Victims Compensation


Unfortunately in our modern society crime is likely to affect you at some point in your lifetime.

Recently, there have been large scale changes to the Victims Support Scheme administered by Victims Services. The old compensation scheme was not meeting the needs of victims at the right time. It was complex, time-consuming, lengthy and costly. Victims were not adequately supported through the process, dealing with multiple contact points and having to tell their story multiple times.

Under the current scheme, a victim of crime is anyone who has been injured as a direct result of an act of violence that occurred in the state of New South Wales.  Such a person is known as a “primary victim”.

Injuries eligible for support can include both physical and emotional injuries. Some examples of acts of violence for which victim’s compensation is available include physical assaults, sexual assaults, robbery, domestic violence and homicide.

Under the new scheme, there are four types of assistance available to primary victims of crime:

  1. Counselling
  2. Financial assistance for immediate needs
  3. Financial assistance for economic loss
  4. Recognition payment

Parents, step-parents or guardians caring for a child who is the primary victim (and who was under the age of 18 at the time of the act of violence) can apply for financial support.

Individuals who are injured as a result of witnessing an action of violence are able to apply for counselling support.

You may also be eligible for support if you were injured as a direct result of preventing someone from committing an act of violence, helping or rescuing someone against whom an act of violence is being committed or trying to arrest someone who is committing an act of violence.

Counselling

Victims of crime may be entitled to up to 22 hours of counselling.  The Approved Counselling Scheme provides free counselling to help address the trauma and psychological impact of the incident.

Financial Assistance

Primary victims are eligible to apply for support in relation to expenses that are necessary and urgently needed to secure their safety, health or wellbeing.  The expenses or treatments must be as a direct result of the act of violence and are available up to $5000.

Financial Assistance for Economic Loss

Financial assistance is available to primary victims and parents, step-parents or guardians of a child primary victim.  It is available to recover medical expenses (not covered under immediate needs); expenses associated with criminal or coronial proceedings related to the act of violence, loss of earnings up to $20,000 (calculated at a prescribed rate) and up to $5,000 for out of pocket expenses.

The maximum amount of financial assistance payable is $30,000 and must be considered as a direct result of the act of violence.

Recognition Payments

This payment serves to acknowledge and recognize the violent crime committed.  The payment may be made for the type of offence and ranges from $1500 to $10,000.

Time Limits

Time limits apply to the filing of claims for victim assistance.  Claims for financial assistance for immediate needs and/or financial assistance for economic loss need to be lodge no later than two years from the incident, or where the act of violence occurred whilst a child, within two years of turning 18.  There is no time limit for victims of sexual assault to make claims with respect to out-of-pocket or justice-related expenses if they were a child at the time of the incident(s).

Claims for recognition payments need to be lodge no later than two years from the incident, or where the act of violence occurred whilst a child, within two years of turning 18 years of age.  Claims for domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse must be lodged within 10 years of within 10 years of the child turning 18.  There is no time limit for victims of sexual assault if they were a child at the time the incident(s) occurred.

Contact our office for information as to whether you qualify to make an application for Victims Support.  Our team has extensive experience in criminal matters and can advice you of your rights.

For enquiries, please contact our office on admin@owplaw.com.au.

Provisional Order for Restitution

Restitution Order Made Under the Victims Rights and Support Act 2013

If a Court has found you guilty of an offence involving violence that has resulted in a person being injured, you may be liable to pay restitution. Victims Services may request you pay restitution to them if the victim of the crime you were convicted of has received an award.  A Provisional Order for Restitution is the first step in those proceedings.

Provisional Order for Restitution

If a provisional order is made against you, Victims Services will send you a Provisional Order for Restitution. This will include documents such as explanatory papers, details of the date that compensation was awarded to the victim, the amount paid and the facts upon which the decision to pay compensation to the victim was made.

If you wish to object to the Order, you should ensure that you lodge a Notice of Objection to a Provisional Order for Restitution within 28 days. Failure to do so may result in the Provisional Order being confirmed as a Judgment Debt enforceable against you.  Your objection must comply with the rules and identify the relevant grounds of your objection.

