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Compensation to crime victims

Expected processing time for compensation to crime victims
6–8 months
  • Watch our guide video for victims of crime >

  • What?

    If you are the victim of a crime, you can be compensated for personal injury and suffering from Government funds. Property damage and financial loss are compensated only in exceptional cases.

    You may be entitled to compensation from the Government if you have requested it from the offender in trial. However, you do not have to try to claim compensation from the offender first. If the offender has not been arrested or the offense for any other reason has not been treated in court or arbitrated, you can still apply for compensation.

  • What is it about?

    Compensation is usually paid for crimes committed in Finland.

    According to Finnish legislation, compensation for personal injury and suffering in connection with a crime committed abroad can also be paid if the victim is a permanent resident of Finland and was staying abroad due to work, study, or a similar reason, or if the compensation can otherwise be considered justified.

  • How?

    Always report the offence to the police if you are the victim of a crime. If the matter is tried in court, you must claim compensation from the offender in the court proceedings.
    The compensation defined in the sentence can be claimed from the State Treasury either online or using a printed form within three years of the sentence which has acquired legal force.

    If the matter has not been processed in court, you must claim the compensation within ten years of the crime.

    File the claim for compensation on the State Treasury website.

  • When can compensation be paid from government funds?

    If you are the victim of a crime, you may be eligible for compensation from Government funds for damage caused by a crime committed in Finland.  The compensation is based on the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage and it is paid by the State Treasury.

    You can claim compensation after a court decision on the matter. Compensation is often claimed due to the impecuniosity of the offender. However, compensation from Government funds is secondary, and any other compensation received is deducted from the compensation. However, you do not need to try to collect the compensation from the offender first.

    Did you fall victim of a crime abroad?

    If you fall victim of a crime abroad, you may be entitled to compensation based on Finnish legislation when you are a permanent resident of Finland and were staying abroad due to

    • work,
    • study, or a similar reason, or
    • if the compensation can otherwise be considered justified.

    Compensating for criminal damage which took place in another EU country

    If you fall victim of a crime in an EU member country other than Finland, and are not entitled to compensation from Finnish Government funds, you may be entitled to compensation based on the legislation of the country where the crime took place.

    Read more in section Crime damage in another EU Member State.

  • What will be compensated?

    Based on the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, compensation can be paid when a crime has caused

    1.       personal injury

    2.       suffering

    3.       property damage and financial loss.

    In addition, compensation can be paid

    4.       if the crime resulted in the death of the victim

    5.       for expenses of legal proceedings and application.

    Find out more about the compensation in the following sections.

  • Compensation for personal injury

    A crime victim who has sustained a personal injury will be compensated for:

    • medical costs and any other costs incurred because of the damage
    • pain and suffering, and other temporary disability
    • permanent disability and permanent cosmetic damage
    • loss of income (no more than 150 euros/day)
    • clothes and other personal items damaged in connection with the sustaining of the personal injury, to a reasonable amount.

    Compensation for the following is paid to those very close to the victim of the personal injury:

    • costs and loss of income incurred by caring for the injured person and other action taken because of the injury (no more than 150 euros/day).

    Those very close to the victim can be, among others, the parents of an underage person, spouse, an unmarried partner, or a person in a similar position.

    Employers will be compensated for:

    • salary or other compensation paid by the employer to an employee who is the victim of a crime, for the period of the employee’s disability.

    Read more: Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, Section 2, Damages to be compensated for >

  • Damages for distress

    Compensation for the distress caused by a crime is paid to

    • the victim of a sexual crime or deprivation of liberty (e.g. unlawful threat)
    • the victim of intended manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary murder
    • the victim of aggravated assault
    • the victim of any other crime comparable to the above.

    The right for compensation is only valid if the crime took place on or after 1 January 2008.

    Note. If a crime which took place on or after 1 January 2006 caused a death, compensation for the subsequent mental suffering will not be paid to those close to the deceased based on the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage.

    Read more: Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, Section 2, Damages to be compensated for >

  • Compensation for property damage and financial loss

    Compensation for property damage and financial loss can only be paid in certain circumstances.

    Property damage can be compensated if the damage was caused by,

    • a person detained because of a criminal offence,
    • a person involuntarily institutionalised or taken into custody or
    • or a child taken into care and placed in institutional care pursuant to the Child Welfare Act,

    and the crime is caused

    •  while in an institution or during a placement outside the institution or
    • on leave or having escaped from an institution.

    In addition, property damage caused by a person sentenced to home detention, community service or juvenile punishment will be compensated if the damage was caused by such a person while performing unpaid work or an unpaid task forming part of such a sentence.

