Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (review)
VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996.
This page provides general information and shouldn't be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you're unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.
Cases we can hear
Unless a judicial registrar or tribunal officer, as a delegate of the VOCAT, made the decision, you may be able to apply to VCAT for a review of a final decision if you applied to the VOCAT for assistance and are not satisfied with their decision:
- refusing to make an award of assistance on an application under Division 2 of Part 3 of the Act
- determining the amount of assistance on an application under Division 2 of Part 3 of the Act
- refusing to vary an award under section 60 of the Act
- determining the amount of assistance on an application for variation under section 60 of the Act
- determining under section 62(2) that a person is required to make a refund, or determining the amount of that refund.
Cases we cannot hear
You cannot apply to VCAT for a review of an interim decision of the VOCAT. The decision must be a final decision.
You cannot apply to VCAT if a judicial registrar made the final decision. You must apply to the VOCAT for a review.
Cases we can't help with
We can’t accept:
- some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation
- cases heard under federal law instead of Victorian law.
Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications
Section 59 of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996
Documents you need to apply
If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.
You must make your application within 28 days of the later of these events:
- the decision being made
- if you requested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, the statement of reasons is given to you or you are informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.
You may be able to apply for an extension to this time limit.
What can VCAT order?
Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:
- affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
- vary the decision
- set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
- set aside the decision and send back the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker giving directions or recommendations
- invite the decision maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.
We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.
We can't give you legal advice. This means we can't tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.
Seek legal help if you're unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You don't need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you want to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.
Find legal services that may be able to assist you.
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public.
VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.