What You Need to Remember About Criminal Compensation in Australia
Criminal compensation in Australia refers to a program where a victim of a crime is compensated for their losses. An attorney can assist you if you've been victimized in any way; they can help understand the paperwork that needs to be filled out and explain the things for which you might be compensated. However, you might note a few facts about this program so you can ensure you know what is expected of you and if you're even eligible to participate in this program in the first place.
Save your receipts
If you need to pay funeral costs for someone else who has been the victim of a crime, or have suffered monetary loss because of property damage or theft, you need to save your receipts. You typically cannot be compensated for those losses if you don't have receipts or paperwork showing the cost of funerals, replacement for your property, insurance deductibles you needed to pay, and so forth. An attorney can note what receipts and paperwork you need and what might suffice, such as bank statements that show you charged certain items to a debit card.
There is a deadline
Typically you only have a few years from the date of the offense or the last offense to make your claim. You can file after this time period is up, but you need to provide a sufficient reason for being granted an extension. As an example, if you were in a hospital to receive treatment for injuries, you may be granted an extension. Again, an attorney can assist with filing the right paperwork and with advising if your reasons for a delay may be sufficient to file for an extension. Don't assume you won't get an extension but don't put off making your claim either, for the best possible outcome.
The person doesn't need to have been charged
Don't assume that you are only eligible for compensation if someone has been charged or convicted for an offense. Typically it is just your police report that is needed to show that you were the victim of a crime and for you to apply for compensation. When someone has been convicted of the offense, the State may try to collect compensation from them for the monies paid to their victims, but you are not involved in this process. Payments to victims come from the State alone. An attorney can explain how this works in greater detail, but don't assume you're eligible for compensation only after an arrest or conviction.
For more information, contact a lawyer, like one from Alexanders Lawyers, that specialises in criminal compensation.