Criminal injuries compensation: a guide
A guide to applying for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Applies to England, Scotland and Wales
How to use this guide
This is a digital guide for people who have applied, or are thinking of applying, for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 (we call this ‘the Scheme’). The Scheme applies to all applications received on or after 27 November 2012. This guide should be read in conjunction with the Scheme, which remains the authoritative document. You can get a copy of the Scheme from our website.
Copies of the Scheme are also available in Welsh.
This guide is to help you understand the Scheme. This guide is divided into helpful topics such as the eligibility rules, how to make an application, your responsibilities and how we will handle your claim. This guide will also link to the relevant sections of the Scheme or other organisations’ websites where appropriate.
Simply click on a topic from the contents list and this will automatically take you to that area of the guide. If you are looking for a particular keyword, press ‘control’ and ‘f’ and then enter the keyword in the search area.
What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?
The Scheme is a government funded scheme designed to compensate victims of violent crime in Great Britain. We, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), administer the Scheme and decide if applicants are eligible and assess the appropriate value of any award.
The rules of the Scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by the Secretary of State and approved by Parliament. To qualify for an award, an injury must be described in the tariff of injuries at Annex E of the Scheme. The CICA must pay an award in line with these prescribed amounts, based on the severity of the injuries and the impact on you.
We recognise that no amount of compensation can ever make up for the harm and suffering caused to victims by violent crime. Injury awards are intended to be an acknowledgement of harm and an important gesture of public sympathy.
What payments are available from the Scheme?
We can consider claims for the following:
mental or physical injury following a crime of violence;
sexual or physical abuse;
loss of earnings - where you have no or limited capacity to work as the direct result of a criminal injury;
special expenses payments - these cover certain costs you may have incurred as a direct result of an incident. You can only ask us to consider special expenses if your injuries mean you have been unable to work or have been incapacitated to a similar extent for more than 28 weeks;
a fatality caused by a crime of violence including bereavement payments, payments for loss of parental services and financial dependency; and funeral payments.
To qualify for an award, an injury must be described in the tariff of injuries at Annex E of the Scheme. Not all claims for compensation will be successful; you must be eligible under the rules of the Scheme.
Time limits for applying
You must apply as soon as it is reasonably practicable for you to do so. If you were an adult at the time of the incident, this should normally not be later than two years after it occurred. We can only extend this time limit where:
due to exceptional circumstances an application could not have been made earlier; and
the evidence provided in support of the application means that it can be determined without further extensive enquiries by a claims officer.
Applications should be made without delay and victims should not wait until the conclusion of criminal proceedings. The Scheme does not require an offender to have been convicted and all compensation decisions are made on the ‘balance of probabilities’, based on the available evidence. This is different from a criminal court which decides on the basis of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. We do not need to wait for the outcome of a criminal trial if there is already enough information to make a decision on your case, so you should never make that a reason for delaying your application.
If you wish us to consider your application more than two years from the date of the incident you will need to provide us with evidence that shows why this application could not have been made earlier. You must also be able to provide supporting evidence for your claim that means that the claims officer can make a decision without further extensive enquiries.
Time limit for applicants under 18 years of age on the date of the incident
Special provision is made in the Scheme if you were under 18 at the time of the incident, although you should still apply as soon as you can. If you are not able to make your own application, a person with parental responsibilities for you can apply on your behalf. If an application is made close to the time of the incident, it will be easier for you to provide evidence that you were injured as the result of a crime of violence.
Where you were under 18 at the time of the incident an application must be received:
by your 20th birthday, if the incident was reported to the police before your 18th birthday.
within two years of the first report to the police, if the incident was reported to the police on or after your 18th birthday.
You must also be able to provide supporting evidence for your claim that means that the claims officer can make a decision without further extensive enquiries.
If you wish us to extend these periods for applying, you will also need to provide us with evidence that shows why the application could not have been made earlier.
Same roof rule applications
A further exception to the normal time limit applies to applications that relate to the ‘same roof rule’.
The ‘same roof rule’ prevented compensation being awarded for incidents occurring between August 1964 and 30 September 1979, where an applicant was living with their assailant as a family member at the time.
This rule was removed from the Scheme in 2019 and allowed applications to be submitted from those injured in circumstances falling under the ‘same roof rule’ who had not previously applied for compensation or from those whose application had previously been refused under this rule. The deadline to apply was 13 June 2021.
We have discretion to consider applications beyond this deadline if there are exceptional circumstances which mean you could not have applied earlier, and the evidence supplied in support of your application means that it can be determined without the need for further extensive enquiries.
We can compensate victims of violent crime, or people whose loved ones have died as a result of a crime of violence. You will also need to meet all the remaining requirements and eligibility criteria within the Scheme to receive an award of compensation.
Direct victim of a crime of violence
A direct victim is someone who was directly injured as a result of a crime of violence in Great Britain or other relevant place.
