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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 a claim for compensation in cross-border cases?

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Rochusstraße 1
D - 53123

Telephone: +49 228 99527 2680
Fax : +49 228 99527 4134

E-Mail :
Internet address:

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, however ideally the competent assisting authorities should also be informed.

In which language(s) do the compensation authorities accept

- the claim?

- the supporting documents?

The official language is German. However, there have been no cases of a German authority refusing or not handling a claim that was in a language other than German.

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

These costs are usually borne by the German decision-making authority, and sometimes by the German assisting authority. However, it would be better if Directive 2004/80/EC included a provision stating that such costs are borne by the State in which the offence was carried out.

Are there administrative or other charges to be paid in this country for processing my claim (received from another EU country)? If so, how can I pay for these?

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, can 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 decision-making authority.

Is an interpreter provided, in case I have to be personally present?

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 country of residence, 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 decision-making authority.

How long does it take approximately 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 will be in German.

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 aid (help from a lawyer) under the other country’s rules?

All claimants can get legal aid, 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:

Last update: 12/12/2018

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