Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

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Guest post by: Neil Hudgell - Logo

Neil Hudgell Solicitors CICA Criminal Injuries team help those who are victims of violent crime claim compensation for their injuries.

The different types of criminal injuries compensation

Being the victim of a violent crime is always a traumatic experience that can have a long lasting physical and mental impact. Fortunately there is a government funded scheme in place to help victims and witnesses of violent crimes, ensuring that blameless and innocent victims of crime have access to support and compensation when they need it most. If you have been injured because of a violent crime, there are several different types of payment that you might be able to claim. Violent crime will affect victims in many different ways and the different types of compensation take this into account.

How the process works

If you believe you are eligible for an award, you can fill in an application form online. If you don’t have internet access, you can also apply over the telephone. Once CICA receive your application they will process it, taking into account the personal information you provide. You won’t be required to attend a hearing. They then make a decision and write to you or your legal representative to inform you of the outcome. If you feel you need representation, contact a solicitor before you complete an online application form.

If you agree with the award decision you’ll need to sign a written acceptance form before you receive the award. If you disagree with a decision you can ask for a review, and if you disagree with a review decision you can appeal to the Tribunals Service- Criminal Injuries Compensation (TS).

A payment for injuries/Tariff award

A Tariff award recognises that you have suffered an injury. This injury can be physical or mental and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will assess whether or not your injury is serious enough to qualify for at least the minimum award payable under the tariff. If you suffer multiple injuries you will be compensated for the most serious injury that you have suffered, as well as receiving smaller amounts for separate injuries you may have suffered. Once you have been assessed and deemed eligible for a minimum award of £1,000 you will also qualify for other types of payment, including loss of earnings and special expenses.

Payment for loss of earnings

Individuals who have no or very limited capacity to carry out paid work as a result of their injury can receive compensation under the scheme. The authority will look at your previous work history to help decide whether you are eligible for a payment. After qualifying for a loss of earnings payment the CICA will pay you from the 28th week that you are unable to work.

Payment for special expenses

Special expenses payments are provided to cover carious costs that can result from an injury. This includes the cost of medical treatment which can’t be provided by the NHS, the cost of modifications that need to be made to the home and the cost of care provided by a residential care home. Payments for special expenses are given out from the date your injury occurred.

Payment because a loved one was killed in a violent crime

If your child, spouse, parent or partner was killed as a result of violent crime, you will be able to claim for compensation. Claimants are eligible to receive up to £11,000 for the death of a loved one and can also make an additional claim if they were financially dependent on the deceased.

Payment to victims of sexual offences

The CICA scheme provides compensation for victims of sexual offences and provides a contact helpline for those who need help completing their applications. In certain cases victims of sexual offences can be awarded upwards of £30,000.

In all cases the crime must have been reported to the police as soon as reasonably possible. Injuries do not have to be physical as many crimes can leave psychological scars that make daily life extremely difficult. The first step to claiming compensation is contacting the CICA so they can make an assessment of your case and begin helping both you and your family recover.

By Neil Hudgell, Solicitor

Neil Hudgell Solicitors specialise in personal injury and medical negligence legal services with a strong focus on delivering high levels of client care, whether it’s just for advice or to handle a claim. We have offices around the UK visit www.neil-hudgell.co.uk or call us on 0808 231 6056.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Aren’t spellcheckers wonderful? “edible for a payment” conjures up a whole feast!

    On a more serious note, this useful reminder of the CICS and its coverage provides another opportunity to beat the drum in favour of merging the receipts from the recently increased “victim surcharge” levied on almost all court disposals (including whole life sentences…) with the CICS and creating a real victim compensation scheme by which the courts could order the payment of a lump sum to victims, thereby saving vast amounts in the cost of collecting dribs and drabs of compensation through attachment of earnings orders, deduction from benefits orders or through further court action for wilful and repeated failure to pay. Often the sporadic £5 payments spread over two or three years are a cruel and unnecessary reminder of the trauma suffered by the victim. It would be much better if this could be done in a structured manner over a shorter period from a centrally controlled fund. I recognise that this approach could pose potential problems for the worthy and laudable services and bodies that currently benefit from grants in aid through the MoJ from the receipts of the victim surcharge, but there is considerable scope for more rational utilisation and management of these funds, and a proportion could continue to go to such services.

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