The term ‘a crime of violence’ is defined at Annex B of the Scheme.
Compensation can only be awarded where the incident occurred in England, Scotland, Wales, or another ‘relevant place’. A full definition of ‘relevant place’ is given at Annex C of the Scheme.
Injured while taking an exceptional and justified risk
You may be eligible for a payment if you were injured while trying to apprehend and offender or suspected offender, prevent or remedy the consequences of a crime or were helping the police to do so. However, we will only make a payment if we are satisfied that you were taking an exceptional risk and that risk was justified in all the circumstances.
A risk will not be considered exceptional if it was something that you might reasonably have been expected to do in the normal course of your work. In considering whether a risk is exceptional we will consider if the risk taken was unusual and was not something which you had been trained to deal with.
When considering if the risk was justified we will consider all the circumstances, including the seriousness of the situation, and whether there was an immediate threat to those involved.
Present at and witnessed an incident or the immediate aftermath of an incident
You may be eligible to make a claim for a mental injury if you witnessed, and were present at, an incident in which a loved one sustained a criminal injury as the result of a crime of violence. You may also be eligible if you were involved in the immediate aftermath of an incident in which a loved one sustained a criminal injury.
When we say ‘immediate’ we are referring to the period of time immediately following the incident in which a loved one was injured and not where someone is later told about the incident either by the victim or another person. The requirement to have been present means that a person cannot make a claim where the incident was witnessed remotely, for example, through television or other media.
If you are claiming a payment because you witnessed or were involved in the immediate aftermath of the injury of a loved one, you must have suffered a disabling mental injury to be eligible for an award. The Scheme defines a disabling mental injury as a mental injury which is disabling in that it has a substantial adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities for the time specified (e.g., impaired work or school performance or effects on social relationships or sexual dysfunction). We will need medical evidence from a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist confirming that this is the case.
Nationality and residency criteria
You will only be eligible for a payment if you meet one of the residency, nationality or other requirements under paragraph 10. This means that you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK on the date of the incident or one of the conditions in paragraphs 11 or 13 of the Scheme is met. Please read our guide to these criteria if you think they will affect you.
Reporting the incident to the police
The Scheme requires that the incident has been reported to the police. If the crime for which you are seeking compensation has not been reported to the police, we cannot make a payment.
The incident must also be reported to the police as soon as is reasonably practicable. Where you have delayed reporting the incident to the police, we will ask you to explain why you delayed. We will always carefully consider the full circumstances of the case in determining whether you could have made the report earlier.
In particular we will consider:
your age, capacity and well-being at the date of the incident and
whether the effect of the incident was such that it could not reasonably have been reported earlier.
If you intend to claim compensation, it is essential that you report the incident to the police, even if you have reported it somewhere else such as your place of work or a doctor.
Co-operating in bringing an assailant to justice
It is not necessary for the person who injured you to be identified, or convicted, in order for you to be eligible for a payment. However, the Scheme requires that you co-operate as far as is reasonably practicable in bringing the assailant to justice. We will consider all the circumstances of your claim when determining whether you have done so.
Co-operation with CICA or another body
It is your responsibility to give all reasonable assistance to us or another person or body in connection with your application and we may refuse or reduce an award if you do not do so. In deciding whether to refuse or reduce an award we will consider all the circumstances of your claim, including the nature and extent of the failure to assist and your age, capacity and well-being.
Some examples are where you have:
not updated us of a change to your address or circumstances;
repeatedly and without good reason fail to respond to our communications sent to your last known address, this includes both postal and/or email address;
not told us about something that could affect your claim;
given false or exaggerated details about your injuries; or
not attended a medical examination that lets us verify your injuries.
The Scheme is intended to compensate victims of crimes of violence. Before making a payment we have to consider if an applicant’s behaviour before, during or after the incident makes it inappropriate to make a full or reduced award. This may be where their conduct caused or contributed to the incident.
For example, we will consider if:
they were acting in an aggressive or threatening way and provoked the incident in which they were injured;
they intended to provoke an assault or fight;
there was a history of violence between them and their assailant;
what happened at the time of the incident, such as whether they willingly took part in a fight, and
whether they sought revenge against their assailant.
We will not take into account intoxication through alcohol or drugs to the extent that such intoxication made them more vulnerable to becoming a victim of a crime of violence. The use of alcohol or drugs is only a conduct issue if it played a direct role in provoking the incident that led to the assault.
Taking account of your criminal record
If you have an unspent criminal conviction, it may affect whether you are entitled to an award or the amount of any award. Under the Scheme, all convictions will be considered in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended). In general, the more serious the sentence received, and the more recently it was given, the longer the conviction will take to become spent.
We may refuse or reduce an award under the Scheme if you have an unspent criminal conviction at the date of your application or are convicted of a crime before a final decision is made.
