Understanding WA Government Criminal Injuries Compensation

I have been involved in many legal cases and AHPRA reports, but recently received a request for information on a client from the Government of WA Criminal Injuries Compensation (CIC) department about a client that attended our clinic 2 years prior. I had not heard of this department before and guess many others have likewise not heard, so I did some further investigation that I thought I would share. While this is a WA department, I am guessing there exist similar ones in other states and territories.

The WA Government Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme enables victims of crime to apply for compensation for injury or loss as a result of an offence or an alleged offence.

Persons are eligible to claim compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 if they are a:

  • victim of an offence and are injured and/or experience financial loss as a result of the injury
  • close relative of a person killed as a result of an offence, e.g. a spouse, defacto, parent, grandparent, step-parent, child, step-child, or grandchild, and experience financial loss as a result of that offence.

Where we come into the picture, is that the assigned A Criminal Injuries Compensation case assessor, will request records from all past treating health professionals to determine if any pre exisiting or related conditions were present before the injury. Also what types and amounts of treatment have been provided after the injury. In this regard you will receive a request for ALL documentation that you have on file in relation to the injured party, to be provided within 21 days. This means hand written, electronic, yours and other parties documents. Essentially if you have it, they want it.

Are you obliged to provide the said documentation? Basically yes. Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 they can request it and if not provided within the 21 days, you will need to meet with the assessor and provide good cause as to why you have not complied. If refusal continues, they will fine you $5000.00. If you are having trouble in the provided time frame, they will offer a short extension.

Will they understand my shorthand/medical terminology? In my discussion with the representative from the WA Criminal Injuries Compensation, I was assured that the assessors see medical reports on a regular basis and are confident in understanding notes, letters etc from physio, doctors and other medical professionals.

Will I receive remuneration for the time it took to compile the information provided? In short, probably not. Maybe a small amount (submit an invoice with the documents), but the assessor will look at the volume of material provided and as our reports are probably going to be no more than 10 pages and they deal in 100s of pages, they don't see that as significant time. I would suggest you have your admin team pull relevant documents, compile into a single document and have you scan over it to make sure it is all appropriate. Should only take 20 minutes and submit an appropriate invoice with the documentation.