As we have explained here the government system for compensating victims of abuse through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) scheme is very flawed and unfair. The opportunity for claiming compensation is so narrow that most victims of abuse miss or are completely unaware of the deadline and find they are unable to claim.
To assist in explaining whether you might be able to claim, we have put together some case study examples for you below. These are actual scenarios we have dealt with but the names have been changed.
Here we describe a number of different real life scenarios and case examples which may help clarify your eligibility to make a claim against the CICA:
Age now: 19
Age at time of the abuse: 10
Police first involved: 8 years ago.
In Carrie’s case, despite the incidents occurring more than 9 years previously, she has until her 20th birthday to make a claim. The fact that the police were involved 8 years ago makes no difference to her eligibility to claim, provided that she has not tried to claim previously.
Age now: 28
Age at time of the abuse: 13
Police first involved: 1 month ago.
John was courageous enough to report his childhood abuse to the police quite recently and as a result, he now becomes eligible to make a claim against the CICA for the psychological harm caused. John has 2 years from the date the police were first involved to make his application.
Age now: 35
Age at time of the abuse: 8
Police first involved: 20 years ago.
Sarah was abused as a very young child of 8 years and was so terrified of speaking out that she could not tell anyone about the events until she reached the age of 15. The police became involved at that stage and the abuser was successfully prosecuted. Based on the current CICA time limit rule, Sarah’s deadline for claiming ran out when she reached the age of 20.
It was later shown however that Sarah had suffered from severe psychological symptoms (related to her abuse) for many years and this was proven by accessing her medical records obtaining evidence from her therapists. For these reasons (what may be deemed “exceptional circumstances”) the CICA agreed to extend Sarah’s deadline and subsequently allowed her claim despite being 15 years beyond the abuse compensation deadline.
What would have happened in this case if no significant and relevant medical history could be established? We cannot say with certainty but in our view, knowing the CICA and their processes as well as we do - the claim would probably have been rejected.
We can advise you on your rights to claim if you have been trafficked or subjected to illegal working practices - read our compensation for modern slavery or sex trafficking page.
Every case is unique and every person has their own road to travel. The examples referred to above are real cases, real people who’s circumstances are very common. However, you should always seek specific advice on your case.
Call our helpline for an informal chat or make a written enquiry. We will advise you immediately of your eligibility to make an abuse compensation claim.