An award will not be made if you have an unspent conviction for an offence which resulted in:
(a) a sentence excluded from rehabilitation
(b) a custodial sentence
(c) a sentence of service detention
(d) removal from His Majesty’s Service
(e) a community order
(f) a youth rehabilitation order, or
(g) a sentence equivalent to a sentence under sub-paragraphs (a) to (f) imposed under the law of Northern Ireland or a member state of the European Union, or such a sentence properly imposed in a country outside the European Union.
If you have an unspent conviction which resulted in a sentence not included in the list above, an award will be withheld or reduced unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so.
This does not apply to a conviction for which the only penalty imposed was one or more of an endorsement, penalty points or a fine under Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.
You must let us know immediately if you receive a conviction while your claim is under consideration.
The Scheme covers Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), and the time it takes for a conviction to become spent differs between Scotland and the rest of Great Britain. In determining whether to apply the Scottish disclosure periods or the rehabilitation periods for England and Wales, the CICA will apply the appropriate legislation based on where the incident relating to the compensation claim took place.
If you were injured in England or Wales
If you were injured in England or Wales, we will apply the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as amended by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).
If you were injured in Scotland
If you were injured in Scotland, we will apply the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as amended by the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2019.
How we calculate the reduction
As explained above, there are some convictions which must result in your application being refused.
Where we are able to consider a reduction under the Scheme, we will consider all the circumstances of your claim and use a points system to enhance consistency in our decision-making. The more recent the conviction and the more serious the sentence, the more points the conviction will attract.
Although the points system helps us to achieve consistency in our decision-making, we are not bound by it. Depending on the facts of the case we may make a greater or lesser reduction.
We will consider any evidence available about your character, other than in relation to unspent convictions, which makes it inappropriate for us to make a full or reduced payment. This includes evidence of involvement or association in illegal drugs, crime, tax evasion and benefit fraud.
Paragraphs 91 and 92 of the Scheme outline your obligations in terms of the application process and the provision of information and co-operation required during the progress of your claim.
You are required to help us as far as reasonably practicable with your application. This may include providing any documentation which you can reasonably be expected to obtain and attending a medical examination arranged to support the assessment of an injury.
Normally you will be required to provide evidence in support of your claim in a format that can be used by us. If you provide us with an application, medical or other evidence in a foreign language we will ask you to provide a translation or suitable alternative evidence. We will not normally meet the costs of translating such evidence. However, if we consider it necessary to have a translation of the evidence and there are exceptional circumstances which mean you are unable to meet the cost of obtaining it, we may arrange this for you.
To be eligible for a payment under the Scheme, your injury must be described in the tariff of injuries at Annex E of the Scheme.
If you already had an injury which is listed in the tariff of injuries, but it has been made worse as a direct result of a crime of violence, you may still be entitled to a payment. We will only make a payment to reflect how much the existing injury has been made worse, not for the injury itself. Where this is valued at less than £1,000, no payment will be made.
If you suffer a mental injury as a result of a sexual assault, we can only make an award for whichever of the mental injury or sexual assault award would give rise to the highest payment of compensation. The Scheme does not allow us to make a payment for both.
What happens if you have more than one injury?
If you have two or more injuries so serious that each, on its own, would qualify, you may be entitled to:
100 per cent of the full tariff value of the most serious injury; and
30 per cent of the tariff amount for the injury with an equal or second highest value; plus
15 per cent of the tariff amount for any additional injury with an equal or third highest value.
The Scheme does not allow us to pay for more than three injuries. However, there are additional tariff payments which you can receive if, as a direct result of your injury or assault, you:
lose a foetus; or
contract a sexually transmitted disease.
Loss of earnings payments
If you are unable to work as a direct result of a criminal injury, that being an injury which attracts an award under the Scheme, you may be eligible to claim a loss of earnings payment.
To be eligible, your criminal injury must be serious enough to have resulted in a total inability to undertake any form of paid work, or a very limited capacity to do so. By very limited capacity we mean that the extent of your injuries means that you are not capable of undertaking more than a few hours of paid work per week. If you have capacity for paid work, but the type of work is restricted because of your injuries, you will not qualify for a loss of earnings payment.
You must also be able to provide evidence to show that:
you were in work at the time of the incident; or
you have an established work history, or a good reason for not having such a history, during the three years immediately prior to the incident. This may include those in full time education or those who are unable to work by reason of their age or caring responsibilities; and
your loss lasted longer than 28 full weeks. The period of 28 weeks will usually run from the date of the injury. You cannot get loss of earnings for the first 28 weeks of loss.
We will calculate the length of any payment, beginning after you have lost 28 weeks of earnings up until whichever is earliest of:
the day you are no longer incapable of any paid work;
the day on which you will reach state pension age; and
the expected end of life where the injury has shortened that period.
