Have you been injured during a criminal act? Established in the 1960s as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) allows people who have been injured in a “crime of violence” to claim financial compensation.
If you’re a victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible to make a claim. Below, we’ve explained the eligibility criteria for making a claim for criminal injury compensation, as well as the best path to take if you believe you’re eligible.
What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an institution of the UK Government that runs a compensation scheme for people injured in violent crime. In England and Wales, CICA is funded by the Ministry of Justice; in Scotland, the agency is funded by the Justice Directorate.
CICA was originally founded in the 1960s as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Since it was established in 1964, the scheme has paid out upwards of £3 billion. More than £200 million in compensation payments are made to victims of violent crime every year.
The compensation scheme was reformed in September 2012. Currently, the maximum amount a victim of violent crime can potentially claim under the scheme is £500,000. Payments can be made for injuries, loss of earnings, bereavement, dependency and other conditions.
Who is Eligible to Make a Criminal Injury Compensation Claim?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme has specific eligibility criteria, meaning that not all victims of crime may be able to make a claim.
Working out whether or not you’re eligible to make a claim can be a confusing process. The UK government operates an in-depth, detailed website that covers eligibility criteria for the scheme.
In general, people who are “blameless victims of violent crime, or people whose loved ones have died as a result of a violent crime” are eligible to make a claim.
In order to qualify as an eligible victim, the person needs to be a “direct victim” of a “crime of violence.” There is no legal definition of this term in the UK — as such, the scheme provides a list of crimes that are considered “crimes of violence” for eligibility purposes.
In determining eligibility, several steps are taken. The first is establishing that a violent crime has occurred. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a violent crime, it needs to be reported to the police as soon as is reasonably practicable.
There are also residency limits on eligibility. Claimants are required by law to be British citizens, close relatives of British citizens or nationals of member states of the EU or EEC. In order to be eligible for compensation, the crime must have taken place within the UK.
The injury must have a value of £1,000 or more. Injuries can be either physical, psychological or a combination of the two. The criminal responsible for your injuries does not need to have been caught or convicted — you can still potentially make a claim if they are unidentified.
More Information for Victims of Violent Crime
The full eligibility criteria for the scheme is quite complicated, making it difficult to work out if you or a loved one are eligible for compensation. For most people, the best approach is to speak to a lawyer that specialises in making criminal injury claims to learn more about your eligibility.
Are you considering making a claim? Defence Solicitors London provide a criminal injury claim service and can help you learn more about the scheme, from your eligibility to the legal process of making a claim for compensation, you can get in touch with them here.