Quick Exit

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my application take to process?

The time it takes to process your application depends on each individual application and how long it takes to get the information needed to make a decision. If you have applied for immediate needs assistance, an initial assessment will be made as quickly as possible.

You can help us process your application quickly by providing the information requested from you as soon as is practicable. If you would like to check on the progress of your application please call Victim Support ACT and ask to speak to the financial assistance section on 1800 822 272 or email us at fasvsact@act.gov.au.

What do I need to provide to support my application?

Before we reach a decision on your application, we might need more information about the offence, your circumstances, and the expenses you’re claiming. This could include copies of receipts or invoices, details of any other claims you have made, for example, workers compensation, details of any insurance claims or any civil court action you have taken or intend to take. It may also include medical records or information from another agency. If we need more information to process your application, we will let you know. In some circumstances we can help you collect this information.

How long from the date of the offence do I have to apply?

You have three years from the date of the offence to apply or three years from the time you turned 18 if you were a child at the time of the offence. If you do not apply within three years you can apply to the Victims of Crime Commissioner to extend the time depending on your reason for not applying within three years.  

Who can apply?

There are a few categories of people who can apply for financial assistance. They are primary victims of an offence, people who are related to homicide victims, people who pay for the funeral of a homicide victim and people who witness a homicide or are a witness in a homicide criminal process.

How much can I claim?

The amount that you are eligible to claim will depend on what category of payment you are applying for, what the injury was and what the offence was. Below is a table of maximum amounts based on the applicant type and the payments that you are eligible to claim.

Applicant Type

Maximum Amount

Eligible to claim

Primary Victim

$50,000

A recognition payment and economic loss/immediate needs of up to $50,000

Primary Victim of FV offences (non physical)

$10,000

Immediate needs and economic loss up to$10,000

*the maximum award includes the amounts listed as eligible to claim

In relation to a homicide

Applicant Type

Maximum Amount

Eligible to claim

Related Victims

$10,000 - $30,000

A recognition payment of $10,000 - $20,000 (not all related victims will be eligible for a recognition payment) and economic loss/immediate needs of up to $10,000

Homicide Witness

$10,000

Economic loss/immediate needs up to $10,000

Funeral assistance

$8,000

Expenses associated with a funeral for a homicide victim

*the maximum award includes the amounts listed as eligible to claim

What can I claim?

What you can claim will depend on what type of applicant you are and what injuries and expenses you have incurred. Examples of expenses that you may be eligible to claim are:

Immediate needs

  • cleaning the   scene of a homicide
  • measures for   personal security of a victim ($4000), for example changing locks, adding   security screens
  • relocation for   the personal security of a victim ($4000), for example hiring a removalist   van
  • emergency   medical costs and related services that would promote the victims recovery,   for example urgent dental work if you are unable to pay the cost upfront

Economic Loss

  • counselling   or other psychological support
  • expenses,   other than legal costs, incurred in making the application, for example if   you pay for the release of medical notes required for the application
  • medical   and dental
  • incidental   travel, for example if you pay to travel to and from a medical appointment
  • justice   related ($5000), for example travelling to attend a court proceeding when you   are not a witness
  • loss   of actual earnings, including those of a parent or carer ($30000)
  • reasonable   expenses incurred by a parent or carer of a primary victim
  • loss   of or damage to personal items, for example clothing that you were wearing at the time of an act of violence ($1500)
  • other   expenses in exceptional circumstances.

*Amounts in brackets are maximum caps that can be claimed for that expense.

What can't I claim?

Financial assistance is not available to cover the cost of property damage.

How do I know if something can be applied for as an immediate need?

To be considered immediate the payment of the expense must prevent further harm, promote your recovery or limit further threats to your safety. Payment as an immediate need for medical expenses is only for those that can show they do not have the financial ability to pay for the medical or related service.

How do recognition payments work?

Recognition payments are only for applicants of certain crimes who have reported to police and some related victims of homicide. Each offence comes under a table of payments. There is also a list of aggravating factors or circumstances of an offence that could make you eligible for increases to your recognition payment.

What if I can’t afford to pay the expenses that I have upfront?

The Victims of Crime Commissioner does have the option to pay providers of services directly if you do not have the financial ability to pay the expense.

What is an associated payment?

An associated payment is a payment that you get from another source that is intended to cover a cost that you might claim through the financial assistance scheme. Examples are:

  • Centrelink payments;
  • Workers compensation payments;
  • Insurance payments;
  • Medicare payments
  • Private health.

It is an offence under the Act to fail to tell The Victims of Crime Commissioner that you have received an associated payment within 28 days of receiving the payment. If you have received an associated payment or you are unsure if you have received an associated payment please contact the Financial Assistance Section at Victim Support ACT.  

In what circumstances would I be asked to repay the financial assistance I have been paid?

If you receive a payment of financial assistance and then receive an associated payment for the same expense, the Victims of Crime Commissioner will ask you to repay the financial assistance you were paid.  

In what circumstances will the Victims of Crime Commissioner try to recover money from the offender?

If the offender is convicted of the crime that you are applying in relation to, the Victims of Crime Commissioner will contact you before proceeding with recovery.We will give you the opportunity to tell us if there are any safety concerns if we do proceed with contacting the offender.We will consider this information prior to proceeding with recovery.

How often will the Victims of Crime Commissioner contact me about my application?

An assessor will contact you after we receive your application to discuss the process and any supporting documentation we will need you to provide. We will also contact you at any point where a decision is made about your application. We will mostly contact you through letters or emails throughout the application process but you can phone to talk with an assessor or email us if you need to.

If we are unable to get in contact with you for a period of six months we will send you a letter letting you know that your application will lapse if we don’t hear from you.

What if I want to add something to my application?

You can add or change your application up until the time we make a final decision about your application.

What if I receive an amount of financial assistance and then I continue to have further expenses?

If your circumstances change, you can apply to the Victims of Crime Commissioner to vary an amount for seven years after your application is finalised. Therefore if you continue to incur costs related to your injury, and it’s within the maximum amount you can claim, you can still apply for them.

Can I review any decisions made by the Victims of Crime Commissioner in relation to my application?

Yes, there are a number of decisions that are internally reviewable by the Victims of Crime Commissioner and externally reviewable by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. We will let you know about these decisions and we will send you information about how to ask for the review of a decision.

What do I do if I want to withdraw my application?

You can withdraw your application at anytime. You must withdraw your application in writing either to The Financial Assistance Scheme, Victim Support ACT, GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601 or by email to fasvsact@act.gov.au.

What happens if the offence occurred in a different State or Territory?

Each Australian State or Territory has their own financial assistance scheme. This scheme can only cover offences that occur in the Australian Capital Territory.

You can find details of other financial assistance schemes through these links: