The initial proceedure is for a CICA compensation solicitor to submit an application form to the London or Glasgow office. The form is lengthy and detailed and covers the facts of the assault and the medical trauma. The CICA thereafter acknowledges receipt of the information and starts investigations with the police and the medical authorities before asking the claimant to update the medical and financial position. Serious cases may require substantial further details and even though the CICA may not have asked for certain information which may be submitted by the claimant the CICA must never the less consider all evidence received. The CICA will not however pay for any unsolicited evidence. Once all of the evidence is available the CICA will make a decision to either pay an amount of compensation or reject the claim which will be transmitted in writing to the claimant and either of these decisions can thereafter be appealed as outlined below if the claimant is not satisfied with the decision. The most common reasons for rejection in a CICA compensation claim are failing to co-operate with the investigation of the offence by the police, unacceptable behaviour before during or after the incident giving rise to the assault and the claimants unspent criminal convictions.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority tariff scheme for calculating the amount of CICA compensation to be paid in qualifying cases was introduced in 1996 and subsequently amended in 2001 and again in 2008. The new tariff scheme applies to all applications made after 2001 and the value of an award is fixed according to a scale set by Parliament which defines the maximum levels of compensation.
There are 25 levels of CICA compensation in the tariff scheme for injuries ranging up to £250,000 and additional compensation may be available up to a maximum of a further £250,000 for lost earnings or special expenses with a combined maximum amount payable of £500,000.
In cases involving multiple injuries only the three most serious are considered in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority tariff scheme and the value for pain and suffering of those that are less serious are discounted by a set rate to establish the total amount of the award as follows :-
In the case of a fatal injury there is a fixed amount payable as CICA compensation dependent on the number of people who are eligible to claim. If only one person is entitled to claim, that person receives the full amount, however if there is more than one qualifying claimant then each will receive an amount equivalent to one half of the fixed sum. There are restricted groups that can qualify to claim following a death :-
It may be possible for the person who paid the funeral expenses to claim a reasonable sum from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority even if that person does not come into one of the qualifying categories outlined above.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority also has discretion to pay sums to other qualifying claimants who may have been supported by the deceased if they were financially dependent on the deceased who considered himself to have parental responsibilities.
CICA compensation can be claimed for physical and sexual abuse up to a maximum sum of £33,000 even if the abuse took place over a long period of time. The CICA may chose to make one award to cover a series of incidents rather than compensate each one individually. Additional compensation may also be payable if pregnancy or infection with a sexually transmitted disease including HIV/aids occurred as a direct result of that abuse.
If you receive a decision that you are not satisfied with then there are two appeal procedures that can be instigated by a CICA compensation solicitor. An initial decision by a case officer can be reviewed upon request by a more senior case office who will either amend or re-instate the decision. The forms necessary to instigate this action are always included with the letter from the CICA advising of the initial decision. Most reviews fail and the original decision is upheld. If you are still dissatisfied then an appeal can be made to the CICA Appeal Tribunal which is an independent review body which operates independently of the CICA. The forms for appeal are always included in with the final written decision sent out by the CICA.
If you have a complaint or grievance about the way your claim is being handled, your CICA compensation solicitor can contact the person dealing with the claim at the CICA or if this is not appropriate they should make contact with the Section Manager. If the complaint is of a serious nature then a contact can be made to the Customer Care Team:-
The CICA also falls within the jurisdiction of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (The Ombudsman) who investigates complaints of poor administration. Complaints for England and Wales must be submitted through a Member of Parliament. If you want to complain to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman, you should write to:
Our CICA compensation solicitors deal with Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claims on a no win no fee* basis. If the application is unsuccessful, for any reason whatsoever, you will not pay us one penny. We are an independent company with no connection to the CICA. Our claims are completely risk free and you do not have to pay for any expenses during the course of the claim. We have a client centred approach and will focus entirely on your needs by providing vigorous and committed expert representation to ensure that you receive fair and equitable compensation for your injuries. If you would like free advice on the telephone, without obligation, just phone the helpline or complete the contact form. If after talking to us you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice.SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7004