Never before our country was affected by a bigger terrorist attack than the one of 22.03.2016, with at this moment 32 victims killed and 340 wounded. Evidently, it is a priority of the government to help the victims.
Within the already longer existing Victims’ Aid Fund (Fonds voor Slachtoffers van opzettelijke gewelddaden) a single point of contact has been created to submit requests for financial support.
According to the press communication of 22.04.2016, a status of national recognition (statuut nationale erkenning) has been created under the supervision of the ministers of Social Affairs and Defence. Victims and their surviving relatives will be proactively contacted in order to lead them to appropriate support.
National recognition status
This status can be compared to the status granted to war victims. The status grants emergency aid to Belgian victims of acts of terrorism.
Relative to the circumstances, those victims can be granted:
- A lifelong pension;
- A lifelong and full recovery of medical costs (both physical and psychological) caused by the terrorist attacks;
- A “victims’ card” granting them certain advantages;
- Maximum emergency assistance (financial aid even before the preliminary investigation and court proceedings are over) increased from 15,000 to 30,000 euros;
- Maximum general assistance (compensation for damages) increased from62,000 to 125,000 euros;
- This applies to both physical and psychological human damage;
- No judgement by a court is required to be allowed financial help in case of terrorist acts;
Compatriots who are victims of acts of terrorism in a foreign country where no rules exist for such events, may also be allowed support from the Victim’s Aid Fund. This regulation enters into force retroactively. Consequently e.g. Belgian victims of the attack in Sousse (Tunisia) can also submit a support request;
The request should be submitted within three years.
Foreign victims cannot apply to this scheme, provided that they do not have their place of residence in Belgium.
Financial emergency support
Victims and their surviving relatives can also request an emergency payment pending the procedure of national recognition.
The Vicims’ Aid Fund has been asked to grant a provision of 5,000 euros to hospitalized victims (for hospital costs) and to the relatives of deceased victims (for funeral costs) at simple request, without the need of the presentation of any bills. All victims submitting a request can count on financial support, which also includes moral damage.
The period in which payment will take place is shorter than in regular cases of compensation by the Victims’ Aid Fund.
The Commission can grant equitable support but cannot guarantee full compensation.
The Commission further takes into account the solvability of and the installments payed by the perpetrator, the support by health insurance or occupational accident insurance and more generally any compensation by private insurances.
There are three kinds of support: “emergency support”, “general support” and “supplementary support”:
- General support means the financial support granted by the Commission for damage suffered;
- Awaiting the result of the preliminary investigation and the procedure, the Commission can also grant emergency support. More precisely, in the event that any delay in granting support will have significantly adverse effects upon the victim. E.g.: a victim with a modest income who is confronted with high medical costs. If the victim demonstrates ascending medical costs, there is a presumption of urgency;
- In the event of apparently increasing adverse effects after general support has been granted, the victim can request supplementary support.
We can assist you with the submission of the request for support, for which a specific procedure has to be followed. Requests can be submitted until 22.03.2019.