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Compensation

Changes to legislation have increased the maximum amount of criminal compensation payable to victims of crime for offences committed in Western Australia after 1 January 2004 to $75,000.

The changes also allow for interim payments for treatment, reports or funeral costs.

Victims of crime can also be compensated for injuries, in accordance with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003. Compensation can be sought for an incident reported to the police regardless of whether a person has been identified, charged or convicted of the offence. An application can be lodged by:

  • a victim of an offence where they were injured and/or experienced financial loss as a result
  • a close relative of a person killed as the result of an offence.

Compensation can be awarded for suffering bodily harm, mental or nervous shock, or pregnancy, resulting from an offence. Compensation may cover:

  • pain and suffering
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • loss of income
  • medical expenses

other incidental expenses, such as travel for medical treatment or damage of clothing.

In case of death, a close relative can apply for funeral expenses and loss of financial support.

The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the extent of injuries and the losses suffered. The maximum award depends on the date the offence occurred:

22 January 1971 - 17 October 1976

$2,000

18 October 1976 - 31 December 1982

$7,500

1 January 1983 - 31 December 1985

$15,000

1 January 1986 - 30 June 1991

$20,000

1 July 1991 - 31 December 2003

$50,000

1 January 2004 - present

$75,000

An application must be lodged within three years from the date of the offence. The application should be made when the victim has reached the maximum stage of recovery from injuries, except where interim payments are sought for treatment, reports or funeral costs.

If the claim is more than three years old, applications may still be made, but an extension of time must be sought before the three years pass, and written reasons for the delay must be provided.

Services available

To apply for compensation telephone (08) 9425 3250, fax (08) 9425 3271 or write to the Chief Assessor of Criminal Injuries Compensation giving brief details of the date, place and circumstances of the offence. An application form detailing the information required will then be sent to you. This form is also available online in the downloads box below. You will also have to provide medical reports and other documents to support your application.

You can submit your own application or engage a solicitor to act on your behalf. If you engage a solicitor, the assessor cannot reimburse the legal costs incurred. There is no fee for lodging your application.

In the majority of cases, applications are dealt with by an assessor from the information provided by you. The assessor may also require you to attend a hearing, which will be conducted in private and as informally as possible. The offender will, in most cases, be given notice of the application and may be provided with copies of documents in support of your claim.

Your application is kept confidential, however, copies of decisions made by the assessors are available to the news media. In special cases, the assessors can order that names of people awarded compensation are not made public. This is usually the case for awards involving sexual offences or juvenile offenders.

Action may be taken to recover the money from the offender. However, you will not be involved in these proceedings.

The Office of Criminal Injuries Compensation cannot give legal advice. However Community Legal Centres may be able to assist.

Appeals

If you disagree with the assessor's decision, you can lodge an appeal in the District Court within 21 days from the date of the assessor's decision. You must also serve copies of the notice of appeal on:

  • the Chief Assessor, Criminal Injuries Compensation
  • the Director General, Department of the Attorney General
  • the offender, if a person was convicted of the offence. The offender may also appeal.

Application form

Application forms can be downloaded below.

Before completing the application form, please see the guidelines also available below.

When the form has been completed, it needs to be signed and sent to:

Chief Assessor
Criminal Injuries Compensation
GPO Box F317
PERTH WA 6841

Please ensure all documentation required is completed and attached. It is a good idea to keep copies of the documents you submit with your application.

If you require information provided to WA Police, refer to the WA Police Information Sheet.

Last Updated: 19-Dec-2011

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