The crime must have happened in England, Wales or Scotland. It must be reported to the police.
When you can claim
In most cases you must apply within 2 years of the crime happening.
You may be able to claim for a crime that happened more than 2 years ago if one or both of the following apply:
- you’re claiming because of childhood sexual or physical abuse
- you could not claim earlier, for example because your mental or physical health stopped you
You may also be able to claim if the crime happened before 1 October 1979 and you lived with the attacker as a family member at the time of the incident. This was known as the ‘same roof’ rule and has changed.
You must have been one of the following when the crime happened:
- a British citizen or EU or EEA national (or their close relative)
- a family member of an EU or EEA national who has the right to be in the UK
- a member of the armed forces (or you’re a close relative living in their household)
- a potential victim of human trafficking on or before the date of your application - this must be confirmed by the UK Human Trafficking Centre and UK Visas and Immigration
- an asylum seeker
- a national of a country that has signed up to the Council of Europe Convention on the Compensation of Victim of Violent Crimes
You’re also eligible if you were ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK at the time of the crime. This depends on your connection to the UK, for example if you were living, working or studying there (or you were the family member of someone who was).
What you can get compensation for
You can get compensation for:
- physical injuries
- disabling mental injuries
- sexual or physical abuse
- the death of a close relative
- paying for someone’s funeral
- loss of earnings and expenses
Disabling mental injuries
A disabling mental injury is something that significantly affects your day-to-day performance at work or school, your relationships, or your sexual relationships. Mental injuries must be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
Loss of earnings and expenses
You might get compensation for loss of earnings, or paid expenses to cover the cost of:
- care, home adaptations or mobility aids
- damage to physical aids, such as dentures, walking sticks or glasses
You usually have to be unable to work or have very limited ability to work for 28 weeks or longer to be eligible.
You will not be paid loss of earnings for the first 28 weeks you were unable to work.
You must have been employed when the crime happened or for the 3 years immediately before it. If you were not employed, you might still be eligible if you could not work, for example because you were in full-time education, retired or caring for someone.