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Financial assistance available and who can apply

Victim Assist Queensland gives access to financial assistance and support services to help victims of violent crime recover from an act of violence. This includes domestic and family violence.

We can only help victims of violence that happens in Queensland. If you have been a victim of violence in another country, state or territory, we can refer you to the relevant jurisdiction’s service.

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What financial assistance may be available

We provide financial assistance to eligible victims who have been injured by an act of violence in Queensland.

If your application is approved, we can help cover some or all of the costs associated with your recovery. These costs may include:

  • medical and counselling costs
  • travel costs to attend medical and counselling appointments
  • safety and security costs
  • replacement of clothing damaged during the crime
  • crime scene cleaning costs
  • loss of earnings (up to $20,000—special conditions apply)
  • other reasonable expenses to help recover from an injury
  • legal costs incurred in applying for assistance (up to $500—special conditions apply)
  • funeral costs (up to $8,000).

The total amount of assistance granted will vary depending on the victim’s individual circumstances. We follow the instructions set out in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009(PDF, 1008KB) and Director General Guidelines when assessing your application.

A primary victim may also be eligible to receive a special assistance payment of up to $10,000.

A related victim may be eligible to receive a distress payment of up to $10,000 as well as a dependency payment.

A primary victim may be granted up to $75,000. Other victims may be granted up to $50,000.

Who can apply

Many people can be impacted by a violent crime.

We offer support to 4 types of victim. Different types of victims can apply for different financial assistance.

  • Primary victim: someone who is directly injured as a result of the act of violence.
  • Witness secondary victim: someone who is injured because they saw or heard the act of violence.
  • Parent secondary victim: the parent or primary carer of a victim (who is under 18) injured as result of becoming aware of the act of violence. This may include the victim’s parents, carers, step-parents, co-parents, foster parents, kinship carer, or any other person responsible for the day-to-day care of the child. However, it does not include a person acting in place of a parent on a temporary or short-term basis.
  • Related victim: close family members and financial dependants of a person who has died as a direct result of the act of violence. This may include the person’s partner/spouse, child, brother/sister, or parent. A person who, under Aboriginal tradition or Torres Strait Island custom, is regarded as a close family member may also be considered.

We also offer funeral assistance to the person responsible for paying for the funeral of someone who died as a direct result of violence.

What crimes are considered

Financial assistance may be granted to a victim of an act of violence.

An act of violence could be:

  • physical assault (e.g. being hit, pushed, punched, restrained or choked)
  • any sexual offence
  • burglary with violence and/or robbery
  • stalking, kidnapping and deprivation of liberty
  • violence involving motor vehicles (e.g. dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm)
  • murder, manslaughter and attempted murder
  • domestic and family violence committed by an intimate partner, family member or informal carer.

What injuries are considered

To be eligible for financial assistance, we require evidence of an injury.

We can consider a broad range of injuries that are a direct result of the crime, which include:

  • physical injuries such as bruises, wounds, muscle damage, bone injuries, damage to teeth, or brain injuries
  • psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders and mood disorders
  • emotional injuries such as altered concentration, sleep disturbance, or fear and worry that impact a person’s ability to resume their normal life.

For victims of sexual offences or domestic and family violence, an injury may include other adverse impacts, such as:

  • a sense of violation or reduced self-worth
  • lost or reduced physical immunity or physical capacity
  • increased fear or feelings of insecurity
  • adverse impact on lawful sexual relations
  • adverse impact on feelings.

Ineligible persons

A person who is injured while committing or attempting to commit a crime of any kind will not be granted financial assistance.

This includes a person who commits, conspires to commit, or is currently being investigated for committing an act of violence or act of domestic and family violence against another person.

If you are concerned your actions or alleged actions may impact your application for financial assistance, contact us before you apply.

Reporting the crime

Report to police

Unless you are a special primary victim (see below) you must report the violence to police before you apply for financial assistance. You also need to provide information to help the police investigation as needed.

If for some reason you need to withdraw your complaint at a later date, ask the officer to document the reason for your withdrawal in their notes.

It is helpful to write down:

  • the station you reported to
  • the name of the officer you spoke to
  • your police reference number (QP number).

Police will usually write this down on a card for you.

There is a place to include this information on your application form.

You do not need to include copies of your statement or any other information you provided to police. We will request this information directly from them.

Once you have reported the crime you can apply straight away. You do not have to wait for police to finish their investigation.

Special primary victims

A victim is considered a special primary victim if they are:

  • a child (under 18)
  • a person with impaired capacity
  • a victim of a sexual offence or an act of domestic and family violence
  • a victim of an offence committed by a person in a position of power and/or trust over them
  • being threatened or intimidated by the person who committed the violence, or by someone else.

A special primary victim must still report the act of violence before applying for financial assistance, but you can either report to the police or to a:

  • doctor
  • psychologist
  • counsellor
  • domestic violence worker or service.

You need to talk to them about what happened to you, including when and where it happened, and how it has affected you so far.

Take note of who you spoke to, where they work, the date you spoke to them and their contact details. Tell them you are planning to apply for financial assistance and you would like to include their contact details on the application form.

Special primary victims are also encouraged to report violence to police if it is safe to do so.

If you have a reason to suspect a child in Queensland is currently experiencing harm, or is at risk of experiencing harm, you should contact Child Safety Services.

Reporting injuries or adverse impacts

If applying for financial assistance, you should speak to a health practitioner and ask them to assess your injuries and discuss your treatment options. A health practitioner can complete our medical certificate, or you can include copies of other medical records, such as a hospital discharge summary or a letter from a doctor with your application.

With your consent, we can request copies of medical documents from a range of sources, including:

  • Queensland Police Service
  • Queensland Ambulance Service
  • Child Safety Services
  • Queensland Health
  • Queensland Courts
  • registered health practitioners
  • counsellors
  • domestic and family violence services
  • sexual assault services.

If we need to collect further information about your injury, it may delay the assessment of your application.

Offender debt recovery

If you receive financial assistance and the offender is found guilty of the act of violence, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General will seek to recover the amount from them.

Your information, including your application, will be treated with care as required by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009, the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009. Your details will not be provided to an offender during this process.

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