How is Compensation Calculated for Victims of Crime?

woman sad with calculator

If you have been the victim of a violent crime and wish to seek compensation, you may be eligible for a range of options for financial assistance. The Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) provides support to victims of violent crime to help cover the costs incurred, such as medical expenses and loss of earnings.

Who is Eligible for Compensation?

Anyone who is a victim of violent crime may be eligible for compensation. A victim of crime is anyone who has suffered physical injury, emotional injury or financial loss because of a crime. This can include being injured or physically assaulted, being robbed, experiencing family or domestic violence, experiencing sexual assault, witnessing a crime, or having a family member killed or injured as the result of a crime.

Just keep in mind that there must have been an act of violence committed in the course of the crime. For example, theft or robbery at your home is not considered a violent crime—unless, of course, you were home, and then it is deemed to be aggravated burglary.

What Kind of Compensation is Available?

Financial compensation can be given to victims of violent crimes to help with costs for things like:

  • Medical expenses (hospital admissions, doctor visits, surgery, ongoing medical care)
  • Counselling (psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, etc.)
  • Loss of earnings (days taken off or jobs lost due to distress, injury, etc.)
  • Loss of earnings (days taken off or jobs lost due to distress, injury, etc.)
  • Safety related expenses (installation of security cameras, new locks, etc.)
  • Funeral costs

How is Compensation for Victims of Crime Calculated?

The amount of compensation awarded to victims of violent crime will depend on a variety of factors. The severity of any injuries sustained, the circumstances that led to the crime, whether the victim’s own actions contributed to the offence or to the injury, and whether the victim co-operated with police enquiries can all influence the compensation that is offered.

The maximum amount of compensation payable is $100,000. This is typically offered in cases where a person has died as a result of a crime.

If you have been the primary victim of a violent crime, but have not died as a result of the crime, you may be eligible for compensation up to a total of $60,000. A primary victim is a person who has had an act of violence committed against them, or who has tried to stop an act of violence or helped another victim.

If you are a secondary victim of crime, you may be entitled to up to $50,000 in compensation. A secondary victim is a person who witnesses an act of violence, or is injured at the scene of a crime.

Both primary and secondary victims can apply for up to $20,000 compensation for loss of income. This amount is included in the total capped amount ($60,000 and $50,000 respectively).

Related victims of crime are people who are close family members, dependents, and intimate partners of primary victims of crime. They are also entitled to amounts up to $50,000 to cover medical and counselling expenses, funeral expenses, and loss of money expected to be received from the deceased

How to Apply for Compensation

When applying for victims of crime compensation, it can be helpful to work with an experienced lawyer who can talk you through your options and file the application with VOCAT on your behalf. You will need to include the details of the crime, the police report, and any injuries you sustained in your application. If you want more information, speak to the team at RV Legal today.