Related victims of a violent crime may be eligible for financial assistance for funeral expenses actually and reasonably incurred, or reasonably likely to be incurred, by the related victim as a direct result of the death of the primary victim. The Tribunal may also award financial assistance for the funeral expenses actually and reasonably incurred by a person (who is not a related victim) as a direct result of the death of a primary victim.
The amount of financial assistance the Tribunal will award for funeral expenses is deducted from the $100,000 maximum that may be awarded to all related victims of a deceased primary victim.
How to apply for financial assistance for funeral expenses
Applicants seeking financial assistance for funeral expenses will need to lodge an Application Online or file an Application for Assistance with the Tribunal. Information on how to lodge an Application for Assistance is contained under How to Apply.
Documentation required in support of a claim for funeral expenses
Applicants will need to provide a Statement of Claim form (unless making a Funeral Expenses only claim) which details the amount of financial assistance sought. This form should be accompanied by invoices, receipts or quotes for the funeral expense. This documentation should not be sent direct to the Tribunal by the funeral directors.
The Tribunal must be satisfied that a violent crime has occurred and that the applicant is eligible to receive the financial assistance before it will make an award of financial assistance for funeral expenses. VOCAT will generally rely on information provided by Victoria Police to satisfy itself that a violent crime has taken place and will also consider whether other entitlements through agencies such as TAC and WorkSafe have been exhausted.
Urgent financial assistance for funeral expenses
Financial assistance for funeral expenses may be awarded as an interim award of financial assistance (before the application for assistance is finalised) or on final determination. Applicants seeking an interim award of financial assistance for funeral expenses will need to make a request in writing to the Tribunal.
Reasonable funeral expenses
The Tribunal considers that the following items would be reasonably included in a burial or cremation service in accordance with the Chief Magistrate's Guideline No. 3 of 2021:
- professional funeral director service fees
- cemetery fees (grave and interment)
- memorialisation (simple identification plaque)
- miscellaneous (e.g., flowers, press notice, death certificate, clergy)
The Tribunal will not generally award financial assistance for catering; wakes; multiple vehicles; memorials such as a crypt, headstone or monument; mausoleums; interment and placement or scattering of ashes; thank you notes or similar; or burial or cremation fees outside the Commonwealth of Australia.
For information on what the Tribunal considers to be reasonable funeral expenses, refer to Guideline No.3 of 2021 – Financial Assistance for Funeral Expenses.