If you have been the victim of a violent crime, you could be eligible to receive compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). CICA is a government organisation that can pay money to anyone who has been physically or mentally injured as the innocent victim of a violent crime.
If you require further help on a matter of criminal law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.
How CICA can help you
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority offers a free service, processing applications and making awards that range from 1,000 to 500,000.
If you want to make an application, you can do this yourself, or you can get help from Victim Support or the Citizens Advice Bureau. You could also pay a solicitor to help you, although you should be aware that CICA cannot pay the costs of this for you.
Checking your eligibility for compensation
You may be eligible if:
- you have been injured seriously enough to qualify for at least the minimum award
- you were injured in an act of violence in England, Scotland or Wales an offender does not necessarily have to have been convicted of, or even charged with the crime
- you are making your application within two years of the incident that caused your injury however, applications may still be accepted after two years if, in your particular case, it wasn’t reasonable to expect an application to be made within this time
If you are a UK resident, but were injured outside of England, Scotland and Wales, use the links below to apply for compensation:
- if you were injured in another European Union (EU) country, use the first link
- if you were injured in a non-EU country, you can apply directly to that country – use the second link below to find a list of countries which have a crime victim compensation scheme
Reasons your compensation may be refused or reduced
CICA can decide to reduce or completely refuse your compensation for the following reasons:
- your behaviour before, during or after the incident in which you were injured
- your criminal record
- your failure to co-operate with the police, or with CICA
- your delay in informing the police, or other organisation, or person of the incident
How to apply
Freephone 0800 358 3601
Lines are open from 8.30 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm on Saturdays
You can get the forms you will need to apply by:
- calling CICA’s freephone number – 0800 358 3601; they will then send you the right forms (calls are free from UK landlines; they are also monitored for training purposes)
- printing them off from CICA’s website
Types of compensation you can apply for
There are four types of compensation:
Compensation for injuries (including sexual offences)
This type of compensation simply recognises that you have suffered the injury. CICA calls this the ‘standard amount of compensation’ or ‘tariff award’. As well as this, they can also compensate for loss of earnings and special expenses. However, you can only get those if you also qualify for the tariff award.
Compensation because a loved one has died as a result of a violent crime
If your parent, child, husband, wife or partner (including a same-sex partner) has died as the result of a violent crime, you may get this type of compensation. The amount is currently 11,000 if one person is claiming or 5,500 each if there is more than one person claiming. If you depended financially on the person who died, you may also be able to claim compensation for this. CICA can also refund funeral expenses to the person who has paid for the funeral but they cannot pay funeral expenses before the claim has been assessed.
Compensation for loss of earnings
If you have lost earnings, or the ability to earn, for longer than 28 weeks as a direct result of the injury, you may claim for this. If you qualify for an award for loss of earnings, CICA will pay compensation from the 29th week that you cannot work. If you want to apply for loss of earnings compensation as well as the standard tariff award, you should let CICA know as there is a separate form and guide that they will send you for this.
Compensation for special expenses
Details of other expenses you can claim for are in the Scheme. They can include:
- medical treatment which cannot be provided by the NHS
- care provided by a residential establishment or home
- adaptations made to your home as a result of the injury
How CICA makes a decision
CICA makes all its decisions on eligibility and the amount of payment it can make following a set of rules called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The current Scheme was introduced on 3 November 2008 and applies to applications made on or after that date.
Appealing against a decision
If you are not happy with the decision made by CICA, you can appeal to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Panel (First Tier Tribunal Criminal Injuries Compensation) who are independent of CICA. CICA can provide you with an appeals form, together with a guide to the appeals process.
Special arrangements for paying awards
CICA may sometimes need to make special arrangements for paying an award, to take account of the circumstances of the victim or of other relevant issues. For example, if the victim is a child, the award will be kept in a bank account which earns interest until the child is 18 years old. Awards for adults legally incapable of handling their own affairs might also be paid into trusts for the applicant’s benefit.