We will calculate the length of any payment, beginning after you have lost 28 weeks of earnings up until whichever is the earliest of:
the day you are no longer incapable of any form of paid work
the day on which you will reach state pension age, and
the expected end of life where your criminal injury has shortened that period.
The loss of earnings payment will be calculated at the rate of statutory sick pay in force at the date of deciding your claim.
To account for the fact that loss of earnings payments are made in a lump sum, a payment for this loss in the future will be reduced according to multiplier tables and discount factors which are set out at Annex F of the Scheme.
The Scheme allows us to consider claims for certain costs referred to as ‘special expenses’ which you may have incurred as a result of your injury.
To be eligible for a special expenses payment, your criminal injury must be so serious that you have lost earnings or earning capacity, or have been incapacitated to a similar extent, for more than 28 weeks. We will, however, pay the special expenses from the date of the actual injury. This is different from the loss of earnings rule where we can pay only from week 29.
A special expenses payment may be made only in respect of the following expenses:
your property or equipment, which was relied on by you as a physical aid and which was lost or damaged as a result of the incident giving rise to your injury. Examples include walking sticks, spectacles and dentures.
costs (other than in respect of loss of earnings) arising from treatment for the injury under the National Health Service (NHS) or a state health service other than the NHS where those costs would also have arisen if you were being treated under the NHS.
special equipment. Examples include physical aids (including specially adapted vehicles, wheelchairs and walking aids, and kitchen implements to help people whose grip has weakened).
adaptation of your accommodation, including changes both inside and outside your home (such as a ramp or a stair lift) to improve your independence or ability to get around.
the cost of care in connection with your bodily functions (including toileting, bathing and continence management) or meal preparation (when you are physically unable to cook, or it would be dangerous for you to do so).
the cost of supervising you in order to avoid substantial danger to you or another person.
fees payable, in England and Wales, to the Court of Protection or the Public Guardian established under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 or, in Scotland, to the Public Guardian or to a sheriff court in respect of an application under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.
costs arising from the administration of your affairs due to your lack of mental capacity.
the cost of setting up a trust following a claims officer’s direction under paragraph 106 of the Scheme, but not any costs associated with administering that.
In order to qualify for a special expenses payment listed above you must satisfy the following criteria:
the expense must be necessary and needed as a direct result of your criminal injury
provision or similar provision must not be available for free from another source, and
the cost must be reasonable.
We may ask for evidence that you meet this criteria, including a copy of any assessments of needs carried out by the local authority, NHS, or other body, showing what, if anything they can provide.
Effect of other payments on an award
The Scheme is intended to be one of last resort. Where the opportunity exists for you to pursue compensation from another source you should do so.
We expect you to take all reasonable steps to obtain any social security benefits, insurance payments, damages or compensation to which you may be entitled as a result of your injuries. We will ask you if you have claimed compensation from another source and the outcome of any other claim. We will also ask you to provide reasons if you have not done so. We may also ask you if you have asked your employer about damages or insurance entitlements and applied for all benefits to which you may be entitled.
We must withhold or reduce an award if you have received, or have an entitlement to, a payment for the same injury as a result of:
any other criminal injuries compensation award or similar payment;
an order for damages from a civil court;
the settlement of a damages claim, or;
any compensation order or offer made during criminal proceedings.
Regardless of whether or not you are seeking compensation or damages from other sources you should make your application to CICA as soon as possible. We may not make a decision on your case until we are satisfied that you are eligible and that you could not get compensation from any other source. You must keep CICA informed about any other claims you are pursuing.
If you accept an award of compensation, you will be asked to provide an undertaking to inform CICA about any damages, settlement or other compensation you may receive in relation to the criminal injury. In these circumstances CICA may require you to repay your award or part of your award and, if necessary, may take court action to recover this.
We will also reduce any payment for special expenses to take account of social security benefits you receive or could receive to meet any of the same expenses. If the benefit is available to you, we have to take account of it, whether or not you choose to claim it. The Scheme says that if you could receive any social security or other state benefits, we may defer making a decision until you have taken steps to claim them.
Where certain special expenses are awarded, we will reduce your payment to take account of any payment you have received, or are entitled to, through insurance, unless it was paid for by you or by the person with parental responsibility if you were injured as a child.
Suffering a bereavement as a result of a crime of violence
If you are a close relative of a person who dies as a result of their injuries, you may be eligible for a payment under the Scheme. To be eligible for bereavement and dependency payments you must be what the Scheme calls a ‘qualifying relative’. This is not a requirement for a funeral expenses payment.
A qualifying relative is someone who, when the victim died, was in one of the groups listed in paragraph 59 of the Scheme. A qualifying relative is a person who at the time of the deceased’s death was:
the spouse or civil partner of the deceased, who was living with the deceased in the same household;
the partner of the deceased (other than a spouse or civil partner), who was living with them in the same household and had done so for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the date of the death;
a person who would satisfy the above but who did not live with the deceased because of either person’s ill-health or infirmity;
the spouse or civil partner, or a former spouse or civil partner, of the deceased who was financially dependent on them;
a parent of the deceased, or;
a child of the deceased.
