Criminal Injury Compensation: Can you still claim for Minor Injuries?
The CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) is a government body that deals in awarding compensation to victims of crime who have been physically and/or psychologically injured in some way.
Changes to the CICA Scheme
Changes have been introduced from 27th November 2012 under the CICA scheme relating to those who have sustained injuries which are no longer classed as being serious enough to warrant a claim through the CICA.
Examples of these injuries include, bruising, black eyes, minor scarring, broken noses, broken/ loose teeth, broken ribs etc.
Who is affected?
Under the new rules if your injuries are not serious enough to fall under the CICA’s Tariff of Injuries but have been serious enough to mean you have not been able to work, you may be eligible to receive some compensation through the Hardship Fund which is administered by the CICA.
What is the Hardship Fund?
The government have introduced the Hardship Fund to help individuals with temporary financial hardship as a result of injuries caused by a violent crime. The fund is dealt with by the CICA and is there to assist if you have no other type of financial assistance E.g. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
Payments from the Hardship Fund are based on the weekly rate of SSP and are usually paid from the fourth until the twenty-eighth day of absence. This will only apply however if an injured person is temporarily unfit to work for seven consecutive days.
The maximum payment is capped at the equivalent of four weeks of SSP and only applies to injuries sustained in England and Wales. The CICA can consider applications for these payments once an initial assessment has been carried out by Victim Support.
What do you need to apply?
To apply the following criteria must be met:
- You must have been injured as a victim of a violent crime in England or Wales on/ after 27th November 2012
- You must be unfit to work for 7 consecutive days due to the injury
- You must earn less than the minimum amount needed to receive SSP
- You must not already be receiving SSP or an equivalent
- The injury must not be serious enough for a claim under the CICA scheme
- There must be no unspent criminal convictions that would exclude you from making a claim under the CICA scheme
- Your injuries must be reported to the police as soon as possible and there must be a Crime Reference Number
- An application must be made to the Hardship Fund within four weeks of an incident
To make an application you must contact Victim Support for an initial assessment. Further information about Victim Support can be found at www.victimsupport.org.uk