If you are the victim of crime you may be eligible for compensation.  Your NJC lawyer will provide you with the assistance you need. 

You can also lodge an application online yourself: Go to Victims Of Crime Tribunal Online Application (External link)

The Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal provides financial assistance to victims of crime committed in Victoria to assist them recover.

VOCAT provides:

  • financial assistance for expenses incurred, or reasonably likely to be incurred, as a direct result of the crime  
  • financial assistance for the injury when compensation cannot be obtained from the offender or other sources.

Assistance includes help with: 

  • counselling
  • medical, safety-related and funeral expenses,
  • lost earnings and other reasonable expenses to assist a victim of crime in their recovery

(VOCAT does not award financial assistance for property damage or loss as a result of a crime).

Who VOCAT assists

The amount and type of financial assistance differs between primary, secondary and related victims.

Primary victim

Person who is injured or dies as a direct result of:  

  • a violent crime  
  • attempting to arrest someone who has committed a violent crime 
  • attempting to prevent a violent crime
  • attempting to aid or rescue someone who is is the victim of a violent crime.

Secondary victim 

Person:

  • Present at the scene of a violent crime and is injured as a direct result of witnessing the crime
  • Injured as a direct result of subsequently becoming aware of an act of violence and who is the parent/guardian of the primary victim who was under the age of 18 at the time the criminal act was committed.

Related victim

Person who, at the time of the violent crime was a:

  • close family member of a deceased primary victim 
  • dependant of a deceased primary victim 
  • in an intimate personal relationship with a deceased primary victim. 

Parent or guardian of a child victim of crime

The parent or guardian of a child who has been a victim of a violent crime.

Parent/guardian can apply to VOCAT on the child's behalf and may also be eligible to apply as a secondary victim.

Funeral expenses only

Applicant may be eligible to claim funeral expenses of the primary victim even if not related to the victim.

When to apply

You should apply within two years after the violent crime.

A related victim or a person who has incurred funeral expenses can apply within two years after the death of the primary victim.

If you are applying outside this time, see VOCAT for more information and instructions. (External link)

How a hearing works

Nearly all applications are determined by a tribunal member without the applicant having to attend a hearing.

However, if you do attend, VOCAT is a sympathetic and understanding process that is designed to help you recover.

Should the Tribunal decide to conduct a hearing, it will call for evidence. The Tribunal may also adjourn its final decision to await the outcome of the prosecution for the act of violence.

Costs 

Applications to VOCAT are free. Your lawyers at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre will not charge you costs.