It is possible to lodge a formal complaint to the CICA if you are unhappy with the way your claim is being handled by the organisation.
If you have made a claim for injury or harm arising out of a crime in the UK, your case will be submitted by you or your representative to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for assessment. This body is part of the Ministry of Justice and they administer the compensation scheme for the government across England Wales and Scotland.
Not unlike any other government department the CICA is a busy, pressured unit dealing with a high volume of cases. They do not handle claims quickly but generally they are fair and reasonable in their dealings. They have to be – it is written into their official objectives.
But what can you do if your criminal injury claim is not being handled in a satisfactory manner? Here we explain more about your rights and your options regarding how to make a formal complaint.
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The CICA have a formal complaints procedure and it is summarised below but can be read in more detail here. A complaint can be a very effective way of getting a more timely response to your query or concern and you should not be afraid of using this facility.
Complaining by phone
You are able to phone the CICA to lodge your complaint. Many people do not know this and yet it remains the simplest most effective way to start the process. You can reach the CICA on 0300 003 3601 Monday to Friday. You must state on the call that you are making a formal complaint to elicit the best response and be routed through to a complaints handler.
Complaining in writing
You can complain by letter sending your correspondence to: CICA, Alexander Bain House, Atlantic Quay, 15 York Street, Glasgow G2 8LQ. It is recommended that you head your letter “Formal Complaint”. You can also email this to: email@example.com or complete this online webform
The CICA will try to call you or otherwise contact you within 5 working days. They will see if your query can be resolved there and then or they will refer the matter on to a suitable person who can help.
What happens next?
If the matter can be resolved at this stage then you will usually get a decision on the case or some movement within a few weeks. But if you have been unable to resolve matters at this stage you have the right to escalate the complaint.
An escalated complaint will be referred to a manager and your case will be looked at again for a final response by the CICA. You may still not be happy with their reply but at this stage the process becomes exhausted. You can then write to the Chief Executive of the CICA to see if the matter can be reassessed further.
Not all complaints are justified. Not all complaints will end satisfactorily. But if your claim is subject to a delay or has been perhaps adjudicated unfairly, you should consider a complaint if a review or appeal is not an option.