It is very common for victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault to suffer long-lasting mental health problems as a result of their experiences. We are a legal firm specialising in criminal injury claim matters. Here we discuss how the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) assess your claim when serious conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) are diagnosed.
A claim for PTSD or EUPD under the criminal injuries scheme is likely to be complex and we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice on this type of case. More here on how to win your sexual abuse claim.
We are a regulated legal firm who specialise in criminal injury claims. Call us to discuss your case today – 01423 593 002 or complete our enquiry form
Choose a section to find out more about claiming criminal injuries for mental health conditions:
The CICA have very strict evidence requirements for those wishing to claim for medical conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). In order to claim for such conditions you must have evidence from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. No other form of evidence will be considered.
This requirement is very unfair on applicants. Many do not have a psychiatric consultant diagnosis and instead will be relying on their GP or therapists to treat them. But the CICA will not make any criminal injury award unless you have the correct evidence in place. Your evidence must also confirm that the cause of your condition is index related – in other words is related to your the abuse or assault for which you are claiming.
Unfortunately the CICA will not accept a diagnosis from a GP, psychotherapist or counsellor when it comes to serious mental health conditions. You must meet the requirement for consultant led evidence whether this be a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. NOTE: Disappointingly the CICA will also not accept evidence from “chartered” psychologists who often will treat applicants within the NHS. Only a clinical psychologist can provide proof of any index related condition.
If you wish to claim for PTSD or EUPD you must have the required evidence. Many people do not as they may have been treated by their GP rather than be referred to the NHS mental health team. You must seek a referral to mental health locally to obtain a formal diagnosis and you can then get the evidence you need. If your symptoms are prevalent and troubling you have every right to be referred to a consultant. Do not feel negative about this process, the primary aim is to get help and get better. A clear diagnosis can be a huge step forward for many sufferers.
The awards for serious mental health conditions are tiered as follows:
1) PTSD lasting less than 5 years – up to £6,500
2) PTSD lasting more than 5 years but not lifelong / permanent – £13,500
3) PTSD or EUPD permanent injury with no recovery likely – £22,000
If you have been out of work as a result of your mental health condition then a claim for loss of earnings may be possible subject to the evidence as discussed above being in place. The CICA will only pay earnings at the rate of £94.25 per week which is the governments level of statutory sick pay (SSP) as of April 2019. The first 28 weeks of any period of absence is ignored but thereafter an award will be considered but subject to the strict applied conditions concerning your lack of capacity to work. If you have a PTSD diagnosis for example it is perfectly reasonable that it maybe difficult for you to work, therefore a claim for lost wages would be possible. This part of your claim can be considerable as up to £5000 a yeear can be claimed for every year you cannot work due to any condition linked to your case.
Many people struggle to find evidence to document their earnings claim from perhaps their employers or customers if self employed. One very effective way to provide evidence of lost earnings is to obtain your HMRC employment records for the period of the claim. This is easily done via the HMRC portal.
We believe that anyone suffering with a serious mental health condition should seek legal advice and have a representative to help them through the case. This could make a significant difference to your final award. In our view the CICA do not treat applicants fairly when it comes to assessing serious mental health conditions. They will not help you secure the right medical evidence and they will also not often prompt you that a loss of earnings claim might be possible.
The CICA have a habit of making bad decisions when judging the severity of medical diagnoses. For example failing to recognise that a condition might be permanent and not likely to improve. If your condition is lifelong then this allows for a much higher award and potentially loss of earnings. Whereas by suggesting symptoms might improve, the CICA are able to pay a lower settlement.
We strongly recommend that you have legal representation when dealing with such cases.
When dealing with abuse cases we often come across a newly recognised condition called Complex-PTSD (c-PTSD). This is a form of PTSD that is deemed to be the result of deep rooted and usually sustained childhood trauma which fits with what many abuse victims go through. The condition includes elements of emotional dysregulation which is common with EUPD. The World Health Organisation (WHO) only formally recognised the condition in 2019 but many clinicians have been diagnosing patients with c-PTSD for a number of years. The condition is regarded as permanent as treatment is rarely effective in diminishing the symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with c-PTSD then your claim will be complex and you should seek legal advice to ensure that you receive an appropriate final award.
More information here about Clare’s Law for domestic violence victims.
Call us to discuss your case today – 01423 593 002 or complete our enquiry form