Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) 2002
On 1 May 2019, the new CICS tariff-based compensation scheme came into effect in Northern Ireland. The tariff-based scheme provides compensation to victims of violent crime on or after 1 May 2019.
The tariff scheme is based on Sir Kenneth Bloomfield's recommendations from his Review of criminal injuries compensation in Northern Ireland (1999). In this review, Sir Kenneth recommended that Victim Support receive funding to help people through the application process. Since the review, Victim Support has received funding and implemented its new Criminal Injuries Compensation Service to provide emotional and practical support to enable people to apply for compensation via a free and confidential service delivered by trained staff and volunteers.
Victim Support believes that the new tariff scheme is:
Even though the application is relatively straightforward, help and advice is available, free of charge.
Since legal negotiations aren't part of this scheme, applications will be processed much more quickly.
Payments are fixed for specific injuries. Each person with the same injury will receive the same amount of money.
More direct involvement and control for the applicant
People now have more direct involvement and greater control over their applications.
If a person's award is denied or reduced, the Compensation Agency will give them the exact reason for the decision.
- Greater recognition of psychological injuries, eg for people who were not at the scene of the crime
- More people eligible for bereavement payments
- No outright ban on people with convictions. Penalty points system in place
- Victims of childhood sexual assault/sexual abuse prior to 1 May 2019 may submit an application for compensation under the tariff scheme.
Discretion at appeals
The appeals process, which is no longer part of the courts, is non-threatening for applicants and discretion can be used by the Appeals Panel to consider factors that might affect someone's claim.
Applying for compensation
What you must do immediately (within 48 hours)
- Report the incident to the police. Keep the command and control number they give you for your records.
- Seek medical attention.
- Any delay with the above may affect your claim.
The applicationThe application form is quite simple to understand. You can choose to:
- complete the form yourself
- complete it free with help from Victim Support
- pay a solicitor to complete it for you. (Under the new rules, Legal Aid is generally not available).
The form is available from Victim Support branches, police stations, other voluntary agencies or directly from the Compensation Agency at:The Compensation Agency
34 Upper Queen Street Belfast
Tel: 029 9024 9944
Using Victim Support - our Criminal Injuries Compensation Service
There is no charge for any Victim Support service. If you would like help from trained staff and volunteers, we can:
- provide information and explanation about compensation issues
- help you complete your application form and monitor its progress
- explain the decision process to you and discuss how to apply for a review if necessary
- help you with an appeal if necessary
- provide emotional support and practical help throughout the process.