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CICA Abuse Compensation - the UK's time limit scandal

In the UK we have a grossly unfair system when it comes to compensating survivors of historic child sexual abuse.

We want to expose what we see as a travesty of justice as genuine applicants who have suffered terribly in their youth, find themselves barred from claiming much needed compensation due to unreasonable and ill-conceived claim deadlines.

pointing to deadline time limit

The compensation scheme for victims of crime in the UK is administered by the “Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority” otherwise known as the CICA. This body has imposed a very narrow framework in which those suffering from abuse are eligible to claim.

We are calling for reform to change a system that weighs heavily against the most vulnerable of individuals. We feel that the government needs to help people in this situation by giving them adequate notice of their right to claim or allowing them more time to make appropriate enquiries about their rights to obtain sexual abuse compensation.

OUT OF TIME FOR CLAIMING? - Get in touch - Many cases can be successfully appealed.

Call us to discuss your case today - 01423 593 002 or complete our enquiry form

News: Operation Tendersea - victim compensation now available to those involved. Make an enquiry to claim before the deadline.

How long do you have to claim compensation for historic sexual abuse?

In accordance with the CICA Scheme (2012) you must make your claim within 2 years of the abuse occurring or within 2 years of first reporting the crime to the police. If under 18 at the time of either the abuse occurring or the police being involved, you have until your 20th birthday to apply for compensation. When you bear in mind that most people have no idea they can actually make a claim, this 2 year window is very narrow.

Most applicants have mental health issues needing help and guidance to understand their rights. It is grossly unfair to expect them to claim within a pressurised timeframe when so much else might be going on. Whether in the case of domestic violence or sexual abuse, we believe the rules are unfair.

Take the example of a 25 year old who has suffered abuse as a child. If the police were involved when the crimes were committed then the victim effectively ran out of time for claiming when they reached 20 years of age. This despite no help or guidance at any stage regarding their entitlement to claim compensation in the first place. They would now find themselves barred from making an application. This cannot be considered fair and it is yet another insult to add to substantial injury. Read our top tips on claiming abuse compensation from the CICA

You may wish to calculate your potential award by using our sexual abuse compensation calculator to have an understanding of your entitlement should your claim succeed.

Why do the authorities not do more to advise abuse survivors of the legal right to claim compensation?

In our experience and from speaking to many thousands of historic abuse victims over the last decade, we are aware that the relevant authorities (ie: the police and support groups such as Victim Support) do not provide the required information about making a claim to the CICA during or after an abuse investigation.
There are no leaflets, no advice helplines and no formal procedures for notifying victims of crime that they have a right to seek compensation in certain circumstances. In fact one might assume there was a policy against over-publicising the scheme.

Most people who call our helpline to enquire about compensation, have stumbled across the idea or have had a discreet word from a policemen or therapist. No official word is ever given and no direction is provided to assist vulnerable applicants.

Why the CICA abuse claim deadlines are wrong

It cannot be considered fair or reasonable to restrict the compensation rights for victims of serious life changing crime simply because they have missed a very narrow deadline. Particularly so when one considers that the applicant would have no awareness of the deadline or indeed the compensation scheme itself due to the lack of publicity and general communication.

We are calling on the CICA to review their deadline criteria for abuse related applicants and to introduce a new framework for people to have a fair opportunity to claim the compensation they deserve.

IMPORTANT: If you were the victim of historical abuse before 1st October 1979 and were living with your attacker as members of the same family at the time, unfortunately the CICA scheme does not cover claims for periods of abuse up to this date.

ARE YOU A FOOTBALLER WHO SUFFERED ABUSE? Reports have emerged linking professional clubs to ex-players who were abused by coaching staff. More here on our dedicated abuse in football page.

Call us to discuss your case today - 01423 593 002 or complete our enquiry form

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