CICA HARDSHIP FUND: Often, suffering an injury due to a violent crime means taking some time off work.
That means people in low paid work are among the most vulnerable. They may suffer a reduced income and might not qualify for a sick pay scheme.
Some blameless victims can get financial support from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The CICA deal with compensation claims for those who suffer because of violent crime.
Suffering a physical or mental injury means you might be eligible to claim through the criminal compensation scheme.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority also operate discretionary payments through the ‘Hardship Fund’. The monetary reserve pays up to 25 days of financial help – providing you meet the eligibility criteria.
Note: Not all injuries are severe enough to qualify for the standard CICA scheme. But, you may receive financial help paid through the Hardship Fund instead.
CICA Hardship Fund Eligibility Criteria
To qualify, you must have sustained an injury on or after the 27th of November 2012 in England or Wales. The injury must have occurred in a crime of violence and as a result of being a direct victim (injured by an assailant) of
the incident. If so, you can apply if:
- Your earnings are less than the minimum amount required to qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
- You are not receiving Statutory Sick Pay or getting an equivalent payment given to you by your employer.
- You were unable to work for at least seven (7) consecutive days as a consequence of the physical or mental injury sustained in the incident.
- You do not have any unspent convictions which would bar you from an award (e.g. community sentences).
- The injuries that you sustained do not qualify for a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.
Note: As a general rule, you must report your injuries to the police within 48 hours of the incident. CICA must be in receipt of the application within eight (8) weeks of the crime. You must also
report a change in circumstances without delay if you get (or have applied for) Employment Support Allowance.
How to Apply for the Hardship Fund
Applications to the Hardship Fund take place by a referral process. The referral would follow an initial assessment of eligibility conducted by Victim Support. Before you contact Victim Support you are going to need:
- The unique crime reference number issued by the police when you reported the incident.
A copy of the Fit Note (doctor certificate proof of sickness). This must show you were unable to work for at least seven consecutive days as a consequence
of the crime.
- A letter from your employer (or copy of a pay slip) that shows your average weekly earnings (before tax) do not qualify for SSP.
- A copy of the most recent Self Assessment tax return if you are self-employed. This must also show your earnings are below the minimum required to get SSP.
Note: Further information on claiming the Hardship Fund is available from your
nearest Victim Support team.