The definition of ‘child’ is not limited to a person below the age of 18. It includes adult children and a child of the deceased born after the incident.
If you are the victim’s former spouse or civil partner registered under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and were financially dependent on the victim at the time they died you may be eligible to apply for a dependency payment. You will not be eligible for a bereavement payment.
Former spouses and civil partners of the deceased, as well as anyone estranged from the deceased at the time of their death are not eligible for a bereavement award.
If you are a qualifying relative and were not divorced or estranged from the deceased at the time of death, you may be eligible for a bereavement payment.
You will also need to meet all the remaining requirements and eligibility criteria within the Scheme to receive an award of compensation.
We may also reduce or withhold a payment if the conduct of the deceased, before, during or after the incident makes it inappropriate to make an award or a full award. An example might be where the conduct of the deceased led or contributed to the incident in which they were fatally injured. The character of the deceased, as shown by their criminal convictions or otherwise, will not ordinarily be taken into account. However, we will refuse to make a payment where the deceased’s convictions or behaviour was so serious that to pay for their funeral, or to make other payments, would be an inappropriate use of public funds. See also Taking account of your criminal record.
Children of someone who died
You may claim for a child’s payment if the child is a qualifying relative who was under 18 at the time of death and dependent on the deceased for parental services. This is an amount of money to provide some small recognition of what a child loses as the result of the death of a parent, such as:
love and affection;
care and supervision;
being taken to and from clubs and activities; and
The entitlement to which a child’s payment will relate begins on the date of death and ends on the day before the child’s 18th birthday. The child’s payment is £2,000 for each full year, proportionally reduced for part years. We calculate this as a lump sum.
The payment will be calculated as a lump sum and, where this includes a loss continuing into the future, the payment will be reduced according to the discount factors which are set out at Annex F of the Scheme.
We may also be able to pay an additional amount for such expenses incurred by the child as a direct result of the loss of parental services as a claims officer considers reasonable.
Normally, we will initially retain the full value of any payment. However, we can make payment for loss of parental services and financial dependency, through annual advances, to the person who has parental responsibility for the child. We will also consider other advances where these are solely for the child’s advancement, education or long-term benefit. We will pay the award, less any advance payments, with interest added, when the child reaches the age of 18. It is important that the person who applied on their behalf and/or the recipient in due course, update their contact details so that we can arrange for them to receive the payment at the appropriate time.
Dependent on someone who died
You may claim for a dependency payment if you were a qualifying relative who was financially or physically dependent on the deceased at the time of their death. It will be for you to provide evidence to show that the deceased was making a material financial contribution to your upkeep.
To be eligible, on the date of death the deceased victim must have met the conditions of paragraph 43 of the Scheme. If the deceased was not in paid work they must have had good reasons for not being so, for example, they were unable to work because they were in full-time education, or by reason of their age or caring responsibilities.
We will not make a financial dependency payment if the deceased relied on social security benefits as their main income.
The payment is calculated over the period of dependency at the weekly rate of statutory sick pay in force at the date we determine the case.
The eligible period of payment begins on the date of death, and ends on the period defined in paragraph 69.
The payment will be calculated as a lump sum and, where this includes a dependency continuing beyond the date of decision, the payment will be reduced according to the discount factors which are set out at Annex F of the Scheme.
If there is more than one qualifying relative eligible for a financial dependency payment, the weekly amount will be divided in equal shares between the claimants that qualify during that week. As the number of qualifying relatives reduces (for example, when a child turns 18), remaining claimants will qualify for an increased share of the payment.
We make the dependency payment in a lump sum unless we are making a payment to a qualifying relative who is a child under the age of 18. In these cases we will normally retain the dependency payment in our Retained Awards section and make payments through annual advances to the person with parental responsibility for the child.
If you are a qualifying relative and the deceased was your main carer you may be eligible for a physical dependency payment. We define a main carer as the person who met the majority of your care needs. The period of loss for which we may be able to provide a payment starts from the date the victim died.
We consider a claim for physical dependency in the same way we consider a claim for care and supervision after a personal injury.
Examples of physical dependency are getting help with:
personal hygiene (toileting/bathing);
food preparation and eating;
medication and simple treatments; or
keeping you safe from harm.
Where a person has died as a result of sustaining a criminal injury, we may make a payment in respect of their funeral expenses. This payment will be made for the benefit of their estate and you do not have to be a qualifying relative to apply.
A flat rate funeral payment of £2,500 can be made as soon as eligibility has been established. This is intended to cover the basic costs of a funeral.
A further payment of up to £2,500 may be payable where the particular circumstances mean that the flat rate will not cover the funeral costs. The total amount of a funeral payment cannot exceed £5,000.
