This section outlines some of the things you should consider before applying to the CICA.
This is not complete information on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, but it does explain some of the things which you should consider when deciding whether or not to apply to the CICA.
For more detailed information you should refer to the full Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, or access a copy of the CICA’s ‘A guide to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012’, available at http://www.gov.uk/, or by calling +44(0)300 003 3601. The lines are open from 8.30am to 5pm (local time) on Mondays to Fridays, expect Wednesdays, when they are open from 10am until 5pm (local time). Please note the Customer Service Advisors will only conduct the discussion in English.
WHO CAN GET CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION
The CICA can compensate blameless victims of violent crime, or people whose loved ones have died as a result of violent crime, if they: .
- are a blameless victim of a violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales;
- are a national of a member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA);.
- apply for compensation within two years of the crime occurring;.
- report the crime to the Police.
- fully co-operate with the Police and the Criminal Justice System; and
- suffer a physical and/or psychological injury which is serious enough to qualify for the minimum award under the Scheme.
WHO CAN NOT APPLY FOR COMPENSATION
The CICA cannot pay compensation in the following circumstances: .
- you sustained an injury before 1 August 1964.
- the injury occurred outside of Great Britain
- you have an unspent conviction which attracted a custodial or community sentence.
- you have already applied to the CICA for the same injury as a result of the same incident.
- the assailant could benefit from an award
- the injury happened before 1 October 1979 and you and the assailant were living together as members of the same family.
WHAT ELSE CAN AFFECT TOUR CLAIM?
Your claim may be affected if:
- your conduct contributed towards the incident;
- your character as shown by criminal convictions or other evidence makes it inappropriate for an award to be made; or
- you do not fully co-operate with the CICA. This includes informing the CICA of any changes of address.
WHAT ARE THE TIMESCALE FOR APPLYING
You must apply for a payment within two years of the date of the incident which led to you being injured. In exceptional circumstances the CICA may extend this time limit but only where:
- the circumstances of your injury meant that the CICA could not reasonably have expected you to apply within a two year time limit; and
- the evidence you supply in support of the application means the CICA can make a decision without further extensive enquiries.
In deciding whether there are exceptional reasons for you not to have applied earlier the CICA will consider if:
- there is medical or psychiatric evidence available which shows that it was not possible for you to have applied earlier; and
- there is clear evidence available that there was a crime of violence and that you were the victim. The CICA will make basic enquiries of the Police, but you will need to be able to provide evidence that you were a victim of a crime of violence and that you suffered an injury as a result.
You should note that the CICA will not usually consider an applicant’s lack of knowledge of the Scheme to be an ‘exceptional reason’. For more detailed information on timescales, please refer to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012, or to the CICA’s ‘Guide to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012’.
WHAT TYPE OF COMPENSATION CAN YOU GET
The CICA can consider claims for the following:
- personal injury following a single incident.
If you have been injured as a result of a single incident, you may be able to claim compensation if you qualify under the CICA’s tariff of injuries.
- personal injury following a period of abuse.
If you or someone for whom you have responsibility has been injured because of a period of physical or sexual abuse, you can make a claim for compensation. If you were abused a child, the CICA appreciates that you may not have felt able to report the incident from some time after the abuse happened. No matter how long ago the abuse took place, you should report it to the Police before you make a claim. If you have not reported it to the Police, the CICA will refuse your claim.
- loss of earnings.
If you are unable to work as a direct result of a criminal injury you may be eligible to claim a loss of earnings payment. However, your criminal injury must be serious enough to have resulted in a total inability to undertake work, or a very limited capacity to do so.
- special expenses payments.
This covers specific injury-related requirements which are not available free of the charge from any other source. The CICA can only consider a claim for 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.
- fatal injuries, including financial and/or physical dependency.
If you are a qualifying relative and were not divorced or estranged from the deceased at the time of death, you may be eligible for a bereavement payment, and a dependency payment if you were financially and/or physically dependant on the deceased at the time of their death.
- child’s payments.
