Friday, 22 February 2013

What does the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority do?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government body that makes up part of the Ministry of Justice. Its main purpose is to provide a free financial compensation service to all victims of violent crime through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme of England, Wales and Scotland. 

How does it work?

Any victim of a violent crime that occurs in England, Scotland or Wales is eligible to make an application for financial support to the CICA. The CICA assesses each application in turn and determines whether compensation can be paid to the victim, or their loved ones in the event of the victim’s death. There are four types of compensation that can be claimed, depending on the nature and severity of the injuries sustained. 

Types of compensation you may be entitled to:

1. Compensation for injuries sustained 

Providing you can prove you sustained the injuries you are claiming for, this type of compensation should be paid without delay. Also known as the tariff award, this payment is made on a sliding scale according to the severity and lasting effects of your injuries. Awards range in size from a minimum of £1000 up to a maximum of £500,000. 

2. Compensation for the family of a violent crime victim 

In the unfortunate event of a death due to a violent crime it is possible for a member of the victim’s immediate family to make a compensation claim from the CICA. This award has a fixed amount of £11,000 and can be used to ease the financial burden of losing a loved one. 

3. Compensation for loss of earnings 

If the injuries you sustained as a direct result of violent crime make it impossible to work for more than 28 weeks you can send in a separate application to the CICA (separate from your application for the tariff award) to cover your loss of earnings. A successful application for this type of criminal injuries compensation will start to pay out from your 29th full week off work. 

4. Compensation for additional or special expenses 

Victims of severe violent crime often need long term care, home adaptations to make life easier and expensive medical procedures not generally provided by the NHS. Making an application to the CICA for special expense compensation can ease the burden of these expenses, but as with loss of earnings, the application has to be made separately to that of the tariff award. 

The CICA is there to help any victim of violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales and accordingly the eligibility criteria are few. In simple terms: 
  • Your injuries need to be severe enough to justify a pay-out. So for example a cut finger won’t be assessed as worthy of compensation.
  • Your injuries need to be a direct result of a violent crime that occurred in England, Scotland or Wales. The perpetrator doesn’t need to have been convicted or even charged for the assault.
  • You need to make a claim within 2 years of being injured. 
If you’re unsure whether you are eligible to make a claim for criminal injuries compensation then it’s advisable to contact the CICA directly. Who knows, you may be entitled to a lot more than you think.

1 comment:

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