About our services

Customer Charter setting out the rights and responsibilities of anyone applying for criminal injuries compensation

Our commitment

To provide a compassionate, efficient and fair service to blameless victims of violent crime.

Introduction

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) makes payments on behalf of Government to blameless victims of violent crime. Although the size of the award varies to reflect the seriousness of the injury, we know that it will never fully compensate you for what you have suffered or lost – it is just society’s way of recognising that you have been a victim.

A compensation payment is not the only way that the Government helps those who suffer injury as a result of violent crime. There is a national health service to treat injuries; where necessary, local authorities will look after long term care needs; and there is a benefit system as a safety net if the injury affects capacity to earn.

Our awards are not designed to meet immediate needs - in most cases your claim will not be settled until some time after the incident.

Efficient service

We handle a large volume of claims every year.

To ensure that we can operate within our budget we have a priority system for settling claims. Although highest priority is given to our oldest cases, we balance this with compensating our most vulnerable applicants and those newer cases where a straightforward decision can be made.

All eligible claims will be paid, but you can expect to wait up to 12 months.

Complex cases will take even longer.

This is because we will not make a final decision on your case if your medical treatment is ongoing, or your level of recovery is not yet known.

Where we have to delay settlement of the case until the long term impact of your injury is understood, we may offer an interim payment.

This Charter is to help our customers understand our commitment to them. It explains what you can expect from us, and helps you to understand what we need from you.

Your entitlements are also set out in the statutory Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales.

Customer Charter - Your rights

What you can expect from us:

1 Fair decisions

We will:

  • assess your application based on the evidence you provide.
  • check some of the facts by getting a report from the police.
  • if necessary, ask you to provide medical evidence, or we may ask you to attend a special medical examination.
  • explain our decision clearly and make our letters clear and easy to understand.
  • make you aware of your rights - including your right to ask for a review, or appeal our decision.
  • tell you how to exercise your right to appeal against our decision.

2 Efficient service

We will:

  • aim to decide cases as quickly as possible, focusing on our oldest cases and applicants we consider to be vulnerable.
  • not finalise your case until your medical treatment and level of recovery is known.
  • let you know what to expect at each stage of the process.
  • measure how we perform and publish the results.

3 Respect

We will:

  • treat you as an individual.
  • strive to ensure that your contact with us is as easy as possible.
  • not ask you to provide more information than we need to assess your claim.
  • respect your privacy and safeguard your personal information.
  • advise you of other organisations that may be of assistance to you, but only if you want us to.

4 Ease of access

We will:

  • provide an efficient and simple to use online application system.
  • publish an Applicant’s Guide on our website to ease the process.
  • provide a telephone helpline service if you require assistance with your application.
  • respect your preferred communication method as much as possible.
  • assist you if you need to communicate with us in a different way.
  • provide you with application forms and details in the Welsh language if you ask us.

5 Tackle fraud

We will:

  • ensure all incidents of fraud or suspected fraud are dealt with promptly and appropriately.
  • report fraud to the relevant police authority and support any police prosecution.
  • seek to recover awards of compensation, from the public purse, if awarded as the result of a fraudulent claim

We will fulfil all our duties set out in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales.

Customer Charter - Your responsibilities

What we expect from you:

1 Provide accurate and complete information

We ask you to:

  • provide as much information as you can about the incident and your injuries. We understand that this may be difficult but the information is essential to decide your claim.
  • ensure that the information you provide us with is accurate and truthful.
  • tell us immediately if your contact details change.
  • declare all unspent criminal convictions and cautions on your application form. We will however, conduct a criminal records check on all claims.
  • tell us immediately if there is a material change in your medical condition.

Failure to do the above could affect the outcome of your claim.

2 Obtain medical evidence to support your claim when required

We ask you to:

  • provide a report from a doctor or dentist, when we ask you to. This allows us to verify the nature and impact of your injuries. The cost of these reports will vary but you will not be expected to pay more than £50.
  • let us know if you have difficulties obtaining a medical report.
  • attend further medical assessments if our claims officer needs the information to decide your claim.

3 Tell us if we need to communicate with you in a different way

We ask you to:

  • tell us your preferred communication method.
  • tell us if you need support to complete an online application.
  • let us know when it is suitable to call if we need to discuss your claim. In order to progress our investigations as quickly as possible, our staff may wish to discuss aspects of it with you. If you find it too distressing to discuss your claim we can deal with a representative or write to you.
  • advise us of any issues you may have which makes communicating difficult. We will do all we can to assist you.

4 Treat our staff with respect

We ask you to:

  • understand that our staff have your best interest at heart and will only ask questions which enable us to discharge our duties.
  • appreciate that even when we have all the information we need, it may be some time before your claim is decided.
  • treat our staff with respect at all times. In some cases we may take action if you do not adhere to these principles, for example by stopping telephone contact if you are discourteous to staff or repeatedly contact us about an issue to which we have already responded fully.