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Further information : Compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

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Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

If the victim has been injured as a result of a crime of violence they may be eligible for a compensation award under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS). The purpose of the CICS, which is state-funded, is to provide an expression of public sympathy for innocent victims of violent crime. Applications for Criminal Injuries Compensation should be made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Local Victim Support Schemes can provide information about the CICS and how to apply. They can supply copies of the application form and guidance documents and can help victims, if required, with filling out the form. This service is free and confidential.

Further information can be found on the CICA website. It is also possible to download and print the application form from the CICA site.

Basic terms of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS)

The following guide sets out the basic principles of the CICS. Anyone considering applying for compensation should also read
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme: a guide to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and, if the application is for a fatal award, the Guide to compensation in fatal cases. These documents are produced by the CICA and can be obtained by contacting them or by visiting their website or through your local Victim Support Scheme .

  • Who can apply for compensation?

Anyone who has suffered injury as a direct result of a crime of violence, which occurred on or after 1 August 2019, can apply. Where a person has died as a result of their injuries, their parents, children, husband or wife, or long term partner (including same sex partners) can apply for compensation.

  • What is a crime of violence?

The CICS does not define a crime of violence. Crimes of violence usually involve a physical attack on the person, for example assaults and sexual offences. It can also include arson, poisoning or, in some circumstances, the threat of violence. The CICS does not, generally, cover injuries sustained as a result of a road traffic incident. The only exception is where the vehicle is used as a weapon ie where the driver can be shown to have collided with the victim with the intention to cause injury.

  • Does the offender need to be caught?

No. It is not necessary for the offender to be traced or prosecuted to claim compensation. But the CICS does require that the victim report the crime to the police without delay and that the victim co-operates fully with the police and any prosecution which may result.

  • What injuries will be compensated?

    The CICS compensates injuries which are suffered as a direct result of a crime of violence. Injuries can be physical and/or mental. Mental injury is defined as a recognised psychiatric or psychological illness. Compensation for mental injury alone is awarded in a limited set of circumstances.

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  • Are there geographical limits to the CICS?

Yes. The CICS compensates criminal injuries sustained in Great Britain, including people who were visiting Britain at the time of the incident. Injuries sustained elsewhere, for example whilst on holiday abroad, are not covered by the CICS but it may be that there is a remedy under a similar scheme in the country concerned. Northern Ireland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Jersey each have a criminal injuries compensation scheme.

  • Is there a time limit on making an application?

    Yes. The application for compensation must be submitted within 2 years of the crime of violence which caused the injuries. Applications outside of the time limit will only be considered if the CICA consider that there is a good reason for the delay and that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

    The CICA will sympathetically consider applications from and on behalf of victims whose ability to help themselves is or was impaired and from those who were under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, provided the application is received within a reasonable time of the victim reaching 18. Careful consideration will also be given to an out of time application, if the injuries only became apparent some time after the incident which caused them, provided the application is made as soon as possible after discovering the cause and the details of the incident can be investigated and verified by the CICA.

     

  • How is the compensation calculated?

    Physical and mental injuries:

    Physical and or mental injuries are graded according to seriousness. The combined grades are known as the 'tariff'. The tariff bands range from 1,000 to 250,000. Relatively minor injuries, such as scratches or bruises, alone will not qualify for an award but if there is a combination of minor injuries which cause at least two visits to a doctor for treatment and recovery takes at least 6 weeks then the victim may qualify.

    Compensation for loss of earnings:

    In addition to compensation for mental and/ or physical injuries, if the injuries cause the victim to lose earnings, or the capacity to earn, for more than 28 weeks, the victim may be eligible for compensation for this loss. The CICS does not provide compensation for the first 28 full weeks of lost earnings or earning capacity.

    Compensation for special expenses:

    If the victim's injuries cause them to be incapacitated, or they are likely to be incapacitated, for more than 28 weeks they may be entitled to compensation for any costs they have paid for medical/ dental/optical treatment, related equipment and care.

    If the victim's circumstances change after completing the application form, and the victim is likely to incur additional loss of earnings or special expenses, they can write to the CICA, providing details, to ask for further compensation to cover the loss.

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  • What if the victim has suffered more than one injury?

    If the victim has suffered more than one injury as a result of a crime of violence, the CICA pays the full tariff amount for the most serious injury, 30% of the tariff amount for the second most serious injury and 15% of the tariff amount for the third most serious injury.

