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How to claim for lost earnings for a criminal injury   

Loss of earnings or income criminal injury claims - CICA

If you have suffered injury or psychological harm as a result of a crime you may be entitled to make a claim to the government for criminal compensation. Whilst claiming for injury can be straightforward assuming your case is eligible, trying to recover lost earnings, wages,  loss of income or business revenue can be much more difficult.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) administer the compensation scheme for the government and they have put together a set of complex rules to determine how lost income claims should be managed. Making a claim for lost earnings due to related incapacity is not easy and it is strongly recommended you seek legal advice.

CICA lawyer meeting

We discuss the rules and eligibility criteria for loss of earnings below. Please feel free to get in touch if you wish to discuss your claim or require legal representation. We specialise in high value complex claims and particularly issues arising from rape and sexual assault.

Call us to discuss your case today - 01423 593002 by Whatsapp / text 07707 338965 or complete our enquiry form

Our top 5 tips top help you claim lost earnings

  1. Let the CICA know you wish to claim earnings from the earliest possible moment in the claim. This ensures they do not ignore your right to claim.
  2. Obtain supportive medical evidence to establish your incapacity and the reasons why you cannot work. A GP letter will suffice but consultant led evidence is much more persuasive
  3. Ask your doctor to estimate (to be included within the medical evidence) how long you may be incapacitated. If this is long-term more forensic / detailed evidence might be needed.
  4. If you cannot provide wage information or wage slips etc , ask HMRC for a summary of your tax receipts for the current and prior year earnings.
  5. For those seeking a long-term loss of income award, you are strongly advised to seek legal representation. With almost £5000 per year at stake, it is well worth getting professional help.

The process to reclaim lost earnings or income is not simple. In our view the CICA scheme is overly complex regarding the issue and this reduces the opportunity to recover genuine losses suffered by innocent victims of crime. However if your criteria fits, compensation can be claimed and in the example of someone with long-term issues the system can help and can make a difference to your life.

DO NOT EXPECT THE CICA TO MENTION YOUR RIGHT TO CLAIM BACK LOST INCOME - they invariably do not mention it during a compensation case. You must present your claim in advance of any award decision made by the CICA so the sooner you mention the matter to them the better.

CICA Eligibility rules - Lost earnings

The rules that determine eligibility for a loss of earnings award are set out in the 2012 Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme. In order to make a claim you must meet the criteria outlined below:

  • You must have little or no capacity to work as a direct consequence of the injury for which you are claiming
  • You must have been in regular paid work for a period of at least 3 years prior to the injury
  • Or if you were not in work, had a good reason for not being otherwise gainfully employed.

Further to this the CICA will not pay any earnings award for the first 28 weeks of any period of loss. Your claim therefore begins on the 29th week and that means unless you are on long term absence, no award can be considered.

How much can you claim?

The final point to be aware of is that the maximum CICA loss of earnings weekly award is fixed at the value of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) set annually by the UK government. If you earn more than this sum, you will be extremely disappointed to learn that you cannot recover the losses you have sustained. However for those suffering long-term incapacity deemed to be linked to the crime, you are able to pursue a potential future loss payment. Given current SSP rates this would fetch just over £5000 per annum until your official retirement age.

What evidence do you need?

If you are seeking an earnings based award from the CICA you must have crystal clear medical evidence to show that the criminal injury for which you are claiming, has led to your incapacity. Where other factors come into the discussion, for example a further unrelated injury or other reason for not working, this may well damage your prospects for re-claiming earnings. A good example would be someone who has crime related psychological issues and genuine incapacity arising, but also suffers serious physical disability or illness that may be unrelated. This would make a claim much more complex.

It is not possible to claim for loss of career opportunity. Nor can you claim for diminution or reduced earnings due to a related injury. The scheme wording is very clever in terms of ruling out any award for those that have even a little capacity to work.

How do I prove my previous level of earnings in order to claim?

You will need to establish that you were in work and earning a salary for a period of at least 3 years prior to any criminal injury being sustained. Or if you were out of work, you must have a valid reason as to why, such as looking after children or illness/incapacity.

You can provide evidence of prior earnings and perhaps commencement of any relevant incapacity period by obtaining wage slips or if they are not available HMRC will provide you with a summary of your tax credits and earnings during a specified period. You can make an enquiry with HMRC here.

DWP Benefits

If you are on DWP benefits in relation to any relevant incapacity, for example PIP or ESA then you should consider obtaining your DWP file. Many victims of sexual abuse suffer long term debilitating mental health injuries leading to incapacity. The DWP records can prove invaluable in such cases.

This is very persuasive evidence and you can obtain your file record for free here.

Please get in touch to chat about your case today.

Call us to discuss your case today - 01423 593002 by Whatsapp / text 07707 338965 or complete our enquiry form


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