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Reparation of the consequences of a crime

You are a victim of a crime. This may have financial but also, in particular, physical and/or mental consequences for you.

Generally, everyone who has been victim of a crime may claim reparation in the form of compensation or, possibly, damages for pain and suffering from the offender. The person responsible for the damage is often unable to make these payments due to a lack of assets and income. Private insurances and social assistance do not cover this claim at all or only partly. Frequently, it is impossible to determine the person responsible for the damage.

In case of financial problems, please contact general facilities like social welfare offices or charitable organizations or specialized organizations for the victims of crimes which are listed under this menu item.

Hardship benefits for victims of extremist attacks

If you as a German citizen or as a foreigner with a residence permit have suffered or witnessed an extremist attack, you may obtain compensation from the Federal Office of Justice. Extremist attacks particularly comprise bodily injury motivated by right-wing extremism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, islamism or left-wing extremism, but may also include cases of massive threat or insults. On request, the Federal Office of Justice will decide - at its own discretion and on a case-by-case basis - on compensations of this type, which may be paid for bodily injuries, health impairments as well as insults like defamation. For the request form and points of contact, refer to this menu item.

Compensation for victims of crimes of violence

In accordance with the Act on compensation for victims of violent crime (Crime Victims Compensation Act- Gesetz für die Entschädigung für Opfer von Gewalttaten – OEG), you may file an application for compensation if you have suffered a crime of violence.

According to this Act, you are entitled to government benefits for the mental and/or physical health damage caused by an act of violence. This is not to be confused with the compensation for pain under civil law, which you have to assert against the perpetrator.

What information do you have to provide on the act of violence?

Even if the responsible pension authority which is listed under this menu item shall investigate the facts of the case independently, it is frequently dependent on your cooperation. For example, if there are no witnesses to the crime and there is no other evidence to prove the offence, you will have to provide detailed information on the act of violence in your application. Please describe the act of violence as exactly as possible in order to avoid queries. For the download of the summary application, the application and the respective information sheet, refer to the following list of downloads.

If you have problems with some data, approximate data on the time and place of the offence will be sufficient at first (Example: Early 2013 to mid-2013 in the own apartment and at other locations"). If criminal proceedings have already been initiated and executed, the findings may be helpful for a more rapid examination of the facts of the case. In addition, you may be spared from having to repeat the information about the crime. Please indicate the reference number of the police and/or the public prosecution office in order to enable the pension authority to request the investigation file.

Do you need assistance with the filing of your application?

Possibly, you regard some pieces of information requested by the application form as burdensome. You may contact the pension authority and, of course, any other social security authority at any time if you need assistance with the filing of your application for this or any other reason. You can find the addresses of the pension authority responsible for you on the homepage of the Lower Saxony Land Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family Affairs (Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Soziales, Jugend und Familie) and under this menu item.

Even if criminal proceedings have been executed, the legal findings and evaluations of evidence of the court are not binding for a decision in accordance with the Crime Victims Compensation Act (OEG). That means that you may - under certain conditions - obtain a compensation even if the perpetrator has been acquitted in the criminal proceedings or could not be determined.

Points of contact