The Violent Offences Compensation Fund gives financial compensation to people who have become a victim of a violent crime resulting in serious psychological or physical injuries.
By compensating the damages suffered, the Compensation Fund acknowledges that the victims have been wronged. In this way, the Compensation fund contributes to restore confidence.
Are you a victim of a violent crime? Did you suffer injuries as a result? Or did a close relative of yours die as a result of an intentional violent crime? If so, then you can file an application for compensation with the Violent Offences Compensation Fund.
This is partial compensation for your injuries (pain and suffering) and for any financial damages you suffered, such as medical expenses or a loss of income due to incapacity for work.
In order to be entitled to compensation, you have to meet certain conditions: see below. An explanation of the conditions is added to the questions. If you are having doubts or further questions, please call the Compensation Fund: (070) 414 2000.
Conditions for obtaining compensation
1) Are you a victim of an intentional violent crime?
An intentional violent crime is a crime in which intentional violence was used against you or in which you were threatened with violence. For example: robbery, assault or rape.
2) Do you have serious physical or psychological injuries?
You need to have incurred serious physical and/or psychological injuries as a result of the violent crime. According to the Compensation Fund, serious injuries are injuries with long-term or lasting medical effects.
Some examples are: a disfiguring facial scar, fracture of an arm or leg, the loss of an eye or a post-traumatic stress disorder. Check the list of injuries for an overview of the injuries that are considered to be serious by the Compensation Fund.
3) Was the violent crime committed in the Netherlands?
The violent crime must have been committed in the Netherlands. Your nationality (or that of your close relative) is not relevant. You also do not have to live in the Netherlands to be able to file an application. For further information, see our policy manual.
Were you a victim of a violent crime in one of the EU-countries after 1 January 2006? If so, then you can file an application with the Dutch Compensation Fund for a payment from the compensation fund in the country in which you became a victim.
4) Did you or your close relative take part in the violent crime?
When you have taken part in the violent crimeit may have consequences for your application. If, for instance, you were the first to use violence, you have challenged somebody or if you took part in criminal activities, then you yourself are (partly) to blame for the damage resulting from the violent crime. In these cases you may not get (full) compensation.
However, if you were involved in an act of violence because you were helping a fellow citizen who was being assaulted, then you are not likely to be held accountable.
If you file an application as a surviving relative, your relative must not have contributed to the violent crime. If it is established that your relative contributed to the violent crime, you will be denied compensation.
5) Were the damages compensated in any other way?
The Compensation Fundwill pay compensation if your damages were not compensated in any other way. Did you, for instance, receive compensation from the perpetrator or an insurance company? If so, then the Compensation Fund may deduct this amount from the payment.
If your damages were fully compensated, then the Compensation Fund, in principle, will not pay any compensation. You do not have to wait with filing the application until you know whether you get compensated by another party.
If you receive a payment from the Compensation Fund, and afterwards from the perpetrator, for instance, you must report this to the Compensation Fund. The Compensation Fund will then determine whether this payment must be settled with (part of) the payment you received from the Compensation Fund. For further information, see our policy manual.
6) Did you file the application within a period of ten years after the violent crime took place, or after death?
You must file your application within a period of ten years after the violent crime was committed, or after your relative died. It is possible that you are not able to file your application in this period of time. In that event, let us know the reason for the delay. We will then see if we can still handle your application.
It is not possible to file an application if the violent crime happened before 1 January 1973.
Information on the Compensation Fund
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take for the Compensation Fund to make the payment?
If you were awarded a one-time payment by the Compensation Fund, you will receive the amount of the onetime payment into your designated bank account within 30 working days after sending the positive decision.
How long does it take to process my application?
Currently, it will take about 26 weeks to process your application. This is dependent on the degree of complexity and completeness of your application. If your case is complicated or if some of the evidence is missing from your application, then it may take longer.
Is it possible to recover damages for a crime that was committed abroad?
You can only file an application when the violent act that you were a victim of was committed in the Netherlands. If you were the victim of a violent crime abroad (during your holiday, for instance) you can file an application in the country concerned. The Compensation Fund has a list of all European Compensation Funds and can help you file an application abroad.
