The types of crimes that you can obtain compensation for are ‘Violent crimes’. Crimes that have resulted in permanent disablement, temporary and absolute unfitness for work lasting at least 30 days, or death; if the crime has caused considerable disruption to the standard of living and quality of life of the victim or, in the event of the victim’s death, of persons (close relatives) financially dependent on the victim or under the victim’s responsibility, and who have not received redress from the offender.
For example: Murder, Grievous Bodily Harm, Rape, Sexual Abuse of Minors, Domestic Violence or Serious Physical Injury resulting from a Robbery offence.
Yes, financial aid may be granted to close relatives who are financially dependent on or under the responsibility of the direct victim of violent crime who has died as direct result of the intentional act of violence.
Relatives who were entitled to maintenance from the victim before the victim’s death may be entitled to receive compensation: for instance, the spouse or former spouse, parents, children, siblings, aunts and uncles, stepfather/stepmother, in certain circumstances, and unmarried partners of either sex who have been living with the victim for more than two years in conditions similar to those of married couples.
The indirect victims (close relatives) of violent crimes can only receive compensation in the event of the direct victim’s death.
National or foreign victims who have suffered serious losses directly as a result of violent acts committed in Portuguese territory or on board Portuguese ships or aircraft may receive compensation, provided certain legal requirements are met.
a) Victims of crimes committed outside Portugal against Portuguese nationals or EU citizens habitually resident in Portugal:
Victims of violent crimes, including domestic violence, committed outside the national territory, whose habitual residence is situated in Portugal, may be entitled to financial compensation from the Portuguese State, provided they are not entitled to compensation from the State in whose territory the losses occurred. In this instance, the Commission for the Protection of Victims of Crimes (Comissão de Proteção às Vítimas de Crimes, CPVC) is responsible for verifying whether the claimant has the right to compensation in the State in whose territory the losses occurred.
b) Victims of crimes in another EU Member State, who are habitually resident in that Member State and who apply for the advance award of compensation from the Portuguese State:
If the compensation claimants who habitually reside in another EU Member State have applied to the competent authority of the State in which they habitually reside for an advance award of compensation from the Portuguese State, the CPVC may receive the claim forwarded by the competent authority of the claimant’s Member State of habitual residence and decide on the award of compensation, notifying that competent authority of that fact.
It is not mandatory to report the crime to the law enforcement agencies. However, the authorities can only know that a crime has occurred and launch an investigation if a complaint or report has been made.
If the victim is under the age of 16, they cannot submit the complaint alone. The complaint must be submitted by their legal representatives.
It is not necessary to await the outcome of police investigations or criminal proceedings before making a claim. The CPVC must be contacted within one year of the crime being committed.
It is not necessary to first seek compensation from the offender.
Even if no civil claim for compensation has been brought within the criminal proceedings or outside such proceedings, for reasons attributable to the applicant (for example, due to not having brought the claim for compensation to court or having withdrawn it), you may still qualify for compensation, although it will be reduced by half of the maximum amount of the advance that can be awarded by the State through the CPVC.
Even if the identity of the perpetrator of the violent acts is unknown or they cannot otherwise be charged and convicted, the victim is entitled to advance payment of compensation from the State through the CPVC.
In the application to be submitted to the CPVC requesting the award of advance compensation, documentation must be included to substantiate the facts claimed, namely a description of the harm suffered, unfitness for work, medical documents, etc.
Yes. As a rule, compensation must be claimed under the criminal proceedings. The victim must inform the police or Public Prosecutor’s Office by the end of the investigation stage that they intend to apply for compensation, for example when they go to submit a statement. When notification of the charge against the defendant is received, there is then a 20-day period in which to submit the claim.
If the victim applies to the CPVC for compensation or an advance on compensation, they must do so within one year of the crime being committed. If the victim was a minor at the time the offence was committed, they may apply for an advance award of compensation from the State up to one year before reaching the age of majority or becoming emancipated.
For example, will the compensation cover:
- Material (non-psychological) damage:
- Psychological (moral) damage:
- Material (non-psychological) damage:
The advance award of compensation to a victim of domestic violence is, as a general rule, made in the form of a monthly payment over 6 months, extendible for an equal period. It may, in exceptional and duly substantiated cases of specific need and lack of means of subsistence, be paid in a single instalment.
In the case of violent crime, the advance award of compensation to the victim of the crime is made in a single instalment, which may be in the form of an annual payment.
The compensation amount that can be awarded may be reduced or compensation may be refused by the commission on the basis of the victim’s conduct before, during or after the commission of the acts or their dealings with the offender or their surroundings, or if the victim’s conduct is contrary to the sense of justice and public order.
However, the conduct of the victim or of the claimant is not relevant for the purposes of reducing or refusing compensation where the damage caused was due to a motorised land vehicle or, in certain cases, if rules on accidents at work or in service apply.
The following will be taken into account when deciding on whether to award advance compensation and when determining the amount of the compensation:
In the case of violent crimes, all sums that the victim receives from other sources, namely from the offender or from social security, are also taken into account; sums received from private life or personal accident insurance are, in principle, excluded.
