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Criminal Injury claim review advice

CICA Review procedures - What happens when you challenge a decision

If your criminal injury claim is rejected by the CICA at the initial decision stage or you receive an inadequate award proposal, you have the right to request a review. Here we explain what a review is and offer you an opportunity to seek legal advice on your case.

If you have been the victim of crime and suffered injury or psychological harm, you are entitled to make a compensation claim under a government scheme that is managed by a body called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

You might think that blameless victims of crime would automatically have a right to a fair compensation award following their ordeal, however that is not the reality for many individuals. The CICA have a strict set of rules and criteria that have to be met and many people fall outside the eligibility test despite having on the face of it a clear case for compensation. Even if you meet the criteria you may end up with a poor or inappropriate award payout.

According to the official statistics issued by the CICA for the period 2021/2022 almost 60% of cases were refused for one reason or another.

Given that there were 31, 000 applications, that suggests more than 18,000 injured victims of violent or sexual crime were flatly refused compensation.

What can you do if you are one of the unlucky 60%? We provide some key advice below.

Inadequate award proposals are also common and those receiving a low tariff offer or where additional items such as lost earnings have been ignored / declined may also wish to consider submitting a review request.

Why do the CICA reject claims from victims of crime?

The TOP 3 reasons (according  to our own data) for the CICA refusing a claim are as follows:

  1. The claim is made outside of the permitted deadline.
  2. The injuries are too minor for an award to be considered.
  3. The applicant failed to cooperate with the CICA during the claims process.

We discuss claim deadlines here in more detail. This is one area where the CICA can be flexible in certain circumstances so it is always worth taking advice on such a dispute.

The rules regarding criminal convictions are rigidly applied and subject to the strict legislation regarding when they become rehabilitated or “spent”. A review rarely proves successful in such instances unless there has been an error on the part of the police or CICA.

Submit a Review request - CICA INITIAL decision

- Asking for a Review
When the CICA make an initial decision on any claim, the applicant has the right to request a review of the decision if they disagree with it. Whether the compensation award is too low or the claim itself has been completely rejected, the right to challenge a decision remains open to you.

During the period 2021 - 2022 almost 10% of applicants requested a review following an initial CICA decision.

You have 56 days from the decision letter to request a review. The process takes the shape of an internal appeal whereby a senior member of staff within the CICA (who has not previously dealt with the case) reassesses your file and the available evidence to determine if the decision made was correct or reasonable in accordance with the scheme rules. Any decision made must be "fair and just".

IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to provide evidence to assist in the review
If you do not submit additional medical or other evidence or provide detailed advice / opinions on why the initial decision was unjust, your review is unlikely to succeed.

TOO LATE FOR YOUR REVIEW REQUEST? Please contact us for advice as soon as possible.

Sexual Assault cases - If your case involves a single one off incident you may wish to view our rape compensation page.

Stabbing related incidents - If you have been injured following a stabbing please read our dedicated page here.

The CICA Appeal process after a FINAL decision

- Tribunal Appeal
If you receive a "final" decision from the CICA and are still unhappy with the outcome, you have the option to lodge a Tribunal appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation) within 3 months of the CICA  decision letter. The paperwork will be provided by the CICA who will also outline the procedures involved. Alternatively you can use the link above to apply through the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) website.

We can help with Tribunal representation and have a dedicated page on the CICA appeal process here. We handle all accepted cases internally including any advocacy at the tribunal but we can only assist you if we believe that our involvement will make a positive difference to the case and the potential outcome.

The FTT will assess the facts during an initial stage and then confirm whether the matter is suitable to be considered by a Tribunal judge. A hearing may be necessary (but some cases are adjudicated without one) and at the end of the process the FTT judge will decide on the merits of the appeal.

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

If you need advice on your rejected case – please call us for an impartial view. We might be able to direct you or represent you fully during the review or appeal process.