Claims for expenses in excess of the £2,500 flat rate allowance will only be paid where receipts or other satisfactory evidence is provided for all the costs incurred and where those costs are reasonable.
The funeral expenses may include items such as:
provision of a funeral;
funeral breakfasts / non-alcoholic refreshments;
transporting the deceased back to their country of origin.
The list above is not exhaustive. We will consider other costs if they are supported by receipts or other satisfactory evidence.
If you have already received money from public funds to help pay for funeral costs, we may take this into account when deciding your claim.
If you have been bereaved by a crime that has occurred within Scotland, you may be able to apply for support in paying funeral costs from the Victims’ Fund.
Someone dies of their injuries at a later date
We may be able to make a payment after a victim’s death even if they received a payment for their injury before they died. If the victim has died because of their injury, qualifying relatives may be eligible to claim. The payment to the victim will affect the payment to relatives as follows:
if there is only one person eligible for a dependency or child’s payment we will reduce this by the amount that has already been paid to the deceased;
if there is more than one person eligible for a dependency or child’s payment we will reduce this by the amount that has already been paid to the deceased, split proportionally between all recipients. For example, if the deceased had received £3,000 prior to their death, and three eligible recipients made a claim, their total payment would be reduced by £1,000 each.
Someone dies of an unrelated cause before receiving payment
A qualifying relative of a person who sustained a criminal injury but who has died otherwise than as a direct result of that injury may be eligible for a payment if on the date the deceased died:
the deceased was eligible for a final award but had not received it; and
they were financially dependent on the deceased.
The payment to which the qualifying relative may be entitled is limited to:
any loss of earnings that the deceased may have been entitled to before the date of death;
any special expenses (as allowed under the Scheme) which were incurred by the deceased before the date of death.
No payment will be made to any surviving relatives for the deceased’s injuries. The payment will be reduced by the amount of any award already paid to the deceased.
Applying for a payment
You can apply for compensation on our website.
The application process should take no longer than 20 minutes. If you have no access to online services or need help to complete your application, our Customer Support Team can help.
Telephone: 0300 003 3601
Outside the UK: +44 (0) 203 684 2517
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 0300 003 3601
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If you wish to apply in the Welsh language, please download, complete and return a Welsh-language application.
Organisations that offer help and support to victims can be found at www.victimandwitnessinformation.org.uk.
Applying on behalf of children
If you have parental responsibility for a child, you can complete an application on their behalf. You will be asked to provide your details and proof of your relationship to the child.
Getting help with your application
You do not need to appoint a legal or other representative to act on your claim. If one is appointed at any stage, please be aware that we cannot meet any costs which may be incurred.
We will communicate directly with any appointed representative and if we make an award, we will usually make payment directly to you or your legal representative. Other arrangements will be made where an application has been made on behalf of an adult who lacks capacity, a child who is under 18 years of age or where the award is being placed in a trust
Free independent advice
Free independent advice may be available from local support or other charitable organisations. You can check what is available in your local area by visiting the Victims’ Information Service website. If you belong to a trade union, they may be able to help.
If you choose paid representation, we cannot meet the cost of this, and you will have to pay these costs yourself. Where someone is representing you on a ‘no-win no-fee’ basis this usually means that they will keep a share of your payment to cover their fees. You may wish to check how much of your payment will go to your representative before you agree to paid representation.
If you have appointed a representative and then decide that you no longer wish to be represented by them or you wish to change your representative, you must inform us. We will continue to process your claim, but we must establish whether you have settled any outstanding fees owed to your former representative. If not, the amount of fees under dispute will be held back if any award of compensation is made. This amount will be released when you and your former representative confirm, in writing, that the matter has been resolved.
You can ask a friend or a relative to represent you and help you make a claim. However, we will need confirmation from you that you are happy for us to take instructions from them about your claim.
Before you submit your application, you will be able to ‘Check your Answers’. Please take the time to carefully do so before pressing submit.
We will then:
ask the police for evidence;
ask you for more information if we need it;
make a decision;
send our decision letter by post.
We cannot say how long it will take to assess your application as this is dependent on obtaining and considering all the evidence needed to decide if you are entitled to compensation and the value of any award. We aim to assess most applications within 12 months. Complex cases will take longer to finalise to ensure that we can make a payment which reflects the severity of the injuries sustained and their long-term impact. It may not be possible to make a final decision if your medical treatment is ongoing or your level of recovery is not yet known. Please be aware that we will not routinely acknowledge any correspondence received and will only contact you if we need to obtain medical or other information from you and when we make a decision on your application.
