News

Abuse claim deadline looms for victims of historical crime

Deadline for abuse victims as the “same roof” compensation window closes

In June 2020 the government announced that they were to temporarily remove the “same roof” rule to allow victims of historical crimes to claim compensation. This rule previously had denied thousands of victims from receiving rightful compensation under the governments scheme.

What is the same roof rule?

This appalling rule is contained within the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 and states that no compensation would be paid to any victim who at the time of any abuse or assault was living with the perpetrator under the same roof before October 1979. This meant that those suffering sexual abuse at the hands of family members living with them could not claim compensation. When you bear in mind that 90% of sexual abuses cases involve close family members, this rule represents a clear injustice.

Why is there now a deadline for claims?

A landmark decision in the summer of 2018 paved the way for changes and the cross Government Victims Strategy published in September 2018 confirmed that the Ministry of Justice intended is to amend the 1979 CICA rule.

It is now possible for victims of abuse suffering before October 1979 to claim compensation. But for those who have already tried to claim and been refused previously – the deadline closes in June 2021.

If you have claimed before and been refused – can you really claim again?

Yes you can now claim again but you must submit a fresh application. The old application cannot be relied upon. You have until 13th June 2021 (2 years on from the rule change) to make your claim to the CICA and be aware that all claims are subject to eligibility.

What if no CICA claim has been made previously?

If you have not previously made any claim to the CICA for sexual abuse because of the Same Roof rule, you can now do so. Your deadline will be 13th June 2021 (2 years on from the rule change) so as long as you submit your case to the CICA before this you should have your claim fairly assessed subject to the usual eligibility criteria.