Time taken to determine applications for assistance
The time taken to finalise an application for financial assistance will vary between applications. In determining an application, the Tribunal is required by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 and procedural fairness to have regard to certain matters, which impact on the time taken to finalise an application.
Before finalising an application, a Tribunal member may determine that it is appropriate to await the outcome of a criminal investigation, trial or inquest; may request that further enquiries be made or that the alleged offender be notified of the application, or decide that they will wait for an injury to stabilise so that an accurate prognosis can be provided to the Tribunal. In applications for financial assistance by related victims of an act of violence, time may be required to identify and communicate with all potential related victims of a deceased primary victim to advise them of their possible right to apply to the Tribunal for financial assistance. It is also the Tribunal’s practice to await the readiness of all applications prior to finalising related victim matters.
After an application for financial assistance has been lodged, the applicant will be required to provide all documentation upon which they intend to rely in support of their claim. Applicants are automatically provided four months to provide this information; however, the Tribunal commonly receives requests from applicants and/or their legal representatives for further time for the filing of material. At times, the Tribunal receives no material in support of a claim. In these circumstances, an applicant will be provided with a number of opportunities for the material to be filed. If no response is subsequently received from the applicant, the claim may be struck out. Where requested, an application can be reinstated once an applicant has filed material in support of their claim.
Notification of decision
Once the Tribunal has made its decision, the applicant will be notified in writing.
It is important that the Tribunal is advised promptly of any change in postal details.