Do I need legal representation?

You can represent yourself, however the applicable rules can be confusing if you do not understand the law. By not completing your objection in line with the appropriate rules and applicable law you may lessen your chances of having your objection determined in your favour.

The team at O’Brien Winter Partners have extensive experience in all facets of criminal defence work. We have experience in objecting to the Provisional Order and preventing a Final Order being made in the original amount sought at a Tribunal hearing.

Our team will ensure that the correct information is set out in the Notice of Objection and prepare your case for a Restitution Hearing in the event that a negotiated outcome cannot be achieved to the satisfaction of all parties. We have a 99% success rate in achieving substantial reductions to the original amount sought through negotiations with Victims Services. We have achieved reductions as much as 90% from the original amount sought for our clients.

If you cannot afford to pay the amount of restitution sought we will explain to you the options available for making payment of any Final Order – including interest free monthly payments or even deductions from Centrelink if you are unemployed.

We are in Newcastle but the Tribunal is at Paramatta

The Tribunal sits at Parramatta in Sydney only.

With O’Brien Winter Partners being in Newcastle, this means you can meet with us locally to discuss your matter in person without the need to travel to Sydney to speak to a solicitor. If we need to travel to Parramatta to negotiate your matter we are prepared to do so.

Contact Us

Contact O’Brien Winter Partners, one of the most experienced Criminal Law firms in Newcastle, for advice in these matters.

For enquiries, please contact our office on admin@owplaw.com.au.

Contact Us
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Testimonials

  • “Good afternoon Chris and Drew

    I would like to say a big thank you to both of you for your help with my recent court case.

    Your support and knowledge is very much appreciated and you both made a scary situation less stressful!!

    As you both know, I require my licence for daily life and would really struggle without it, so thank you both for your assistance in helping me get the result I needed and keep it.

    I can now put this experience behind me and move on with life.

    I wish you all well and once again, thank you!!”

    Anonymous

  • “I have to say that O’Brien Winter Partners, from Damien and Rose to Front Desk and reception and  yourself Kaylah.

    I have used many Solicitors over the years and you guys are the best I have ever used.

    Your guidance and information and expertise is second to none.

    As soon as you walk in that front door it’s nothing but friendly happy staff.

    A credit to you all I would use any other company ever again other than O’Brien Winter Partners.

    I will recommend you guys to everyone I know.”

    Dom

     

  • “Hi Chris,

    I just wanted to say THANKS again for representing me.

    I feel very grateful for everything you did, from taking the time to talk to me, explaining what was going on at each stage, and, of course, for presenting my case before the Magistrate.

    I am sure that your open & honest approach, & quick thinking when required, can only prove to be of benefit to anyone faced with similar circumstances & that you will obtain the best possible result.

    I can highly recommend you & your services to anyone that is faced with a similar situation.

    Once again, I sincerely thank you for your professionalism and kindness and leave this experience behind me. Cheer.”

    Anonymous

  • “Thank you Kristy for assisting. We are happy with your service and the outcome and will recommend you to other people in the future.”

    Anonymous

  • “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entire OWP team for the outstanding professional representation, support and advice provided to me during the course of my legal matter.  I was kept informed every step of the way with the entire process.

    On behalf of myself and my family, I want to especially thank Chris O’Brien for his outstanding efforts and support, leading to a successful outcome, for which we are all eternally grateful.  To Mr Hussey, Mr Kavanagh, Veronica and Kaylah I also thank you very much for your assistance.”

    Anonymous

  • “Hi Kaylah, Veronica and Chris

    Many thanks for getting a positive outcome.

    I really do wish to thank you all for the responsive, caring and professional support you have provided over the past 9 months.”

    Anonymous

  • “Thank you to all that had a hand in my matter, this has been hanging over my head for a number of years and I’m over the moon with the outcome of Total Revoke.

    A big thanks to Kristy and her team for their professional and prompt response and action in regards to my matter.

