On the 28th February 2019 the government announced they intend to completely abolish the “same roof rule” which prevents victims of crime (particularly historical abuse) claiming compensation if they lived with their attacker before 1979. This controversial rule has wrongly denied thousands of abuse victims rightful compensation since the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) award scheme was introduced by the government in 1964.
A landmark decision in the summer of 2018 paved the way for changes and the cross Government Victims Strategy published in September 2018 confirmed that the Ministry of Justice intended is to abolish the 1979 CICA rule. The government decided to bring forward this change and a statutory instrument laid in Parliament on the 28th February 2019 will accelerate the process of removing the pre-1979 rule completely.
This rule change has yet to become law. However once it does it means that all victims have a chance to now claim compensation from the CICA subject to the relevant criteria being met.
If you have tried to claim before and your case was rejected under this rule (and not for any other reason) you will soon be able to resubmit your claim to the CICA. Your case will hopefully be assessed fairly under the standard scheme rules.
It follows that anyone who has not claimed previously now has the opportunity to do so. You are free to submit your claim pending the legislation going through parliament and a new compensation scheme being published. Again the standard scheme rules will be applied in order to meet the eligibility requirements.
We would recommend that your claim is submitted or re-submitted as soon as possible, the legal changes will take effect later this year. The majority of these claims will involve sexual assault or abuse and many victims will have mental health issues that may have significantly affected their lives and careers. You maybe entitled to claim loss of earnings in addition to a higher level disabling mental injury award. Such cases are complex and legal advice is recommended.
MAKE AN ENQUIRY TODAY for specific advice on your compensation prospects after this rule change.
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There is further good news for victims as the government has ordered a wide ranging review into the CICA scheme. This will involve introducing a fairer process which will be victim focused rather than looking to reduce costs and protect governments funds. There have been some welcome changes to the compensation scheme already for abuse victims and we hope that the review underpins this change in attitude.