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).
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.
information can be found on the CICA
It is also possible to download and print the application form
from the CICA site.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
there a time limit on making an application?
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.
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.
is the compensation calculated?
and mental injuries:
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.
for loss of earnings:
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.
for special expenses:
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
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.
if the victim has suffered more than one injury?
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.
compensation is available for the relatives of victims who
have died as a result of their criminal injuries?
of a victim who has died as a result of their criminal
injuries can apply for a fatal injury award.
the relative is a dependant, a claim can also be made for a
(under the age of 18) can claim an award for, what the CICS
calls, 'loss of parental services'.
who has paid for the funeral of the victim can apply for
reimbursement of reasonable funeral expenses.
can apply for compensation in fatal cases?
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
the CICA withhold or reduce a compensation award to someone
who is eligible to apply?
the CICS, compensation may be reduced or withheld if:
fails to personally report the crime to the police without
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
the claim for criminal injuries compensation is handled
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.
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.
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.
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