    Property damage and financial loss can also be compensated for if both of the following requirements are met:

    • The value of the damage is significant (at least 2,000 euros) and
    • helplessness of the victim (age, sickness, disability) was a contributing factor to the damage.

    In this case, the financial and other conditions of the victim are considered when deciding on the compensation.

    Read more: Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, Section 2, Damages to be compensated for >

  • Compensation if the crime resulted in the death of the victim

    If the crime resulted in the death of the victim, compensation will be paid for the following, based on the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage:

    Funeral costs according to reasonable expenses

    • including, but not limited to, the coffin, burial place, gravestone, memorial service and obituary.
    • Estate inventory costs or other expenses resulting from estate administration are not eligible for compensation as funeral costs.

    Costs related to the funeral arrangements, according to reasonable expenses

    • Those who are entitled to compensation include the parents, children and/or spouse of the deceased person and any persons who were particularly close to the deceased.
    • These include travel expenses to the funeral, floral arrangements and mourning clothes.
    • Only direct costs; income losses resulting from attending the funeral, for example, are never compensated.

    Loss of maintenance

    • Any persons eligible for maintenance or maintenance allowance (children, spouse) or who have been otherwise dependent on maintenance provided by the deceased.

    Personal injury to a close person

    • Those who are entitled to compensation include the parents, children and/or spouse of the deceased person and any persons who were particularly close to the deceased, in the event that the death was caused intentionally or through gross negligence.
    • Necessary medical care expenses and other necessary expenses.
    • Medical rehabilitation directly related to medical care.

    Note. If a crime which took place on or after 1 January 2006 caused a death, compensation for the subsequent mental suffering will not be paid to those close to the deceased based on the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage.

    Also read the article Right of family members or close friends of the deceased to state compensation for criminal damage >

    Read more: Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, Section 2, Damages to be compensated for >

  • (5) Compensation for legal proceedings and application

    Compensation for legal costs according to the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage

    The State Treasury will only compensate for legal expenses in connection with other compensation granted according to the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage. The compensation request for legal expenses and other compensation requests must be presented in court against the offender of the crime.

    Legal expenses are only compensated according to reasonable expenses when the expenses were created in having your right to damages confirmed in court.

    The compensation granted by the State Treasury is defined based on the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, which means that the numbers of hours, invoicing rates, and actions are not in themselves binding to the State Treasury. The Legal Aid Act and the Government Decree on the grounds for legal aid fees are also not directly binding to the State Treasury, but the grounds for the fees are considered where applicable in the consideration of reasonable legal expenses.

    What are reasonable legal costs?

    According to established compensation practice, the processing of claims for compensation in court is compensated at 165 euros per hour plus VAT, or a total of 204.60 euros per hour. The amount is based on the Government decree on the grounds for legal aid fees, and the hourly rate compensated for by the State Treasury is the basic sum of 110 euros per hour times 1.5. The practice is based on the policy approved by the Insurance Court on the compensation of legal expenses according to the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage.

    Usually, the court main hearing caused by the processing of claims for compensation is compensated for according to the duration of the session. In addition, a reasonable amount of hours for preparation of the matter and one hour for actions after the decision is compensated for. Expenses caused by pretrial investigation are not compensated as they are not caused directly by processing the compensation matter.

    Where to find a legal counsel?

    Usually, you need to find a legal counsel from the town of the court or the same court district. The State Treasury will not compensate for the travel expenses of the legal counsel if they come from outside the town of the court or the court district. Travel expenses for less than 20 km one way are not compensated.

    Compensation based on insurance policies or other legislation takes precedence.

    Compensation payable from Government funds is always secondary, and compensation paid based on other legislation and insurance policies are deducted from the compensation granted by the State Treasury. If you are entitled to receive compensation for legal expenses based on the Legal Aid Act or legal expenses insurance, for example, you must primarily claim for compensation through them. The usual insurance compensation is 8,500 euros, which means that in most cases legal expenses are not paid according to the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage.

    Reimbursement of application costs

    You can be entitled to a reasonable compensation for the expenses related to applying for compensation for criminal damage

    • if you have been granted legal aid for court proceedings in the matter or appointed a public legal aid attorney or,
    • if the matter has not been brought to court, if you meet the financial criteria for being granted legal aid.

    Read more about legal aid: Legal aid >

    Read more: Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, Section 2, Damages to be compensated for >

  • Crime damage in another EU Member State

    If you fall victim of a crime in an EU member country other than Finland, and are not entitled to compensation from Finnish Government funds, you may be entitled to compensation based on the legislation of the country where the crime took place.