Can I file an application if the criminal proceedings are still pending or have not started yet?
Indeed, you can. Even when the perpetrator is unknown and there will, consequently, be no criminal proceedings, you can file an application. It is not required that the perpetrator is convicted by a court. Even if the perpetrator is acquitted you can file an application. A conviction would, of course, make it easier to assess your application.
Can I apply for compensation if my injuries are of a psychological nature only?
Yes, you can also file an application if you are suffering from psychological injuries only. As is true for bodily harm: your psychological injuries must be serious. Examples of psychological injuries are: a psychological trauma, (agora)phobia or depression. To assess whether your injuries are serious, the Compensation Fund checks whether you are being treated for this.
In the event of sex crimes which are considered to be violent crimes, and armed robberies, in which you were held at knife and/or gun point, the Compensation Fund presumes that the victim suffered serious psychological damage. In these cases further investigation to the injuries is not necessary.
What will happen to my compensation payment if the damage has been compensated through other channels?
If you have been compensated for the entire amount, by the perpetrator for instance, then it is not possible to claim additional compensation from the Compensation Fund. If you have only been compensated for a part of the damages, however, you may still be entitled to a payment from the Compensation Fund.
You don’t have to wait with filing your application until you know which party – the perpetrator or the insurance company – will pay the compensation. You can, therefore, submit your application right away as long as you indicate whether you are trying to recover damages in other ways.
If you receive a payment from others, you have to report this to the Compensation Fund right away, both during the processing of your application and after.
My application is rejected - what can I do?
If you don’t agree with the decision, you can file a written notice of objection to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund Committee within six weeks.
In your objection you must list the points of objection, and the reason why you do not agree with the decision. If you fail to do so, the Committee will not be able to handle your objection.
To whom do you send your letter of objection?
Your letter of objection must be sent to:
Attn. afdeling Bezwaar
Postbus 71, 2501 CB Den Haag
How will your letter of objection be assessed?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund Committee will assess your letter of objection. Prior to this, an objection lawyer will usually get in touch with you about your notice of objection and the objection procedure. It is also possible that you will be invited to a hearing. You will then get the opportunity to give an oral explanation of your notice of objection and to answer any questions asked by the Committee.
At the hearing you will speak to a member of the committee. An objection lawyer from the compensation fund will take notes during the hearing. You are not obliged to come to the hearing.
When will my objection be decided on?
The committee will not make its decision straight after the hearing. This is usually done at the monthly committee meeting. During the telephone conversation or at the hearing we will inform you of the approximate date on which you can expect a decision on your objection.
Do you not agree to the decision on your objection?
In that case you can appeal to the court. You can lodge your appeal at the court in your place of residence. The court will assess your appeal and may invite you to a hearing.
If your appeal is successful, then the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund Committee will make a new decision. For this new decision the committee will take the court’s decision into consideration.
There are also various other options in the area of victim care that you could benefit from, such as meeting with fellow sufferers, or legal assistance.
Are you not sure about which organisation might be able to assist you? Then check out the site of Victim Information.
Do I have to inform the Inland Revenue of the amount I received from the Compensation Fund?
No, in principle the payment from the Compensation Fund is tax free because this compensation is not included in the ‘sources of income’ referred to in section 4 of the Income Tax Act. This applies to both the material and the immaterial compensation payments.
Does my one-time payment affect my social assistance benefit under the Work and Social Assistance Act?
It is a fact that payments from the Compensation Fund may be problematic for people who are on social assistance. The Compensation Fund holds the view that a payment from the Compensation Fund must not be deduct from the social assistance benefit. Taking that benefit into account would imply that a person who is on social assistance cannot obtain compensation for pain and suffering or financial loss.
A basic principle of the Work and Social Assistance Act is that a victim’s ‘financial means’ must be taken into account to determine the amount and the right to the social assistance benefit. For this reason, it is possible that the municipal authorities decide that a payment from the Compensation Fund should be deducted from the social assistance benefit.
Municipal authorities are known to handle this in different ways. In order to avoid a fine for not meeting the duty to inform (section 17, subsection 1, WWB) it is recommendable that a victim who has received a payment from the Compensation Fund should report this to the municipal authorities straightaway.