Handling your information
We will process your information in line with the arrangements set out in the declaration you completed and our Privacy Notice. For more information on how we will handle your application for compensation, please see our CICA Privacy Notice and our Customer Charter. You can also request a copy of these by contacting our Customer Support Team. Please let us know immediately of any changes in your circumstances including any change of address or contact information. If you have any questions about this guide or your claim, please contact our Customer Support Team using the details available at the following link: https://contact-the-cica.form.service.justice.gov.uk/
You will need to provide us with the evidence necessary to decide your case. In particular, we may ask you to provide the following evidence:
proof that you meet the residency requirements;
medical evidence that shows you suffered an injury that can be compensated under the Scheme;
evidence to support a claim for loss of earnings or special expenses;
We will collect the following information before we ask you to obtain medical evidence:
confirmation from the police that the incident in which you were injured was reported to the police;
confirmation from the police that your behaviour did not contribute to the incident in which your injuries were received;
confirmation from the police that you co-operated with them;
evidence from the police about your criminal record, should you have one;
Where appropriate we will ask you to provide medical evidence. If there is a cost attached to obtaining the medical evidence, then you may be expected to meet this. The cost of obtaining medical evidence will vary but you will not be expected to pay more than £50 in total.
If you are not able to pay for the medical evidence, or it would be difficult for you to obtain it, we may be able to help you. We will ask you to let us know why you are not able to obtain this evidence yourself.
Where we do this, we will deduct the cost (up to the £50 maximum) from any payment. If you cannot obtain medical evidence for any other reason, you must let us know and we will assist you where we can.
We may need additional medical or other evidence if your injuries are complex, or you are claiming for a disabling mental injury. We may also need to check if you have any pre-existing conditions if that has not already been covered in the initial medical evidence. In these circumstances we will either ask you to obtain a report from your treating practitioner or we may arrange for you to be seen by an expert. Where we seek additional medical or psychiatric evidence, we will meet the cost of obtaining it.
If we ask you to see an expert, you must keep the appointment. We will meet the reasonable cost of you travelling to and from the appointment. If you miss the appointment, without good reason, we may deduct any costs we have to pay from any award we make.
If you provide medical evidence which we did not ask for, we may not meet the costs associated with this. This will depend upon all the circumstances of the claim and whether this was used to make a decision on your claim.
Loss of earnings
When we get your claim, we will tell you what information we need from you and we will verify this as needed. You will be expected to provide evidence supporting your claim for loss of earnings. This might be pay slips or a P60 for the period immediately before you were injured, or a formal offer of a job which you were unable to take up because you were injured. If you were self-employed, we may ask for a copy of your tax returns or for correspondence from HM Revenue & Customs to show that you were in regular paid work.
Decisions and administering payments
Accepting a payment
When we have made our decision, we will write to you or your representative to tell you what decision has been made.
If you are offered a payment and you accept our decision, you or your representative must complete and return the acceptance form within 56 days of it being sent to the contact address we have on your file.
If you do not send your acceptance back to us within 56 days, and you have not asked for a review in writing, or applied for an extension of 56 days, we may withdraw our offer of an award under paragraph 103 of the Scheme.
Reviewing a decision
If you disagree with the original decision and want us to review it, you must send us your written application for a review within 56 days of the date of the original decision. You will need to enclose any additional evidence that you wish us to consider in support of your claim.
If you cannot submit your application for a review within this deadline, you should write to us asking for the time limit to be extended by up to a further 56 days. You can ask for an extension even after the first 56 days have passed, but we will only grant this if there are exceptional circumstances which meant you could not have requested an extension earlier. Please be aware that the time limit can only be extended once.
When we get your request for a review along with all your supporting information, a claims officer, other than the one who made the original decision, will consider it. The review decision can be more or less favourable than the original decision, or the original decision may be unchanged. It is important that you understand that while a possible outcome of a review is that you might get a bigger payment, it is also possible that you will get a lower payment or no payment at all.
Appealing a decision
If you disagree with a review decision, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation) in accordance with Tribunal Procedure Rules. You can find these rules on the First-tier Tribunal website.
When we send you our review decision, we will send you the form to use to ask for an appeal. You will need to fill in the form explaining why you think our decision was wrong. You should also provide any extra material which supports your reasons for an appeal. You should send the form and the evidence to the First-tier Tribunal (not to us) so that they get it within 90 days of the date of the review decision. If you would like to apply for an extension to this time limit, you must submit your request directly to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) alongside your reasons. Their contact details are as follows:
Glasgow Tribunals Centre
20 York Street
The First-tier Tribunal will explain its procedures when it gets your request for an appeal. If your appeal proceeds to an oral hearing, it is likely that a representative from the CICA will be at the hearing in order to explain our decision. The members and staff of the First-tier Tribunal are entirely independent of CICA and will consider your claim afresh. They may make a decision that is more favourable or less favourable than the review decision, or the review decision can stay the same. The First-tier Tribunal will provide information about what to do next if you disagree with their decision.
