Published: 30 April 2020
Author: Sharon Barnes
Victims of crime assistance continues despite COVID crisis
If you are a victim of a crime you need to know that you can make an application for assistance, despite the restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19.
The Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal, many support groups, psychologists, and our own VOCAT team are still accepting applications in the wake of the Coronavirus.
While the Tribunal is no longer listing matters for a Hearing, they are accepting new applications.
Current applications are also still proceeding. All arrangements for initiating applications via electronic lodgement including email remain in place, even though over-the-counter applications are not accepted.
Vital funding continues to be awarded and interim awards are being made for urgent or necessary expenses such as security and counselling.
Many applications are finalising without a Hearing date and variations on finalised applications are still being applied for.
Our team continues to take new applications on behalf of clients over the phone. We are still lodging applications and proceeding with claims.
While face to face counselling is no longer feasible in the current Coronavirus circumstances, psychological counselling remains available via remote teleconferencing.
All funding awarded by the Tribunal is being paid by EFT so in some circumstances a separate form will need to be completed. That is funding to Applicants or directly to providers. All forms can be emailed to the Tribunal.
You should be advised also that support groups and the Victims Assistance Program are still working through the crisis.
Further information on lodging and processing applications for assistance as a victim of a crime can be found at:
Magistrate's Court of Victoria: Changes to operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Victims of Crime: Changes to the way the Magistrates’ Court operates
Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal: Chief Magistrate Practice Direction 4 of 2020
If you have any queries about starting a new Victims of Crime claim or the ongoing operation of VOCAT at this time, please call our office on 1800 641 743.