If no redress for the damage was obtained in the criminal proceedings brought against the offender, or if it is likely that the offender will not provide redress and there will be no other source of effective or sufficient redress, the decision on compensation will also take these factors into account.
In the case of victims of violent crime, the amount of compensation is calculated in accordance with principles of fairness and in the light of sums already received from other sources (such as the offender or from social security).
In the case of a claim for compensation for loss of earnings (sums that the victim stopped receiving), the CPVC also takes into account the victim’s income tax returns for the 3 years prior to the commission of the offences. . If the victim dies, the tax returns of the claimant (close relative) are used as a reference or, in the absence of tax returns, calculation of compensation is based on an income not exceeding the minimum guaranteed monthly wage.
In particular, for domestic violence cases, the CPVC determines the amount in accordance with the principle of fairness. One of the qualifying criteria for advance compensation for victims of domestic violence is serious financial hardship suffered as a consequence of the crime. As such, any changes to financial or family circumstances must be notified.
Sums received by the victim as a result of private life insurance or personal accident insurance will be taken into account when determining the amount of compensation on grounds of fairness.
If the victim applies to the CPVC for advance payment of the compensation, they must indicate, inter alia, the amount of compensation sought.
In the case of victims of violent crime, the maximum amount that can be received by each victim in cases of death or serious injury is €34 680.
In the event of death or serious injury to several people as a consequence of the same offence, the advance payment of compensation is limited to a maximum of €30 600 for each person, and may not exceed a total of €91 800.
In the case of an advance in the form of an annual payment, the maximum limit is €4 080. Where there are several victims of the same offence, the total may not exceed €12 240.
In the case of domestic violence offences, the amount that can be awarded may not exceed the monthly equivalent of the guaranteed minimum monthly wage for a period of 6 months (extendible for an equal period). In cases of specific financial need, the award of a provision as advance compensation payment may be requested even before the conclusion of the investigation (instrução) of the specific circumstances, where no changes to the amount of sums to be received have been notified.
Yes, this information is requested on the form.
In cases of compensation by another Member State of the European Union, that Member State having submitted the application for the award of compensation to the CPVC, and provided the claimant is habitually resident in Portugal, the CPVC will inform the claimant of how to complete the claim for compensation and of the supporting documents required.
Following payment of the provision or of the compensation, the victim obtains, by any means, effective redress or compensation for their loss, the CPVC will require them to reimburse the sums received in full or in part.
An advance can be awarded, provided the following conditions are met:
a) For victims of a violent crime,
b) For victims of a crime of domestic violence:
Whether the offence was a violent crime or domestic violence crime, before the CPVC concludes its preliminary assessment of the award of compensation you may also receive, immediately, a provision by way of compensation to be determined at a later date, in cases of clear financial need.
The CPVC has autonomy to decide on cases that involve new elements compared with previously decided cases or special features that depart from the guidelines (previously drawn up by the CPVC itself) on compensation amounts allocated according to types of circumstances.
a) State Compensation to Victims of Violent Crimes (Indemnização pelo Estado a Vítimas de Crimes Violentos) (form)
b) State Compensation to Victims of Domestic Violence Crimes (Indemnização pelo Estado a Vítimas de Crimes de Violência Doméstica (form)
No. The claim is exempt from the payment of any costs or expenses for the victim, and the documents and certificates required for this claim can also be obtained free of charge.
The CPVC – Commission for the Protection of Victims of Crimes (Comissão de Proteção às Vítimas de Crimes) is the Ministry of Justice body responsible for deciding on claims for State compensation submitted by victims of violent crimes and victims of domestic violence in national proceedings.
To the Commission for the Protection of Victims of Crimes (see previous answer)
Location and contacts:
Comissão de Proteção às Vítimas de Crimes
Further information available at https://cpvc.mj.pt/
It is not necessary to be present during the decision procedure, except where the CPVC deems such presence necessary.
After receiving the claim for compensation, the CPVC has a period of one month to analyse the claim and take the necessary steps; the decision on whether to grant the claim and the amount to be awarded will be taken immediately after that one-month period.
Yes. If the claimant believes the CPVC’s decision is erroneous, they have 15 days in which to submit a complaint to the commission. By means of application, the claimant should set out the basis for their claim, together with any evidence they deem appropriate.
The CPVC then has a period of 30 days to review and decide on the complaint, and may confirm, repeal, annul, amend or replace the contested act.
If the claimant is not satisfied with the decision on the complaint, they may challenge that decision before the administrative courts.
On the website of the Commission for the Protection of Victims of Crimes: https://cpvc.mj.pt/?page_id=31
There are two different forms: one for victims of violent crimes and one for victims of domestic violence.
CPVC – Commission for the Protection of Victims of Crimes (Comissão de Proteção às Vítimas de Crimes - CPVC): https://cpvc.mj.pt/.
APAV – Portuguese Victim Support Association (Associação Portuguesa de apoio à Vítima - APAV): http://www.apav.pt/.
The State ensures that in cases of violent crimes or domestic violence, victims have access to legal advice and if necessary to subsequent legal aid, free of charge.
Commission for the Protection of Victims of Crimes (Comissão de Proteção às Vítimas de Crimes - CPVC):
Portuguese Victim Support Association (Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima – APAV):
Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género - GIG):
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