance is available to primary victims only (Schedule 2 of the Act). It is a moderate lump sum payment representing a symbolic gesture by the Queensland Government of the communityís recognition of the injuries suffered by the victim as a result of the act of violence committed against them.

Special assistance can be granted between $130 and $10,000. It is taken from within the total value of assistance available to a primary victim.

Special assistance is only granted once an application has been decided. The amount of special assistance granted will depend on the seriousness and type of the act of violence committed against the primary victim. Each individual application will be looked at by a government assessor in detail to decide the amount of special assistance that may be granted to the primary victim.

Exceptional circumstances

Exceptional circumstances exist for a victim of an act of violence if, because of the victimís circumstances or the nature of the act of violence, the act has had an unusual, special or out of the ordinary effect on the victim.

Examples of exceptional circumstances are:

An elderly person who lives alone is a victim of violent crime. Because of the act the person becomes very concerned about security and wants to upgrade the security on their home.

Or

A person living in a remote area is a victim of a violent attack committed by someone else living in the same remote area. Because of the remoteness of the area the person becomes afraid of another act of violence being committed against them by the other person.

Not all victims will be affected in the same way by an act of violence and not all victims will require the same goods and services to help their recovery. Victim Assist Queensland wants to be able to assist a victimís recovery in any way possible. By taking into consideration any exceptional circumstances for each individual victim that is possible.

Loss of earnings

Some victims may be granted assistance for loss of earnings as a direct result of total or partial incapacity to work for a period of two years after the act of violence.

They are:
  • primary victims
  • secondary parent victims with exceptional circumstances
  • secondary witness to a more serious act of violence with exceptional circumstances.

The maximum amount that can be claimed for loss of earnings is $20,000. This amount is part of the total amount of assistance the victim is eligible to receive.

The amount granted is the actual loss of earnings for the period less any other amounts that may have been received from other sources such as sick leave, insurance payments or Centrelink payments.

People who cannot claim financial assistance

A person must be an eligible victim under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 to claim financial assistance.

A person is not eligible for financial assistance if the act of violence was not reported and there is no reasonable excuse for the report not being made.

Victims of financial or property offences are not eligible for assistance under this scheme. An injury must have occurred from an act of violence for a victim to be eligible for assistance.

The government assessor cannot grant assistance to a person if the government assessor is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities that:

  • The only or main reason an act of violence was committed against a person was because of their involvement in a criminal activity when the act of violence happened or, because of their previous involvement in a criminal activity.
  • The person was aware, or should have reasonably been aware, that the primary victim was involved in the criminal activity.
  • The person conspired with the person who committed the act of violence in relation to the assistance being applied for.
  • The person did not give reasonable assistance in the investigation of the act of violence or the arrest or prosecution of the alleged offender. However, if the applicant has a reasonable excuse for not assisting, then this may not prevent a successful application. A reasonable excuse may include that they were a special victim.

Recovery from offenders

The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 requires the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to seek to recover from offenders, who are convicted of committing acts of violence, amounts paid by the State to their victims. The process involves notifying offenders of the amount of any grant and certain details relating to the act of violence.