CICA SCHEME: The victim of a violent or a serious crime does not always suffer direct physical injuries. It can also result in emotional suffering.
Thus, making a claim for financial compensation may be appropriate if:
- You are a blameless victim who sustained an injury.
- A close relative died in the incident.
- You witnessed the crime happen to a loved one or you were at the scene immediately afterwards.
- You paid for the costs of a funeral for a person who died.
As a rule, you must make the claim within two (2) years of the crime. You must report these types of crime to the police before applying for compensation. Even so, there is no fee for the application process.
Note: The process of claiming compensation as a victim of violent crime differs if it happened in Northern Ireland. Instead, you should apply to Compensation Services if you suffered criminal injuries or criminal damage.
Injured while Trying to Stop a Crime
If you got injured taking a ‘justified and exceptional’ risk while you were trying to stop a crime may also be valid grounds for a compensation claim. In general, it means you tried to help someone who was in danger in a violent situation that you were not trained to deal with.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme Eligibility
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 compensates the blameless victims of violent crime. Eligibility may also apply to people whose loved ones died in a violent incident.
To qualify, the crime must taken place in England, Scotland, or Wales. The police must have already received an official report of the incident.
Deadline for Claiming
The compensation scheme will not make payments unless the crime gets reported to the police. As a rule, you should report serious crimes to the police immediately after they happen.
Most cases require you to apply within two years of the date of the incident. Claims for crimes that happened more than two years afterward may still qualify if (both):
- The crime took place on or after the 1st of August 1964.
- Your claim relates to childhood sexual or physical abuse or there is a valid reason for not claiming earlier. An example might be due to a mental or physical health problem.
Nationality and Residency Criteria
You must meet one of the nationality or residency criteria to receive the payment. In most cases, that means you should have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom when the crime took place. Examples include:
- A British citizen or an EU or EEA national (or a close relative of one).
- A family member of an EU or an EEA national with the right to be in the United Kingdom.
- A member of the armed forces (or a close relative living in their household).
- A potential victim of human trafficking on or before the date of the application. The UK Human Trafficking Centre and UK Visas and Immigration must confirm it.
- Someone seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.
- A national of a country signed up to the Council of Europe Convention on the Compensation of Victim of Violent Crimes.
Note: Being ‘ordinarily resident’ would depend on your connection to the United Kingdom. Examples could be living here, or working or studying in the country. It may also include the family member of someone who was.
Compensation Payment Qualifying Conditions
The CICA Scheme considers compensation for blameless victims with the most serious injuries. They also make payments to those who suffer because of the most distressing crimes. So, the tariff of injuries that you can get compensation for include:
- Disabling mental injuries
- Loss of earnings and expenses
- Making bereavement payments for someone’s funeral
- Physical and mental injuries
- Sexual or physical abuse
- The fatality of a close relative
Note: A rate of percentages applies if you have two or more serious injuries that would qualify on their own.
Criteria for Disabling Mental Injuries
You would need to provide medical evidence of any disabling mental injuries. The definition of a disabling mental injury for compensation claims would be something that:
- Affects your social relationship or your sexual relationships.
- Significantly affects your day-to-day performance at work or at school.
Note: A psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist must diagnose any mental injuries as part of a compensation claim.
Loss of Earnings and Paid Expenses
In some cases, your claim could result in a recompense for loss of earnings. You may also get compensated for certain paid expenses to cover the cost of things like:
- A care assistant, home alterations and adaptations, or mobility aids.
- Any damage caused to physical aids (e.g. dentures, spectacles, walking sticks).
Eligibility usually requires you to be unable to work. Having a very limited ability to perform work may also meet the criteria (for 28 weeks or longer). Payment for loss of earnings would not apply to the first 28 weeks that you were unable to work.
As a rule, you would need to be in employment when the crime occurred (or in the three (3) years immediately before it). You could still qualify if you were unable to work (e.g. caring for someone, in full-time education, or retired).
Making a Claim for Violent Crime Compensation
You should consider the CICA Scheme to be a last resort option. They expect victims to seek other opportunities to pursue compensation elsewhere first. Thus, you would need to prove you tried to get any money that you have entitlement for, such as:
- By claiming any relevant welfare benefits.
- Compensation through insurance payments or through a civil court claim.
- From a criminal court case (if it went to court).
Note: If you have other claims in progress you do not need to wait for the outcome before applying through the CICA Scheme.
You would need to provide some information to claim from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, including:
- The date of the crime and the location where it took place.
- The name of the police station where it got reported and your unique crime reference number (CRN).
- The name and address of your General Practitioner (GP) and your dentist (if you needed dental treatment after your injuries).
- Details of any previous applications made to CICA and any unspent criminal convictions.
- Proof of identity for you or anyone you have responsibility for (e.g. birth or marriage certificate, deed poll, or power of attorney).
Note: Making an application is free of charge and there is no need to use a legal adviser. But, providing false or misleading information means you could get less compensation. You could also lose eligibility for compensation altogether or get prosecuted if you know the information is wrong.
Extra Help and Information for Making a Claim
You can contact CICA direct if you do not have access to a computer or the Internet. The staff will also help if you have difficulty using the online service.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
Inside the UK: 0300 003 3601 (choose option 8)
Outside the UK: +44 (0)203 684 2517
Monday and Tuesday: 8:30am to 5pm
Wednesday: 10am to 5pm
Thursday and Friday: 8.30am to 5pm
Check call charges to 0300 phone numbers.
You can have a friend or a relative make the application on your behalf. If so, you would need to confirm that they will deal with your claim. You cannot claim the costs of using a legal adviser (e.g. a solicitor). But, you can get free help and specialist advice from:
How CICA Assess and Deal with a Claim
CICA issue a personal reference number after you submit a claim for compensation. Use it if you need to contact Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority about your case. They will assess your claim based on:
- The information in the application and the evidence given to the police.
- The criminal record of the applicant.
- Any relevant medical evidence (if required).
Note: CICA will contact the applicant if they need extra information and after making a final decision. It can take many months to complete a complex application (often up to 12 months).
Providing Medical Evidence
CICA will inform you if they are going to need a medical report. The cost of obtaining a medical report can be up to £50. Contact their staff if you need help getting a medical report (or paying for it).
Note: Claiming compensation for mental injuries means you may need to attend a psychological assessment.
Using a Legal Adviser
If you choose to use a legal adviser you should make an agreement about how much money you owe them. Your compensation may not get paid in full if you need to resolve a disagreement with your legal team.
Disagreeing with the CICA Decision
You can ask CICA to review their original decision if you disagree with it. Send them a written application for a review within 56 days of the decision date. Remember to enclose any extra evidence to support your claim.
Alexander Bain House
15 York Street
Glasgow G2 8JQ
Note: In some cases, you can appeal to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal if you disagree with the final outcome.
Updating a Claim
You need to sign in to the CICA Online Application Portal to update your account or to finish an application. You would need to contact the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority if:
- You change your contact or personal details.
- You change your legal adviser or stop using one.
- You receive a compensation payment or money from any other sources after you applied.
Note: You can phone CICA to update a claim if you applied by telephone. But, remember to have your personal reference number available.