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About the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

Information about the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

If you have suffered injury or harm as a result of a criminal act, you may be able to claim compensation under a government scheme managed by a body called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Here we explain all you need to know about the CICA with some information on how to make a claim.

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News: Operation Tendersea - sexual assault compensation now available for the victims involved.

About the CICA and what do they do

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (known as the CICA) is a government agency that handles criminal compensation claims throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

The CICA operate the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which is a legal framework allowing the government to properly administer public funds to compensate innocent victims of crime.

How long have the CICA been running the scheme?

The CICA have administered the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme since its introduction in 1964. They have provided an invaluable outlet for innocent victims of violent crime to obtain compensation.

More details about the CICA

Around 450 staff are employed by the CICA in Glasgow to help administer the scheme and determine applications for compensation. The CICA claims handling teams are broken down into regions and handle many thousands of new cases each year.

How many criminal injury claims do the CICA deal with annually?

The number of claims will fluctuate every year but during the period 2018/2019 33,000 applications for personal injury compensation were made and the body spent £130m on compensation payments (see data). The number of applications received during 2018/2019 reduced by 9% as compared to the year prior.

Around 15% of cases involve sexual abuse claims or rape compensation cases. This provides a much needed resource for the general public, helping them through experiences that most people hope never to encounter.

How to make a claim to the CICA

If you have been a victim of crime and suffered physical or psychological harm as a direct consequence, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Your claim can be submitted online here directly to the CICA or you can seek legal representation.

CICA compensation eligibility rules

The scheme has very strict eligibility rules which you should be aware of before you consider submitting your claim:

  • You must have reported the assault to the police as soon as practicable (This can be a difficult area in domestic abuse or sexual abuse cases for which some flexibility is allowed)
  • You must have sought medical attention for any personal injury
  • You must apply within 2 years of the event or going to the police
  • You must not have caused or contributed to the “incident” in any way
  • You must not have any live or “unspent” criminal convictions
Important: You do not necessarily need to prosecute the offender to make a claim. Be aware - avoid 5 common mistakes applicants often make when applying for compensation.

Do you need legal representation to make a claim

You do not need a solicitor or legal advisor to make a claim. The CICA will deal with you directly. They will assess your case on strict eligibility criteria and unless your claim is straightforward, it is sensible to seek free legal advice BEFORE you claim.

We can help with any case but also those that are delayed or otherwise complex, those involving loss of earnings entitlement and cases already refused by the CICA.

We are a criminal injury specialist claims management service and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We help people claim and can assist those who prefer to have representation to support them through the process which for many can be very stressful.

How long do claims take?

Most claims settle within 12-18 months. This lengthy delay is primarily due to the sheer volume of cases that the CICA handle and the fact that organisation such as the police and / or GP’s, hospitals etc have to supply vital information. This can take time. There is no way to speed up the process but you can press the police and your doctor where appropriate to provide the necessary evidence more quickly.

How much compensation can you claim under the CICA scheme?

Compensation is awarded on a tariff basis with each injury categorised and tiered in relation to the severity of the pain and suffering caused. The duration of symptoms / period of suffering is also taken into account. The award system is not as generous as the structure offered by the civil courts. Victims are often disappointed at the sums payable but it has to be remembered that the scheme is a government fund it is not backed by insurance companies or other well resourced bodies.

It is important to remember that the criminal compensation scheme is not designed to offer full indemnity and protection for your injuries and loss. It is there to provide recognition of the crime and a level of redress to help you after your ordeal.

Read our top tips on claiming abuse compensation from the CICA

More information here on how to claim for  CICA lost earnings.

You may be entitled to make a claim if you have suffered harm following sexual abuse and we can help you with advice in this key area if required.

Obtain rightful compensation for your criminal injury, contact us now for a detailed and informal discussion about your case.