Changes to Queensland Government special assistance payments

The Queensland Government has amended the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 (VOCA Act) to increase special assistance payments and the maximum financial assistance available to victims through Victim Assist Queensland.

These changes came into effect on 8 December 2023.

What’s Changing?

The VOCA Act will be amended to:

  • increase the amount of financial assistance available to victims;
  • increase distress payments and the maximum amount available for funeral expenses;
  • increase special assistance payments; and
  • re-categorise domestic violence as a Category B act of violence.

Increases to Special Assistance payments for primary victims:

  • Category A special assistance – from $10,000 to $15,000
  • Category B special assistance – from $3,500 to $9,000
  • Category C special assistance – from $2,000 to $6,000
  • Category D special assistance – from $1,000 to $3,000.

Domestic and family violence has been re-categorised from a Category D act of violence to a Category B act of violence.Increases to distress payments and funeral expenses:

  • Distress payments to related victims – from $10,000 to $15,000
  • Funeral expenses – from $8,000 to $15,000.

Not all applications will be eligible for the new financial assistance limits

It does not matter when the application was submitted, only the date the decision is made.

For example:

  • If the application is decided on or after 8 December 2023, the new financial assistance limits will apply.
  • If the application was decided before 8 December 2023, the new financial assistance limits will not apply.

Victim Assist is unable to amend the lump sum payment for applications decided before the legislative changes came into effect.

For more information, visit the Queensland Government website.