  • What compensation is available for the relatives of victims who have died as a result of their criminal injuries?

    Relatives of a victim who has died as a result of their criminal injuries can apply for a fatal injury award.

    If the relative is a dependant, a claim can also be made for a dependency award.

    Children (under the age of 18) can claim an award for, what the CICS calls, 'loss of parental services'.

    Anyone who has paid for the funeral of the victim can apply for reimbursement of reasonable funeral expenses.

  • Who can apply for compensation in fatal cases?

    Only certain relatives of the deceased victim can apply under the CICS. These are:

    - husband or wife

    - unmarried but long term partner (including same sex partners)

    - parent (this is not limited to natural parents - it can include any other person who can show that the deceased regarded them as her parent)

    - child (this includes children which were accepted by the deceased as his or her child. Children under the age of 18 can claim an award for fatal injury, dependency and for loss of parental services. An adult whose parent is fatally injured can only claim a fatal injury award)

    - a former husband or wife who was financially supported by the deceased.

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  • Can the CICA withhold or reduce a compensation award to someone who is eligible to apply?

    Yes. Under the CICS, compensation may be reduced or withheld if:

    1.The victim fails to personally report the crime to the police without delay.

    Although the CICA may take a sympathetic view where the delay in reporting the incident to the police is due to youth, old age or to physical or mental incapacity or psychological effects of the crime. Similarly, the CICA may be sympathetic where the victim was unaware that the injury was due to crime of violence, or only discovered there was a connection long after the event.

    2.The victim fails to co-operate with the police

    If the victim is unwilling, for example, to make a statement, the CICA may refuse to make an award. But if the police decide to take no further action, the award may still be made as long as the victim was willing to help the police with the prosecution.

    3.The victim fails to co-operate with the CICA

    The CICA may reduce or withhold an award if, for example, the victim repeatedly fails to respond to reasonable requests for information or they fail to attend a medical examination.

    4.The victim's conduct before, during or after the event is bad

    An award may be reduced or withheld where the victim starts or voluntarily takes part in a crime of violence - for example, if the victim uses threatening or offensive language or strikes the first blow.

    5.The victim has unspent criminal convictions

    The CICA can withhold or reduce an award where the victim has criminal convictions. The CICA uses a system of penalty points based upon the length and type of sentence and the time which has passed between the date of the sentence and the receipt of the application. Sentences which are imposed after the application has been sent will also be considered when calculating the penalty points. The award will be reduced according to the number of penalty points the victim has. The CICA will ignore convictions which are spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

  • Can the CICA apply the above reasons for withholding or refusing an award in fatal cases?

    Yes. In cases involving applications where the victim has died, the CICA may reduce or refuse an award on the grounds of the behaviour, co-operation, conduct and character of either the deceased or the applicant. This means that if, for example, the deceased provoked a fight which resulted in their being killed, a relative, who is of good character, who makes a claim may have their award withheld, and vice versa.

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How the claim for criminal injuries compensation is handled

When the CICA receive the application for criminal injuries compensation, the CICA's Claims Officers will apply the terms of the CICS when deciding whether to make an award. To assist them in their decision, the CICA will normally seek information from the police, medical authorities and other relevant bodies.

Once the CICA have all the relevant information and have considered the claim, they will decide whether the applicant is entitled to receive an award and, if so, the amount of the award. This can take a number of months and, sometimes, years.

If the applicant disagrees with the decision, they can apply for a review. The applicant should submit grounds for seeking the review. The review is conducted by caseworkers who are more senior than the initial decision-makers and they look at the claim afresh. Applicants should be aware that the CICA can reduce or withhold an award following a review, as well as make or increase an award. Further information on how to apply for a review is sent to applicants with the notification of the initial decision.

If the applicant disagrees with the review decision, they have the opportunity to apply for an appeal. Applications for an appeal are made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP). CICAP is independent of CICA. Further information on how to apply for an appeal is sent to applicants with the notification of the review decision. Information is also available on the CICAP website.

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(c) Victim Support
This page was last revised:08/08/01
Victim Support National Office, Cranmer House, 39 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DZ.
Tel. 020 7735 9166, fax 020 7582 5712, contact@victimsupport.org.uk