Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal

Eligibility Issues

In determining whether or not to make an award of financial assistance, or the amount of financial assistance to award, the Tribunal must have regard to:

  • whether the crime was reported to police within a reasonable time
  • the assistance provided by the applicant to police to investigate or prosecute the alleged crime
  • the conduct and attitude of the applicant prior to, during and after the crime
  • the character of the applicant, including past criminal activity
  • whether the offender will benefit from an award of financial assistance made to the applicant
  • any damages that the applicant has recovered from the offender
  • any compensation, assistance or payment that the applicant has received, or is entitled to receive, from other sources such as WorkCover, the Transport Accident Commission and insurance schemes.

 The Tribunal must refuse to make an award of assistance if satisfied that:

  • the violent crime was not reported to police within a reasonable time; or
  • the applicant failed to provide reasonable assistance to any person investigating the act of violence, in the arrest or prosecution of any person by whom the act of violence was allegedly committed unless the Tribunal considers that special circumstances exist.

In considering whether the act of violence was reported to the police within a reasonable time, the Tribunal may have regard to any matters that it considers relevant, including:

  • the age of the victim at the time of the occurrence of the violent crime;
  • whether the victim is intellectually disabled within the meaning of the Disability Act 2006 or mentally ill within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1986;
  • whether the person who committed, or is alleged to have committed, the violent crime was in a position of power, influence or trust in relation to the victim;
  • whether the victim was threatened or intimidated by the person who committed, or is alleged to have committed, the violent crime or any other person; or
  • the nature of the injury alleged to have been suffered by the victim. 

“Special circumstances” are not defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996; however the Tribunal has held such circumstances to mean “out of the common run” or “out of the ordinary.”  Whether “special circumstances” are found to exist will depend on the facts of the particular application. 

The Tribunal must also refuse to make an award if:

  • the application is made in collusion with the person who is alleged to have committed the violent crime; or
  • an earlier application for assistance has been made by the applicant arising from the same act of violence, whether or not it has been determined.

Other matters to which the Tribunal must have regard in the case of an application by a related victim:

  • The character and behaviour of the deceased primary victim;
  • Any obligations owed to the applicant and any other related victim applicants by the deceased primary victim;
  • The financial resources (including earning capacity) and financial needs of the applicant and any other related victim applicants;
  • If the related victim is a close family member of, or had an intimate personal relationship with, the deceased primary victim, the nature of the relationship between them; and
  • Any other circumstances that the Tribunal considers relevant.

© Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal, State Government of Victoria

Source URL: https://www.vocat.vic.gov.au/determining-application/eligibility-issues
Last Reviewed 26 Sep 2016