Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal applications, Bendigo & Woodend

JS Law can provide assistance with applications to the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) in Bendigo, Woodend and across the Macedon Ranges, including Castlemaine, Gisborne and Kyneton.

VOCAT is established by legislation to provide financial assistance to victims of violent crime committed in Victoria.

VOCAT assist victims to recover from a crime by providing financial assistance for expenses likely to be incurred as a direct result of the crime.

Applications for assistance can be made by completing the application form which can be found on the VOCAT website.

Time limits apply, therefore if you are considering making an application it is best not to delay seeking advice.

Urgent financial assistance

The Tribunal can make awards for urgent expenses prior to a final determination of an application. Examples of why the Tribunal may make an award is for counselling costs or funeral expenses.

The amount and nature of financial assistance that may be awarded to a victim of crime is limited by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996.

There are categories of victims and those categories are referred to as primary, secondary and related victims. The amount of financial assistance awarded to a victim of crime to assist in their recovery must be reasonable, and the expenses claimed must directly arise from the crime. Evidence of the expenses incurred or likely to be incurred must be provided.

Legal costs associated with a VOCAT application

There are no fees associated with filing an application and a lawyer cannot charge an applicant costs unless the Tribunal approves those costs.

Pursuant to section 48 of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 the costs of, and incidental to, all proceedings in the Tribunal are in the discretion of the Tribunal and it has full power to determine by whom, to whom and to what extent the costs are to be paid.

Where an Application for Assistance is successful, the reasonable legal costs incurred by the applicant will usually be paid by the Tribunal, directly to the applicant’s legal representative.

If you seek legal representation to make a VOCAT application contact JS Law to arrange an appointment.

Our family and criminal lawyers in Bendigo, Woodend and the Macedon Ranges provide professional, unbiased legal advice in a supporting and caring environment.