You may claim for a child’s payment if the child is a qualifying relative who was under 18 at the time of death and dependant on the deceased for parental services.
- funeral payments.
If a person has died as a result of a criminal injury, a funeral payment may be made in respect of their funeral expenses for the benefit of their estate. This is normally set at £2,500 but may be increased to cover ‘expenses reasonably incurred’ up to a further £2,500.
HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR COMPENSATION?
You can apply using one of the applications detailed below. The application process should take no longer than 20 minutes. If you have no access to online services or need help to complete an application by telephone, our Customer Service Centre advisors on +44(0)300 003 3601 can help. Please note the Customer Service Advisors will only conduct the discussion in English. .
The CICA has three types of application depending on the type of incident you were involved in. These are:
The onus is on you to prove that you are eligible for compensation. This means that you will need to provide the CICA with the evidence necessary to decide your case. In addition to the evidence you supply, the CICA may get a report from the Police and, where necessary, will commission and pay for additional medical evidence (any initial medical evidence required must be paid by you at a cost not exceeding £50).
HOW WILL THE CICA ASSIST WITH YOUR CLAIM?
When the CICA have a fully completed application form from you, they will give you a personal reference number which will help them to identifiy it quickly if you need to contact them.
One of the CICA’s regional casework teams will handle your claim. If you phone for advice or an update on your claim, you will speak to the CICA Customer Service Centre advisors. They will always try to answer your query while you are on the line but if they cannot do so, they will arrange to get in touch with you at a convenient time.
The length of time needed to assess your claim will vary depending on how complicated it is. For example, claims involving loss of earnings will take longer than those only involving a payment under the tariff of injuries. The CICA will not finalise your claim until you confirm that you have recovered, as far as possible, from your injuries.
When the CICA have all the evidence they need to decide your claim, it will be passed to a claims officer. Claims officers decide cases on what is called ‘the balance of proabilities’. This means their decision is based on the view of what is more likely to have happened than not to have happened.
The CICA will inform you of their decision on your claim as soon as it is made. If we have reduced or refused a payment, we will tell you why. The CICA will also send you information about what to do if you do not agree with their decision.
You should note that not all claims for compensation will be successful; you must be eligible under the rules of the scheme.
This information is not a complete guide to the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2009, but it does explain some of the points you will need to think about when deciding whether or not to apply for compensation.
For further information and a full list of injuries for which you may receive compensation, please ask for the booklet “
A Guide to the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2009”.
You can also get further information:
WHO SHOULD APPLY FOR CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION?
You should consider applying if you can answer “Yes” to any of the following questions.
- Have you been physically or mentally injured because of a violent crime?
- Did the crime take place in Northern Ireland?
- Has your parent, child, husband, wife or partner died as the result of a violent crime?
- Do you have a close relationship with another person who has been the victim of a violent crime and you were present when the crime took place, or involved immediately afterwards?
- Have you suffered a mental injury as a result of the attack on that person?
- Did the crime take place on or after 1 May 2002?
COMPENSATION SERVICES CANNOT PAY COMPENSATION IN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES
- The crime took place outside Northern Ireland.
- You suffered only a single minor injury, such as a black eye.
- The crime took place more than two years ago, unless Compensation Services can still get enough information about what happened and there is a good reason why you did not apply before. Compensation Services will probably not accept a late application unless you can demonstrate extenuating circumstances eg. you were injured when you were a child.
- You were a victim of sexual abuse, or other sexual assault, between 11 June 1968 – 30 June 1988, and you and the person who assaulted you were living together as members of the same family.
- You were the victim of a road traffic accident, unless a vehicle was used deliberately to injure you.
COMPENSATION IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF CRIME ABROAD
If the crime happened in an EU country
Contact the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, EU Compensation Assistance Team, to apply for compensation.
EU Compensation Assistance Team
0300 003 3601
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm
Wednesdays, 10am to 5pm
Find out about call charges
If the crime happened in a country outside the EU
Not all countries outside the EU have a compensation scheme. You have to apply directly to the country where the crime happened.
