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Factors that may affect eligibility

Eligibility for victims support is affected by factors such as the time taken to lodge an application and other criteria specifically addressed in the legislation.

Persons not eligible for support

The Act contains specific criteria that may exclude eligibility for victims support in certain circumstances. 

  • A person is not eligible to receive victims support in respect of an act of violence if:
  • The person has been paid, or is entitled to be paid compensation awarded by a court, in respect of the act of violence. Victims Services will take the specific decision of the Court into account when considering ineligibility under this section.
  • If that act took the form of, or the injury arose as a consequence of, a motor vehicle accident within the meaning of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW). This can include intentional acts involving the use of motor vehicle as a weapon. A limited exception may be available for counselling of a family victim.
  • The act occurred while the person was engaged in behaviour constituting an offence.
  • Subject to the exceptions below, the act of violence occurred while the person was imprisoned as a convicted inmate within the meaning of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 (NSW) 

  • The exceptions to the ineligibility of convicted inmates are:

    • The person was imprisoned only because of the person's failure to pay a pecuniary penalty.

    • Special circumstances are evident that justify an exception being made (such as the inmate being seriously and permanently injured).

Other circumstances in which approval of victims support to an otherwise eligible applicant can be adversely affected can also include matters under section 44 of the Act. Under this section, support can be reduced or not approved as a result of:

(a)  any behaviour (including past criminal activity), condition, attitude or disposition of the primary victim concerned that directly or indirectly contributed to the injury or death sustained by the victim,

(b)  whether the victim participated in the commission of the act of violence, encouraged another person to commit the act of violence or otherwise gave assistance to any person by whom the act of violence was committed,

(c)  whether the victim has failed to provide reasonable assistance to any person or body duly engaged in the investigation of the act of violence or in the arrest or prosecution of any person by whom the act of violence was committed or alleged to have been committed,

(d)  whether the victim failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the extent of the injury sustained by the victim, such as seeking appropriate medical advice or treatment, as soon as practicable after the act of violence was committed,

(e)  such other matters as the Commissioner considers relevant.