    EU Directive facilitates the applying for compensation by crime victims

    The Council Directive on the compensation to crime victims (2004/80/EC) has been used as the foundation for a system of cooperation aiming to make it easier for crime victims to seek compensation in situations across the boundaries of EU member countries.

    The cooperation system is applied for the compensation of damage from intentional violent crimes committed within the member countries. Compensation is granted based on the local legislation on the compensation of criminal damage, and it is paid by the competent authority of the member country within whose area the crime was committed.

    Claiming compensation

    If you are a permanent resident of Finland, you can submit an application at the State Treasury regarding compensation for damage caused by a violent crime committed in another EU member country.

    The State Treasury can provide general advice on how to apply for compensation, how to fill in the application form and which documents to attach.

    You will not be charged any fees or expenses for the translation or other services provided by the State Treasury and related to the application for compensation for criminal damage across the borders of EU member countries.

    Where to find further information and application forms for compensation?

    Apply for compensation using an application form of the country where the crime took place. The forms and further information are available at the State Treasury, the European e-Justice Portal, and the authorities of the country where the crime took place.

    Procedure in criminal damage matters across borders

    Procedure in criminal damage across borders

    Visualisation: Procedure in criminal damage across borders

    The attached chart describes the procedure in criminal damage matters across borders. The phases are:

    1. A victim of an intentional violent crime within the European Union who is a permanent resident of Finland can claim for compensation of the criminal damage in Finnish, Swedish, or a language accepted by the country where the crime was committed.

    2. The State Treasury will assist the applicant in the preparation of the claim, instruct in acquiring the required documents, and send the claim to the authorities of the country where the crime was committed. If necessary, the State Treasury will have the documents translated to a language accepted by the authorities of the country where the crime was committed.

    3. The State Treasury is not allowed to assess the claim.

    4. The authorities of the country where the crime was committed will notify the applicant and the State Treasury of

    • the contact person or department in charge of processing the matter,
    • and, if possible, an estimate of when the decision will be made.

    5. The authorities of the country where the crime was committed may request further information. If necessary, the State Treasury can instruct the applicant in responding to the requests for further information. At the applicant’s request, the State Treasury will deliver the additional information to the authorities of the country where the crime was committed.

    6. The authorities of the country where the crime was committed may decide to hear the applicant, a witness, or an expert. The hearing can be arranged with the assistance of the State Treasury, or the State Treasury may hear the person and deliver a report of the hearing to the authorities of the country where the crime was committed.

    7. The authorities of the country where the crime was committed will send the decision to the applicant and the State Treasury.

    Read more from the  European e-Justice Portal >

  • Instructions for claiming compensation

    Always report the offence to the police if you are the victim of a crime. If the matter is tried in court, you must claim compensation from the offender in the court proceedings. The compensation defined in the sentence can be claimed from the State Treasury either online or using a printed form within three years of the sentence which has acquired legal force. If the matter has not been processed in court, you must claim the compensation within ten years of the crime.

    You must report the crime to the police before you can claim for compensation as a victim of a crime.

    Link to the police report >

    If the matter is tried in court, you must claim compensation from the offender in the court proceedings. The offender is always obliged to pay the compensation ordered by the court.

    Link to the courts on the Oikeus.fi website >

    Because the compensation paid by the State Treasury is always secondary, you must claim for compensation elsewhere first, such as

    • from Kela (sickness allowance, medical expenses, travel expenses),
    • from your insurance company (based on your occupational accident, leisure accident, travel, home, traffic, or legal expenses insurance), or
    • from your unemployment or sickness fund.

    However, claiming compensation from the State Treasury does not require having tried to recover the compensation from the offender first.

    Claim compensation from the State Treasury using the ‘Application form for crime damage’ in the Forms and appendices section.

  • When can I claim compensation?

    The compensation must be claimed from the State Treasury using the intended form within three years of the date of a final judgement in the compensation case.

    If the matter has not been processed in court, the compensation must be claimed within ten years of the crime.

  • Compensation application form

    The application form for crime damage and a list of the required appendices can be found in the Forms and appendices section of this page.

  • What kind of compensation will be paid?

    Amount of the compensation

    Compensation is principally awarded according to the grounds laid down in the Tort Liability Act. However, the provisions of the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage differ in some respects from those of the Tort Liability Act.

    Under the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, the maximum compensation for personal injury is 61,500 euros. Additionally:

    • the maximum compensation for pain and suffering and for other temporary disability is 12,000 euros.
    • the maximum compensation for distress is 3,600 euros. A victim of a sexual offence may nevertheless be awarded compensation for distress up to 9,500 euros or, in the event that the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the offence, up to 16,200 euros.
    • The maximum compensation payable to a family member or other person close to a crime victim killed as the result of the crime is 6,000 euros.
    • The maximum compensation for loss of income or to an employer is 150 euros per day.

