The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (the Act) provides that an Application for Assistance must be made within two years after the violent crime, in the case of an application by a related victim or a person who has incurred funeral expenses, within two years after the death of the primary victim. This time limit does NOT apply to applications of physical or sexual abuse where the applicant was under the age of 18 at the time of the offence.
The Tribunal may accept an Application for Assistance made out of time if it is satisfied (in the circumstances) that the application should be allowed. In determining whether to accept the application, the Tribunal may have regard to a range of considerations, including the age of the applicant at the time of the alleged act of violence; whether the applicant is intellectually disabled or mentally ill; or whether the person who committed/is alleged to have committed the act of violence was in a position of power, influence or trust in relation to the applicant.
If an Application for Assistance is lodged more than two years after the date of the alleged crime or death of the primary victim the applicant will be required to provide the reasons for the delayed application for consideration by the Tribunal. This is incorporated in the Tribunal's Application for Assistance form.
A person may lodge an application with the Tribunal in respect of an alleged act of violence that occurred before 1 July 1997 (the date the Act came into operation), provided that they had not made a prior application (in respect of the same act of violence) under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1983 or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1972.