Forgive me if some of you are aware of this scheme but not many knows of this government scheme which gives financial support to those who are victims of crime. I mentioned it to a colleague and they had not heard about it.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
Some years ago, a boy was mugged on the street – knocked unconscious and in the hospital for weeks. Due to this, he lost his job and then his home as he couldn’t pay his rent. I saw him in my role as an occupational health nurse and advised him to apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme which he did. He couldn’t quite believe there was money available, No one had told him about it. But he applied for and got money to get him back on his feet financially.
He was grateful to me because no one had suggested this to him.
Since then I often advise injured victims of crime about this scheme which is widely unknown. It’s called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. A government-funded scheme that allows a blameless victim of a crime to get financial compensation. You do not have to have insurance to get this award.
Under the Scheme, each type of injury is given a value. The award can never fully compensate for all the injuries suffered but it is a sign that society acknowledges the crime and that there is some public sympathy for the blameless victims.
How Much Can You Get
The minimum tariff payment is £1,000 and the maximum tariff payment for a single injury is £250,000. In certain circumstances, you may be entitled to additional payments for loss of earnings and special expenses. The maximum overall award is £500,000 — and covers loss of earnings or special expenses.
Northern Ireland has its own Scheme, as do many other countries. If injured outside Great Britain there is more information available in the guidance.
There is also a helpline to call if you need more information. You must claim within two years of the incident.
If you want more advice on whether or not to claim, call the helpline number on 0300 003 3601.
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Many people have benefited from this scheme – there is no cost to yourself and you do not need legal representation (but there are some exceptions).
Changes Pending in 2018
From September this year (2018) the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) will look at how the scheme might better serve victims – especially victims of child sexual abuse and terrorism. The review will begin immediately and is expected to report in 2019 with recommendations for reform.
Victims in 2017/18 were paid out more than £150 million. But the review will consider abolishing the pre-1979 ‘same-roof’ rule of the CICS. This is especially relevant for victims of historic child abuse, taking into account of recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
The review will look at issues in CICS, including:
- time limits for applications – currently 2 years after an incident but this may change for victims of child sex abuse.
- the ‘same roof’ rule – currently people living under the same roof were not eligible for compensation thus excluding child abuse victims.
- unspent convictions – the scheme automatically excludes an award if the applicant has an unspent conviction. It is suggested the rules disproportionately impact vulnerable victims of child sex abuse who may have offended in response to being abused/exploited/groomed.
- the crime of violence– the scheme sets out what constitutes a crime of violence for the purposes of assessing entitlement to compensation and adds new issues like grooming as crimes.
- terrorism – the terrorist attacks of last year left people with serious life changing injuries which are currently not covered by this scheme.
To claim or see the full guidance document click here to go to the UK Official site
Have you been injured and suffered damages in the past year – did you get told about this scheme to get compensation from the police or hospital? Add your stories here.