Was there an Injury?
In order for the Tribunal to award financial assistance, it must be satisfied that the applicant has suffered an injury. The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 defines injury as:
- actual physical bodily harm (e.g. physical injury); or
- mental illness or disorder or an exacerbation of a mental illness or disorder, whether or not flowing from nervous shock (e.g. psychological injury); or
- pregnancy; or
- any combination of these matters arising from an act of violence.
If in respect of an application under the Act by a primary or a secondary victim the Tribunal is satisfied on medical or psychological evidence that treatment or counselling is required as a result of trauma associated with the act of violence, the person concerned is deemed for the purpose of the Act to have suffered an injury.
After an application for financial assistance has been lodged, a registrar will request the applicant to file all documentation upon which they intend to rely in support of their application.
If a person is applying for financial assistance to assist them in their recovery from a physical injury, they will be required to provide a report(s) to the Tribunal from the health professional(s) who has provided treatment to them, demonstrating that the injury they have sustained is a direct result of the alleged crime that is the subject of their application for assistance.
If a person is applying for financial assistance to assist them in their recovery from a psychological injury, they will be required to submit a report from a psychologist, psychiatrist or other medical practitioner regarding that injury.
A person making an application for assistance as a related victim is not required to prove that they sustained an injury in order to be eligible for an award for the distress experienced by them as a result of the loss of a loved one.