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If my claim (from another country) is to be considered in this country

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Which authority decides on compensation claims in cross-border cases?

The deciding authorities are the assistance authorities in each federal state. Competence lies with the federal state in which the offence was committed. To save claimants having to look for the responsible body, they can contact the Central Contact Point (Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs), which will forward the compensation claim to the correct authority.

Can I send my claim directly to the deciding authority in this country even in cross-border cases (without having to go via the point of contact in my home country)?

You can, but the competent assisting authorities should also be informed.

In which language(s) do the compensation authorities(s) accept:

- the claim?

In every European language.

- the supporting documents?

In every European language.

If the compensation authority translates the claim/supporting documents from another EU country, who pays for this?

Translations are free of charge for the claimant. These costs are usually borne by the deciding authorities.

Are there administrative or other charges to be paid in this country for processing my claim (received from another EU country)? If so, who pays these costs?

There are no administrative or other fees for victim compensation claims in Germany.

If I need to be present during the procedure and/or when my claim is being decided upon, will I be reimbursed for my travelling costs? How can I claim them? Who do I have to contact?

Travel costs, where they are necessary, are paid by the competent deciding authority.

Is an interpreter provided, if I have to be present in person?

You have no legal entitlement to an interpreter. However, in practice interpreters are often used when they are needed.

Will medical certificates, given by doctors in my home country, be accepted or recognised – or will my health/injury have to be examined by your own medical experts?

Such certificates are usually accepted.

Will I be reimbursed for my travelling costs, if I have to undergo a medical examination in this country?

Travel costs, where they are necessary, are paid by the competent deciding authority.

Approximately how long does it take to get a decision on compensation from the authority/body?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the duration of the compensation procedure is closely linked to the circumstances of each individual case.

In which language will I receive the decision on my claim?

The decision is usually translated into the relevant national language.

If I am not satisfied with the decision, how can I challenge it?

An appeal may be lodged against the decision in the compensation procedure. If the appeal is not upheld, a complaint may be filed with the Social Court.

Can I get legal assistance (help from a lawyer) under the other country’s rules?

All claimants can get legal assistance, however the costs cannot be refunded.

Are there any victim support organisations in this country that can help me claim compensation in a cross-border case?

There are a number of local, regional and national victim support organisations in Germany that can provide assistance. The following website provides a good overview and is available in both English and Spanish as well: http://www.odabs.org/.

Last update: 03/07/2020

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