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Victims of crime support

Victims’ compensation: Your rights under NSW Law

By Sarah Stewart – Solicitor, Victims Compensation Litigation.

6 October 2016

Criminal acts can take a heavy toll on their victims, affecting them physically, psychologically, emotionally and/or financially.  

If you’ve been a victim of crime in New South Wales you may be entitled to apply for counselling and/or victim’s compensation.

The new Victims Support Scheme focuses on building a package of care to support and assist victims when they need it most. The Scheme provides information and assistance categorised as follows:

  • Information and support
  • Counselling
  • Financial support for immediate needs
  • Financial support for economic loss
  • Recognition payment

The Approved Counselling Service (ACS) provides free individual counselling to eligible people who’ve become victims of violent crime that occurred in NSW.

Financial support up to $5,000 for immediate needs is available to eligible applicants to assist with expenses such as relocation, implementing safety measures, emergency medical expenses and crime scene clean up expenses.

Financial assistance for economic loss is available to aid your rehabilitation and recovery. This category of assistance is capped at $30,000 and is available in respect of medical expenses, living expenses for people who were unemployed at the time of the offence (capped at $5,000), damage to personal effects (capped at $1,500), justice related expenses ($5,000), loss of actual earnings (capped at $20,000).

Victims may also be entitled to apply for a recognition payment which is a lump sum payment to acknowledge the trauma you’ve suffered as a consequence of being a victim of crime. Recognition payments are categorised depending on the nature and seriousness of the offence and range from $1,500 to $15,000.

It’s important to be aware applications under the Scheme must be lodged within two years of the date the act of violence was committed. However there are some exceptions to this rule relating to some claims for children who were under the age of 18 years at the time of the offence.

Commins Hendriks has a team of qualified and experienced lawyers who can assist you with making an application for victim’s support and compensation.

If you have any questions, please contact us to book an appointment on 1800 643 779.