    Thank you to all

    You have no idea how much this decision has made me feel.”

    Anonymous

  • Thank you David, Damien and Co, the experience of purchasing and now selling a property has been stress free with your excellent knowledge and skills. Thanks again.

    – Paul Baran

  • “Dear Kristy, I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate the wonderful job you did in representing my son in court today. The outcome was better than I dared dream and he now has a good chance for a good future thanks to your efforts. Thank you from the both of us from the bottom of our hearts”.
    Anonymous

  • “Hi Chris. Thank you for Brad. I find the whole court experience extremely stressful and he made it very easy, well, as easy as it can be. He was kind and easy to speak with and explained all in nice simple terms for me. Hopefully this is the end of my court appearances but, if not, I know where to get help. Thanks again.”
    Anonymous

     

  • “Chris, for your knowledgeable advice and the impressive Kristy for being our gun speaker. Well Done. Thank you both.”
    Ross

  • “Mr Gabb defended me on a criminal matter over several months in 2014.  The advice provided was sound, professional and ‘to the point’. In his judgement, the Magistrate made it clear that the positive outcome came as a result of the rational arguments provided by Mr Gabb.”

    Anonymous

     

  • “I was very happy with the level of services from your office. I am also grateful for the excellent advice and representation”

    Anonymous

  • “Hi David, Chris  and staff.
    Thank you so much for your HELP with this matter. I can not thank you all enough at this stage in my life.
    You all should be so proud of your work there and the manner in how you go well beyond the contract”
    Anonymous

  • I would like to take this opportunity to express how pleased I am with the outcome of my court case that Bradley Gabb defended me in.

    I first met Bradley at the Traffic Offender program where I approached him and asked about his services and how he could help. He then proceeded to explain my situation and the possible outcomes for me and as to why using a lawyer as opposed to representing yourself in court is the best possible course of action, not to gain business for himself and company but to give me the best advantage possible.

    Bradley, using his past careers and sound knowledge of the law definitely helped me on the day to obtain the best possible outcome. Throughout the entire process Bradley was very informative and kind, explaining each step and the consequences of each possible charge I could face. The time that I spent with him as he got to know me as best as he could, made me feel as though he truly did care about the outcome and how it could affect me. This Time and care was obvious as he defended extremely well and made me feel at ease.

    I could not be more thankful for his efforts and would have no hesitation at all in referring his services to anyone else in any matter, I guarantee you will not be disappointed

    – Sam

  • Hi Brad & Chris, I just wanted to thank you once again for your services and representation of my case. Brad, you did an absolutely outstanding job in Court and I am very grateful for the speed at which you grasped my history and articulated my defence before the Magistrate. I will certainly recommend your office should the unfortunate situation occur to any friends and colleagues.

    – Anonymous

  • “The outcome yesterday- for me- was a good one. I wanted to thank you all for your assistance and patience. A great big ‘Thank You’ to Chris O’Brien for his patience and understanding.”

    Anonymous

  • “David and Damien, I feel like you are part of the Family. You have made our Transition to our New Home so much easier. Your way of doing things at O’Brien Winter Partners is Professional ,Courteous and Reasonable in Price , I will Definitely be Recommending You to ALL My Friends”.
    Nina & Bob

  • Damien and David, I would just like to thank-you very much for the excellent work you have done getting us to settlement earlier today. I would particularly like to acknowledge David for the many hours work he put in (sometimes late on a Friday evening), his professionalism, and attention to detail he displayed throughout the whole process. I will certainly be using your firm for any legal matters required in the future, and would not hesitate to recommend your services to both family and friends. Once again, I have been extremely satisfied and impressed with the work that your team there at OWP has done. Thanks again.

    – Peter

  • “Damien, Thank you very much for all your help. It’s been a pleasure working with you. I am sure we will see you in the future”

    Tony

  • “After dealing with law firms for the last 20 years, we have never come across anyone who offers such a high standard of customer service and will certainly be recommending O’Brien Winter Partners to everyone we know”.

    Marilyn