If you’re a victim of a crime, it’s important that you realise that you’re entitled to a number of things thanks to victims compensation laws in Sydney and NSW. It works like workers compensation, or any other compensation law, all you need to do is speak to the right people.
The legal definition of a victim of crime is someone who suffers harm as a direct result of an act committed by a person in the course of committing a criminal offense. This harm may be physical, psychological, or psychiatric, and can also cover the damage, theft, or destruction of a person’s property. A person can also be a victim of crime if a family member dies due to someone committing a criminal offense. If you do fall under this definition, what does that mean you can expect in terms of compensation?
Recently, the victims compensation law in NSW was updated with the passing of the Victims Rights and Support Act 2013. Under this new act, if you are a victim of crime the sort of compensation you can receive includes:
- Counselling services for that act of violence
- Financial assistance for immediate needs that are the result of the act of violence (e.g. medical needs) up to a determined amount
- Financial assistance up to a determined amount to compensate for loss of income or some other economic loss due to the criminal act
- A recognition payment (this is a payment made to you by the person who harmed you) – this payment will depend on the crime committed (e.g. Robbery is $1,500)
When it comes to claiming for victims compensation you need to be aware of time limits. Generally, you need to claim within two years of the crime. However, the time limit for claims relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, or child abuse is 10 years. Of course, there are exemptions for crimes committed against children, and if you were a victim as a child your time limit only begins from the day you turn 18.
Victims compensation can, understandably, be a little confusing, but it is well worth your while to seek some form of compensation for your injuries after a criminal act has happened.