Out of time applications – can clients still apply?

Under section 29(1) of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic), a VOCAT application must be made within two years of the act of violence occurring or, in the case of a related victim, the death of the primary victim.

However, there are circumstances in which the Tribunal will consider an application even though it is out of time. One key exemption from this two year time limit is where the client is a victim of physical or sexual abuse that occurred when they were under the age of 18 years.

In other situations, the Tribunal considers the following factors to determine whether it will accept an application made out of time:

  • The age of the applicant at the time of the act of violence;
  • Whether the applicant is disabled or mentally ill;
  • Whether the alleged offender was in a position of power, influence or trust in relation to the applicant;
  • The physical or psychological effect of the act of violence on the applicant;
  • Whether the delay threatens the capacity of the Tribunal to make a fair decision; and
  • All other circumstances it considers relevant.

If you believe a client is ‘out of time’ to make their VOCAT application, please still consider referring them to us for a confidential discussion. It is a hurdle that can be easily navigated in the right circumstances with the support of our team.


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