What is Criminal Injuries Compensation?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government funded scheme designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), administer the Scheme and decide all claims.
The rules of the Scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by Parliament.
What types of claims to the CICA consider?
- mental or physical injury following a crime of violence;
- sexual or physical abuse;
- loss of earnings – where you have no or limited capacity to work as the direct result of a criminal injury;
- special expenses payments – these cover certain costs you may have incurred as a direct result of an incident. You can only ask the CICA to consider special expenses if your injuries mean you have been unable to work or have been incapacitated to a similar extent for more than 28 weeks;
- a fatality caused by a crime of violence including bereavement payments, payments for loss of parental services and financial dependency; and funeral payments.
Not all claims for compensation will be successful; you must be eligible under the rules of the Scheme.
How do you apply for a payment?
The Scheme is intended to be one of last resort. Where the opportunity exists for you to pursue compensation elsewhere you should do so. You will be expected to take all reasonable steps to obtain any social security benefits, insurance payments, damages or compensation to which you may be entitled as a result of your injuries.
Regardless of whether or not you are seeking compensation or damages from other sources you should make your application to CICA as soon as possible.
You may still be eligible for an award under the Scheme even if your assailant is not known, or is not convicted.
What are the time limits for applying?
Adults at date of incident:
You must apply as soon as it is reasonably practicable for you to do so. If you were an adult at the time of the incident, this should normally not be later than two years after it occurred. Time limits will only be extended in exceptional/rare circumstances.
Under 18 years of age on the date of the incident
Special provision is made in the Scheme if you were under 18 at the time of the incident. If you are not able to make your own application, your parent or guardian can apply on your behalf. If an application is made close to the time of the incident it will be easier for you to provide evidence that you were injured as the result of a crime of violence. The time limit depends on when the incident was reported to the police;
Reported to the police before you reached 18 years old.
If the incident or period of abuse was reported to the police before you turned 18, and no-one made a claim on your behalf, you can make a claim up until the day of your 20th birthday.
Not reported to the police before you reached 18 years old.
If the incident or period of abuse took place before you turned 18, but was not reported to the police at the time, you can apply to the CICA within two years from you reporting the incident or abuse to the police
“Same Roof” rule applications
A further exception to the normal time limit applies to applications that relate to the ‘same roof rule’.
The ‘same roof rule’ prevented compensation being awarded for incidents occurring between August 1964 and 30 September 1979, where an applicant was living with their assailant as a family member at the time.
This rule has now been removed from the Scheme. If you were injured in circumstances falling under the ‘same roof rule’ but have not previously applied for compensation you can now do so. Furthermore, if your application for compensation was previously refused under this rule, you can now reapply.
The time limit for applications to be received is two years from 13 June 2019. The CICA have discretion to consider applications beyond the two-year period if you were a child at the time of the incident giving rise to the injury, or if you were exceptionally unable to meet this time limit.
You will need to meet all the remaining requirements and eligibility criteria within the 2012 Scheme to receive an award of compensation.
If you would like advice and assistance in making a CICA claim, please contact our Litigation Team on 01388 604691.