Applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
What is the CICA Scheme?
The CICA Scheme allows financial awards to be made to victims of violent crime resulting in death or injury. In certain circumstance compensation may also be paid for past or future financial losses resulting from the death or injury.
How do I apply?
The Applicant must be able to establish that s/he –
- has been the victim of a crime of violence. There is no legal definition of a crime of violence but it would usually include a physical attack on a person such as an assault, wounding, sexual offences and could include a threat of violence. It is not necessary for the offender to be convicted or or even charged with the crime, and
- has been physically and / or mentally injured (or both) as a direct result of the crime of violence, and
- was in Great Britain when s/he was injured and
- has been injured seriously enough to qualify for at least the minimum award available under the Scheme, currently set at £1,000. The level of compensation paid for injuries is set out in a tariff.
What kind of Injuries qualify for the minimum award?
Minor injuries such as scratches and bruises alone will not qualify for an award.
Compensation is payable for stand alone injuries, for example a broken leg. The amount of compensation payable is set out in a tariff.
Compensation is also payable for psychological injuries. To qualify for the most minor psychological injury the Applicant must have sustained a disabling temporary mental anxiety lasting more than six weeks diagnosed by a medical practitioner. The amount of compensation payable for this type of injury is currently £1,000. If the Applicant has suffered a more serious psychological injury then the injury must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist,
Reporting the incident
The incident must be reported personall to the Police immediately after it happens. The CICA may make an exception to this rule.
Will I be able to claim loss of earnings and other financial losses?
‘The 28 week rule’ says –
If as a result of a crime of violence you have lost earnings or the ability to earn for longer than 28 full weeks then you may be able to claim compensation for the earnings you have lost and for some expenses incurred – eg medical, dental or eye treatment. The CICA cannot pay lost earnings for the first 28 weeks of loss.
What happens when the CICA received the application form?
The CICA contact the Police and, if they need to, your GP and the hospital that treated you and any other organisation or people with relevant information about your claim.
The CICA aims to provide a decision on a case within 8 to 12 weeks of receiving the application form.
Reviews / Appeal
It is possible to supply for a review of the intitial decision and appeal against a review decision. Very short time limits apply and you should consider instructing a solicitor immediately if you are dissatisfied with a decisiojn from the CICA. For more information, visit www.cica.gov.uk or contact us at the details provided or via [email protected]