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Guide 9 - Matters Affecting the Quantum of the Award (Section 30)

Compensation for compensable injuries in payable in accordance with the schedule of compensable injuries (section 17). The maximum amount of statutory compensation payable to a single person in respect of an act of violence is $50,000 (section 19).
NOTE: In respect of applications lodged on and after 14 July 2000 the threshold has been increased to $7,500 (except in respect of claims by family victims, otherwise the threshold remains at $2,400).

If two or more compensable injuries are received by an eligible victims the full amount is paid for the most serious injury; 10% of the standard amount for the second most serious injury and 5% of the standard amount for the third most serious injury (clause 3 of schedule 1).

Section 19(a) provides for the deduction of $750 from awards less than $20,001. The section does not apply to family victims. This provision applies in respect of applications lodged on and after 7 April 1999.

Clause 4 of schedule 1 provides for a reduction of the standard amount if the act of violence results in acompensableinjury because of the aggravation acceleration exacerbation or deterioration of an existing condition.

Note the provision of section 11 and particularly section 11(2) and (3).

Section 30 provides for the making of no award or the reduction of an amount of compensable payable. Regard must be had to any amount that has been paid to an applicant or that the person is entitled to be paid or any amount that has been received or likely to be received.

When speaking about theVictims Compensation Bill 1996on 15 May 1996, the Attorney General said "The Government considers that victims compensation funds should not be applied to those situations where a victim does have recourse to some other avenue of compensation or partial compensation for their injury or financial loss".

Subsection 1 provides that regardmustbe had to the matters set out in clauses (a) to (e). There are a number of cases under the 1987 Act where the Tribunal and District Court on appeal have reduced or refused awards by reason of

(1) the failure of an applicant to report acts of violence to a police officer within a reasonable time;

(2) failure to provide reasonable assistance into the investigation or arrest or prosecution of any person by whom the act of violence was committed; and

(3) contributory behaviour (refer section 20 of 1987 Act).

The same approach has been taken under the 1996 legislation.

NOTE: As a result of amendments to the Act in May 2000 which commenced on 14 July 2000, a compensation assessor may reduce or refuse to make an award of compensation where the victim has failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the extent of any injury.

Cec Brahe
Chairperson, Victims Compensation Tribunal
25 July 2000