Belgium has a crime victim compensation program to provide financial assistance for victims of criminal violence.
Police report. Yes.
Filing period. A claim for financial assistance must be submitted within 3 years of a final court ruling. In the absence of a ruling, claims must be filed within 3 years of the case having been closed by Belgian investigative authorities. A victim needing additional assistance (aide complémentaire/aanvullende hulp) may apply within 10 years after the initial financial aid has been paid.
Foreign citizen eligibility. Foreign nationals are eligible to apply for compensation if they were lawfully present in Belgium at the time of the crime (e.g., legal visitors).
Victims of trafficking in human beings. These individuals are eligible under certain circumstances (effective January 1, 2004).
Application forms are available from the Commission pour l'aide aux victimes d'actes intentionnels de violence (the Commission). Victims must file a police report as well as a claim with the Commission. Applicants can obtain assistance in filing their claim from the Ministry of Justice’s Service d’Accueil des Victimes (Victims’ Assistance Office).
Benefits and Award Limits
Financial assistance is limited to damage claims exceeding EUR375. For claims filed after January 1, 2004, the minimum amount is EUR500. The maximum financial assistance that may be granted to a victim or his or her family member is EUR62.000,00.
Legal expenses. Limited to EUR4.000,00 (effective January 1, 2004).
Material damages. Clothes, transportation expenses, etc., not to exceed EUR1.250,00.
Funeral expenses. Not to exceed EUR2.000,00.
Emergency awards. Effective January 1, 2004, there is no limit on emergency assistance for emergency medical expenses. For other expenses, the maximum is EUR15.000,00.
Funding sources. The program is funded through fines imposed on convicted offenders.
Service Publique Federal Justice, Federal