The components of assistance available under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 (Qld) (VOCA Act) differ according to victim type (see Table 1).

Funeral assistance of up to $8000 is available for a person who incurs funeral expenses for a primary victim who has died as a direct result of an act of violence.

Table 1: Financial assistance components
Type of Assistance Primary victim Secondary parent victim Secondary witness victim (more serious) Secondary witness victim (less serious) Related victim
Counselling expenses Y Y Y Y Y
Medical and dental expenses Y Y Y Y Y
Incidental travelling expenses Y Y Y Y Y
Report expenses Y Y Y Y Y
Loss of earnings Y exceptional circumstan-ces only exceptional circumstan-ces only N N
Damage to clothing Y N N N N
Reasonable other expenses due to
exceptional circumstances (e.g. home security upgrades for safety or relocation costs)
Special assistance payment Y N N N N
Payments a person may have received if the primary victim had not died N N N N Y
Distress payment N N N N Y
Funeral assistance N N N N Y
Legal costs to apply for assistance Y Y Y N Y

Interim assistance

A victim may claim interim assistance for urgent expenses they have incurred as a result of the act of violence. Referred to as interim assistance (ss 97–100 VOCA Act), a victim may claim up to $6000 of interim expenses prior to a final decision on the general application for assistance.

Where interim assistance is granted, the amount paid is deducted from the final grant of assistance payable to the victim. If the interim assistance exceeds the amount granted under the general application, or the application is refused, the victim must refund the amount granted.

Payment of financial assistance grants

Payments can be made to the victim, or to someone else for the benefit of the victim. Lump sum payments will be paid to the Public Trustee where the victim is a child and/or an adult with impaired capacity. Payments may also be made directly to a service provider on invoice, or to another party who has paid expenses on a victim’s behalf, if receipts are provided that clearly show that the outlays have been incurred by the other party (ss 93–95 VOCA Act).