Some victims may be able to claim compensation from the government’s Victims of Crime Fund. This includes close relatives of someone who has died as a result of a crime.
Compensation can be paid for:
- physical and psychological injury
- pain and suffering
- financial losses (eg loss of earnings, treatment costs).
State-funded compensation is not paid for property loss or damage.
Making a claim
To apply for compensation you will need to make a claim within 3 years of the offence.
You will also need to:
You will need to report the crime to police and help them with the investigation to be eligible for compensation.
If you don't report the incident or provide relevant information to the police or the prosecution, your claim may be rejected.
If you believe you had a good reason for not reporting the crime or cooperating, you should seek legal advice to see whether you are still eligible to make a claim.
You should see your doctor as soon as possible after the crime.
Your doctor's report of any physical or emotional injuries will be considered when assessing your claim.
It's important to keep any medical reports and receipts for expenses that resulted from the crime.
Most lawyers can give you some initial advice about a compensation claim without charging you - but make sure you check this before making the appointment.
A lawyer can talk to you about:
- whether your claim has a good chance of being accepted
- the sort of evidence you will need, like medical or police reports.
If your claim is accepted, the lawyer's fee will be paid by the government on top of the compensation paid to you.
Lawyers are only allowed to charge a fixed fee for these sorts of claims.
See our list of compensation lawyers who may be able to help you.
How much can I get?
The amount of compensation you can receive depends on:
- when the crime happened
- the injuries caused by the crime
- whether you cooperated with the police investigation and prosecution
- whether you contributed to the crime or injury
- whether you took reasonable steps to keep your loss to a minimum.
The maximum amount of compensation also depends on when the crime happened.
|Year of the crime||Maximum payout|
|1970 - 1974||$1000|
|1974 - 1978||$2000|
|1978 - 1987||$10,000|
|1987 - 1990||$20,000|
|1990 - 30 June 2015||$50,000|
|1 July 2015 - now||$100,000|
Grief and funeral claims
If there has been a homicide, the person who pays for the funeral can claim reimbursement up to a maximum of $14,000.
Grief compensation up to $20,000 can also be paid to:
- the spouse or a domestic partner of a homicide victim
- the parent of a homicide victim
- the child of a homicide victim.
Finalising a claim
The time taken to process a claim can vary and will depend on many factors.
If the offender is being prosecuted, you will usually have to wait for the criminal proceedings to finish before your claim can be settled.
It may not be possible to settle your claim until you know exactly what you need (eg what surgery is required, how many counselling sessions you need).
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, the Crown may approve an interim payment. This will only happen if the Crown has already accepted your claim.
If the victim is under the age of 18, the claim may not be finalised until the victim turns 18. This is to ensure that the full impact of the crime is taken into account.
Does the offender have to know?
If an offender is convicted, they may be told if a claim for compensation is made.
This is because the South Australian Government may seek to recover any compensation owed to you.
They are not provided with your details, like your address.
If you are concerned about the offender being notified, you should discuss this with your lawyer.