    The maximum compensation for property damage and financial loss is 31,000 euros.

    Interest is not paid on compensation payable under the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage.

    Basic deduction

    A basic deduction of 220 euros is applied to the total amount of compensation payable to a person for pain and suffering as well as other temporary or permanent disability and distress arising from a single event.

    The maximum compensation amounts and the basic deduction are confirmed every three years. They were most recently adjusted at the beginning of 2018.

    Court decisions and compensation for crime damage

    The State Treasury principally awards compensation based on a court decision. If we deviate from the solution of a court in a compensation matter, we will justify the grounds for the deviation in our decision.

    The offender is always liable to pay compensation to the victim to an amount determined by the court on the basis of the Tort Liability Act. However, the victim’s entitlement to claim compensation is converted from liability of the offender to liability of the government insofar as the State Treasury, under the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, has awarded compensation to the victim.

    Advance compensation

    You may be paid advance compensation on application if the compensation decision at the State Treasury is delayed and it is evident that you are entitled to substantial compensation.

  • How long is the processing period?

    The average processing time of applications for criminal damage compensation is 6–8 months.

  • What do I need in order to claim compensation?

    Instructions for what to do before submitting the application can be found in the Instructions section. The required appendices are listed in section Forms and appendices.

  • Do you need help?

    If you need assistance with filling out the form or are unsure which appendices to attach to your application, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service for help. If your application is carefully filled and has all the correct appendices in pdf format, it will be processed more quickly.

    The State Treasury customer services are available

    Customer service calls are recorded

    We record all calls to our customer service. Calls to customers made by the State Treasury’s customer service will also be recorded. You will be informed that the call is being recorded at the beginning of the call. The recordings help us verify calls and improve our service.

    Phone calls are recorded based on the following acts:

    Further information: Decision by the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman; Recording of calls >

  • Appendices to the claim

    You will need the following appendices to your claim

    • An individualised power of attorney, if compensation due to you is to be paid to someone else.
    • A copy of the court decision issued in the matter or, if there is no court decision, a copy of the pre-trial investigation minutes.
    • A medical certificate or medical history.
    • Any decisions and reports on compensation received from insurance companies, Kela, or other sources.
    • If the matter has not been tried in a court of law, attach the receipts for all costs for which compensation is claimed.
    • Receipts of dental care costs for which compensation is claimed.
    • If you are claiming loss of income, attach a physician’s statement on disability, a copy of the sickness allowance decision, and a certificate showing the salary paid by the employer and the amount of income lost.
    • Receipts of funeral costs against which compensation is claimed, and the deed of estate inventory and powers of attorney if necessary.
    • If you are claiming compensation for financial loss or discretionary compensation for property damage, attach an explanation of the sickness, disability, or other helplessness, and a report of your financial circumstances.
    • If you are claiming compensation for legal expenses, attach the statement of your legal counsel’s fees and compensation decision from the insurance company, if any.
    • If you are claiming compensation for application costs, attach the legal counsel’s invoice and a statement on the legal aid granted or public legal aid attorney appointed.
    • Unlimited power of attorney, if your legal counsel is not a public legal aid attorney or an attorney at law.

    The employer must attach the following to their application:

    • an account of the crime that caused the personal injury
    • an account of the disability to work of the injured person
    • an account of the daily allowance from Kela and compensation received from other sources
    • an account of the salary paid by the employer for the period of disability
  • Application form for crime damage

    Three alternatives: online application without identication or with identication or printable pdf

    1. The online application is filled in the Lomake.fi service. The online application and its pdf appendices are sent directly through the Lomake.fi service. If you already have all of the information required for completing the notification, you can fill in the form without identification. Link to the online notification form:

    Application form for crime damage >

    2. If you use identification, you can save the information you have already filled onto the form to wait for further information or archiving, or view any previous notifications you have filed. The system can be accessed using your online banking identifiers or mobile certificate, so be sure to have the relevant identifiers available. Link to the identification page:

    Yes, I wish to be identified >

    3. You can also download the claim for compensation in pdf format, in which case logging in is not necessary. You must print out the pdf form and deliver it, along with appendices, to the State Treasury by post. The address is: State Treasury, PO Box 550, FI-00054 VALTIOKONTTORI or online using secure mail. We do not recommend sending your personal information via unsecured email.

    Link to the printable pdf form (in Finnish) > 

    Do you need help?

    If you need assistance with filling out the form or are unsure which appendices to attach to your application, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service for help. If your application is carefully filled and has all the correct appendices in pdf format, it will be processed more quickly.

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