The criminal injuries compensation scheme pays compensation to victims of crime in certain circumstances.

You may be eligible to claim compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 if you are a:

Compensation is available for injury including bodily harm, mental and nervous shock or pregnancy and incorporates pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Compensation is also available for:

Your eligibility for compensation may be affected if:

Compensation may be:

The amount you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries and losses you have suffered. The maximum compensation that may be awarded also depends on the date of the offence:

On or after 1 January 2004  $75,000
Between 1 July 1991 and 31 December 2003 $50,000
Between 1 January 1986 and 30 June 1991 $20,000
Between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1985 $15,000
Between 18 October 1976 and 31 December 1982 $7,500
Between 22 January 1971 and 17 October 1976 $2,000

The State can take action to recover the compensation paid from the offender.

Section 6 of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 provides a definition of loss which includes damage to personal items, medical treatment expenses, report expenses, loss of earnings, travel expenses (to obtain medical treatment), future treatment expenses and funeral expenses.

Personal items are defined as:

  • an item of clothing or footwear
  • spectacles or contact lenses used to correct eyesight
  • a hearing aid
  • artificial teeth
  • an artificial limb
  • a surgical appliance or implant used to correct or relieve a physical disability or medical condition
  • any other item prescribed by the regulations.

To make a claim for damaged personal items you must provide a receipt or quote for the cost of replacement for the item.

Stolen items or any other damaged items which do not fall within the categories of the above list are not compensable. This includes damage to a motor vehicle, mobile phone, jewellery and home contents.

Medical treatment expenses can be claimed by providing the invoice/receipt and Medicare/private health insurance rebate documentation. Compensation may be awarded for 'gap' expenses only.

Report expenses can be claimed by providing the invoice and/or receipt.

Loss of earnings is able to be claimed for time off work, future incapacity to work or loss of scope of employment. The loss suffered must be as a result of your injuries sustained as a result of the incident and not for any other reason such as to attend court.

You will need to provide supporting documents to allow the Assessor to calculate your loss. Examples of supporting documents include payslips covering 6 weeks before the loss commenced and for the duration of the loss. In some instances, tax returns or a letter from your employer are useful.

If you received any Centrelink benefits, proceeds from an income protection insurance policy, sick leave, annual leave or other leave entitlements then you must also provide these details. Compensation is not available for reimbursement of sick or annual leave entitlements.

Your claim for loss of earnings also needs to be supported by either medical certificates or a report to establish the time off work, loss of future capacity or loss of scope of employment is as a result of the incident(s).

Travel expenses can be claimed for travel required to attend medical appointments. You must supply medical evidence to support the dates you are claiming you attended for treatment such as a report or invoices from the medical centre/hospital you attended. Compensation is not available for travel expenses to and from court or your lawyer (if you engage one).

Future treatment expenses can be claimed by providing a report and quote from the health professional who is recommending the treatment.

Funeral expenses can be claimed by providing the invoice from the funeral provider. The assessor must take into consideration the assets of the deceased. If there are sufficient funds in the estate of the deceased to cover the funeral expenses or funds have been raised from another source specifically for funeral expenses (such as 'go fund me') then this is an avenue that must be taken first. You may also be eligible for payment of the funeral through the Funeral Payment Scheme.

In addition to these losses, if you are awarded compensation there will be a component for your injuries which includes, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. When assessing your claim for injury, the Assessor takes account of your victim impact statement and medical records so it is important you provide these supporting documents in full detail.

Last updated: 29-Sep-2020

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