Contact the British embassy for help.
OTHER THINGS WHICH MAY AFFECT YOUR CLAIM
Helping the police
In assessing an application Compensation Services normally asks the police for a report on the incident, and the doctor or hospital that treated you for a report on your injury. There does not need to be a conviction for compensation to be paid, but it is important that you do what you can to help the police.
“No” answers to the following questions may affect your claim.
- Did you report the crime to the police or other authority as soon as possible after the incident?
- Did you help the police investigate the case, for example, by making a statement or going to an identity parade?
- Did you tell the police that you would be prepared to go to court and give evidence if the offender came to trial?
Circumstances before, during and after an incident
Compensation Services may refuse compensation or reduce the amount if:
- you started a fight in which you were injured;;
- you agreed to take part in a fight in which you were injured; or
- you provoked the person who assaulted and injured you, for example, by behaving in an aggressive or threatening way.
Compensation Services may also refuse compensation or reduce the amount to be paid if you, or in the case of an injury which causes death, the victim, have a criminal record. This will depend on whether the convictions are “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978, and if not, on:
- how long ago they were; and
- the length of the sentence passed down by the Courts.
Compensation Services take account of all “unspent” convictions, including driving offences, whether they are related to the incident or not.
From 1 May 2002, a set amount of money is paid for each kind of injury. This is called the Tariff Scheme. There are two main types of compensation to be paid::
Personal Injury Award
Under this heading you may receive a payment for your own pain and suffering, whether mental or physical. You may be able to claim a separate payment for loss of earnings and special expenses.
You may also be able to claim a personal injury award if you were not present when someone very close to you was injured as a result of a violent crime and this caused you mental injury.
Bereavement support payment
If your parent, child, husband, wife or partner has died as the result of a violent crime, Compensation Services may be able to make a bereavement support payment to acknowledge your loss.
If you depended financially on the person who died, you may also be able to claim compensation for this. Compensation Services can also refund reasonable funeral expenses to the person who has paid for the funeral. However these can be reduced if the applicant has “unspent” convictions which Compensation Services will take into consideration before payment is made.
Loss of earnings
You may be able to claim compensation for loss of earnings as long as you have lost earnings, or been unable to work, for a full 28 weeks or more from the date of the injury. Compensation for loss of earnings is never payable for the first 28 weeks.
Compensation Services has to ask for evidence, such as written reports from your employer and your doctor, so that we can decide whether you are entitled to compensation for loss of earnings, and if so how much. If you receive social security benefits for your lost earnings, Compensation Services has to take these from any amount to be paid.
You may be able to claim compensation for any specialist medical treatment or special equipment you need as a result of your injury.
However, you can do this only if you have lost earnings, or been unable to work, for longer than 28 weeks from the date of the injury.
HOW DO I APPLY?
To apply for compensation you have to fill in an application form.
Please give as much information as possible, particularly police and hospital reference numbers. This information is vital to find out about the circumstances of the crime and how seriously you were injured.
There are two types of application form – one for personal injury and one for fatal injury. The Personal Injury form can be obtained from:
The Fatal Injury form can be obtained from Compensation Services or via our website.
Compensation Services will send you a Guide to the Criminal injuries compensation scheme. There are separate guides for applicants who have incurred a loss of earnings, or where a victim has died.
WHO CAN HELP ME APPLY FOR COMPENSATION?
Victim Support (NI)
Head Office: Annsgate House,
70-74 Ann Street,
Tel: 028 9024 4039
For help and support with your compensation claim contact the Victim Support (NI) community office nearest you:
Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Moyle & Larne: 028 2563 0784
Fermanagh, Omagh, Cookstown, Dungannon & South Tyrone: 028 8224 0012
Armagh, Craigavon, Banbridge, Newry & Mourne: 028 3025 1321
Belfast, Lisburn, Antrim, Newtownabey, Carrickfergus, North Down, Ards, Castlereagh & Down: 028 90243133
Foyle, Limavady, Strabane & Magherafelt: 028 7137 0086