Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme FAQs
Money cannot fully compensate a victim of a violent crime, but compensation, either from those legally responsible for the injury or from a Government-backed scheme can go some way to help the victim recover from their ordeal.
The Government back scheme, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, has a number of rules and conditions which provides the framework for deciding who may be entitled to compensation and how much they should receive. Below are Frequently Answered Questions, designed to help those who believe they may be entitled to compensation.
If you would like further information about making a compensation claim for injuries sustained as a result of a crime of violence, contact one of our specialist lawyers, by telephoning 0333 123 9099, or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing the enquiry form.
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What is the criminal injuries compensation scheme?
The criminal injuries compensation scheme is designed to compensate innocent victims of violent crime in Great Britain.
Who administers the criminal injuries compensation scheme?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, or CICA, administers the scheme, meaning they decide if applicants are entitled to compensation and, if so, how much compensation they should receive.
Who is entitled to compensation?
Innocent victims of violent crime are entitled to compensation. If victims of violent crime die as a result of their injuries, their loved ones may be entitled to compensation.
When should I make my application for compensation?
The application for compensation should be made as soon as possible after the incident and, in any event, within two years of the criminal injury being sustained.
If the applicant was a child at the time of the injury, the application must be sent by their 20th birthday, if the incident was reported to the police before the applicant’s 18th birthday; or, if it was reported after the individual’s 18th birthday, the application for compensation must be made within two years after the first date of the report to the police.
Can I claim for injuries sustained in a violent crime many years ago?
The CICA will not pay compensation if the injury was sustained before 1 August 1964.
The CICA will also not pay compensation if the injury happened before 1 October 1979 and the injured person and assailant were living together as members of the same family.
An award of compensation will not be made after 1 October 1979 if, at the time of the injury, the applicant and the assailant were adults living together as members of the same family, unless they are no longer living together and are unlikely to do so in the future.
What types of compensation payment are available?
- payments the injury;
- payments for lost earnings;
- bereavement payments;
- child’s payments;
- dependency payments;
- funeral payments;
- medical expenses;
- aids and equipment expenses.
How is the payment of compensation decided?
The CICA scheme uses a tariff system to determine the payment for the injury. If the value of the injury is below £1000 a payment will not be made.
The maximum payment that may be made under the scheme is £500,000. This includes payment for the injury and other payments, such as loss of earnings and medical treatment costs.
Although the maximum payment is £500,000, the vast majority of payments are under £25,000.
Do payments under the CICA scheme sufficiently compensate the victim?
The aim of the CICA compensation scheme is to provide a compassionate, efficient and fair service to victims of violent crime. However, the CICA recognise that no amount of money can fully compensate a victim of violent crime for the injuries they have suffered and its consequences. Any payment made is intended as an expression of public sympathy for what was a very distressing experience.
Consequently, it is often the case that payments under the CICA scheme do not sufficiently compensate the survivor of the criminal injury. However, it may be possible to make a separate claim, against the offender, to obtain compensation that more closely meets the consequences of the injury.
Is compensation paid for all injuries?
Compensation is only payable when the injury has been sustained following a crime of violence.
What is a crime of violence?
A crime of violence involves a physical attack or some act of a violent nature, or one that causes fear of immediate violence, or is as a result of a sexual assault (where the person did not consent) or involves arson or fire raising.
Can I claim if I was injured in a car crash?
The CICA scheme will not pay compensation in respect of injuries resulting from the use of a vehicle, unless the vehicle was used with the intent to cause injury to a person.
If there was no intent to cause injury, it may still be possible to bring a claim against the driver or their insurers.
Can I claim if I was injured by an animal?
The CICA scheme will not pay compensation in respect of injuries resulting from an animal attack, unless the animal was used with the intent to cause injury to a person.
Can I claim if I was injured during a sporting activity?
The CICA scheme will not pay compensation in respect of injuries sustained in the usual course of sporting or other activity.
Who is entitled to an award under the scheme?
A person is eligible for an award if they are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, on the date of the criminal injury. They also have to be a British citizen, or a close relative of a British citizen, a national of a member of the European union, a member of the Armed Forces, or an accompanying close relative of a member of the armed forces.
Can I claim compensation from the assailant/offender?
You can make a separate claim against the assailant, who caused your injury, although there is no point in doing so if they do not have the financial means to settle your compensation claim.
Nevertheless, it is often worth exploring the financial assets of the offender, particularly in childhood sexual abuse cases, as it can be the case that individuals do have sufficient assets to meet a claim for compensation from the survivor of the criminal injury, including childhood sexual abuse.
Indeed, it can be more worthwhile in pursuing the individual for compensation because the amount recoverable can often be more than is payable under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
What can I do if the CICA refuse my application for compensation?
If the CICA refuse an application for compensation under the scheme, you are able to ask for a review of that decision.
However, there are time limits for doing so. An application for a review must be made in writing and be accompanied by the grounds setting out the basis of the review, with any supporting evidence. That review must be sent so that it is received by the CICA within 56 days after the date of the CICA’s original decision (to refuse the claim).
What can I do if I do not believe the compensation award is sufficient?
If you do not believe the award of compensation is fair, you are able to ask for a review of that decision. However, there are time limits for doing so. An application for a review must be made in writing and be accompanied by the grounds setting out the basis of the review, with any supporting evidence. That review must be sent so that it is received by the CICA within 56 days after the date of the CICA’s original decision (to pay a sum of money to the applicant).
What can I do if I do not like the review decision by the CICA?
An applicant who is dissatisfied with a decision following a review may appeal to a tribunal against that decision.
If the abuser is convicted can I get compensation directly from the criminal court?
A criminal court, at the end of the trial (if the abuser is found guilty) must consider making a compensation order, where it is empowered to do so. The judge may make an order for the abuser (or any convicted criminal) based on the evidence available, to make a compensation payment. The more serious the injury, the more information will be needed by the court, to make a compensation order. However, in complicated and large cases, the question of compensation is more likely to be dealt with by the civil courts.
Although the criminal courts have power to make such orders, the amounts involved are relatively small. If there is a possibility of an alternative claim, either directly against those responsible for the harm, or to the CICA, this may be a more satisfactory route, to enable the survivor to recover a higher compensatory award.
If you would like further information about making a compensation claim for injuries sustained as a result of a crime of violence, contact one of our specialist lawyers, by telephoning 0333 323 1640, or emailing us at email@example.com, or completing the enquiry form.
What is a Victim Personal Statement (“VPS”)?
A Victim Personal Statement is a statement that a victim of a crime can give to the police. It is a way of telling the police and the court, when the offender is brought to justice, about how you have suffered as a result of the crime, whether physically, emotionally or psychologically.
What is the difference between a Victim Personal Statement and witness statement?
A witness statement will focus on the crime committed against the victim, rather than the consequences upon the victim.
When will the VPS be used?
The VPS will be used at the sentencing hearing of the offender, and/or in the remarks whether following a guilty plea or the defendant being convicted after a trial.
Does the VPS impact upon the length of sentence?
The Sentencing Council publish sentencing guidelines, which provides a range of sentences depending upon the seriousness of each offence. When assessing the seriousness of the offenders’ behaviour, a judge will take account of the harm caused to a victim, through the VPS.