How we make a payment
Wherever possible, we will settle claims by offering a single lump sum payment. However, we can only do this if your medical condition and any entitlement to special expenses have been established.
We will only accept an instruction to make a payment to you, or your solicitor. This will be paid directly into your/your solicitor’s bank/building society account.
If you do not have a bank or building society account, you may wish to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice.
Where we have decided that you are eligible for a payment but we cannot make a final decision then we may consider making an interim payment. If we are unable to make a final decision this is likely to be because we are waiting until the long term impact of your injury is understood.
We can only make an interim payment when it is established that you will have a firm entitlement to compensation of a certain value, likely to be lower than a final award. Any interim payment made will be deducted from a final award, when made. In the unlikely event that the interim award is higher than the final award, CICA may require repayment of this award or part of this award.
We may give directions and make arrangements in connection with a payment of compensation and this may include establishing a trust.
A trust is a fund that is managed by a person or group of people (trustees) on your behalf. You are the beneficiary of the trust. The money will be paid into your trust fund when it is set up.
If the value of a payment is significant, we may consider imposing terms on the trust that will allow for any unused portion of the payment to be repaid if it is no longer needed by you.
If we direct that a trust is set up, and the maximum level of payment has not been reached, we may be able to pay the set-up costs. We cannot cover any costs if you decide to set up a trust where we have not directed that this is necessary.
An annuity is a type of insurance policy that provides a regular income in exchange for a lump sum. The Scheme allows us to direct an annuity rather than making a payment as a lump sum.
We will not meet the costs, if any, of purchasing or administering an annuity.
Where we have evidence which confirms that you do not have capacity to manage your own affairs, we cannot continue to progress your application until someone is in place who has the legal authority to act on your behalf in relation to the application. This must be someone who is able to make decisions about your property and affairs.
Where the evidence shows you have capacity to make decisions about your claim, but are unable to manage any award made, then the appointment of a Deputy, Guardian, Power of Attorney or other Court Order is not required. However, we will need to ensure there is a mechanism for safeguarding the award made and such arrangements must be in place prior to making a decision on your claim. This may include imposing a trust as a condition of your award.
More information is available at the Office of the Public Guardian, or the Office of the Public Guardian, Scotland if you live in Scotland.
If you are under 18 when a payment is made
If you are under 18 when you accept a payment, we will normally arrange for the payment to be retained in an interest-earning deposit account until your 18th birthday.
We will normally retain the full value of your award, including the tariff award or bereavement payment and any child’s payment or dependency payment.
We can make payments for loss of parental services (child’s payments) and dependency through annual advances. We will only pay annual advances to the person with parental responsibility for you. We can consider a request from that person to make your payment to a Child Trust Fund, a Junior ISA or another type of account, where the full value of the payment is protected until you are 18 years old. If we agree it is possible to pay the full amount of your payment into such an account before you turn 18 then this could be an alternative to us holding on to your funds. We do not meet any additional costs if your parent or guardian chooses one of these options.
If we are holding the payment for you, we will allow advances if these are needed for your advancement, education or long-term benefit. If we make an advance payment, we will need evidence, normally a receipt, proving that it has been used for the purposes intended. If we don’t get this evidence, we will not allow any further advances. We may consider making a full payment if you are 16 or 17 years of age and living independently.
If we receive evidence that shows it would not be in your best interests to be given the payment as a lump sum when you turn 18, we may give further consideration to the use of an annuity or a trust at that time.
We give a full explanation about how we manage payments for young people when we make our payment offer.
It is important that you keep your contact details up to date, so that you can be contacted when the end of the retained award period is reached and we need to get in touch with you to arrange payment of the award.
Reconsideration and repayment of awards
Up until the point that we make a final payment, we may reconsider our decision and take account of new evidence or a change of circumstances.
We can also request repayment of part or all of an award after a final payment has been made, if we receive evidence to suggest any of the following:
you did not co-operate as far as reasonably practicable in bringing the assailant to justice;
you deliberately misled us in relation to an important aspect of your claim;
you received a payment which the Scheme allows us to take into account, and which was not deducted from the payment before it was paid;
We will write to you to tell you if we are reconsidering our decision or considering requiring repayment of all, or part, of an award. If you do not agree with our decision to reconsider your award or ask for repayment, you have 30 days from the date of our letter to write to us and explain your reason for disagreement. Our final decision on repayment will be issued to you in writing.
Re-opening a case
We may medically re-open a claim after a final payment has been made where there has been so material a change in the medical condition of an applicant, that allowing the original decision on their claim to stand would give rise to an injustice.
If you would like to apply to re-open your claim because you believe there has been a material change in your medical condition, please send your request to:
Alexander Bain House
15 York Street
If possible, please include copies of any evidence which shows:
your current medical condition;
that the direct cause of your current condition is the incident for which you previously received compensation; and
there has been a material change in your medical condition since your original award.
Please be aware if you ask us to re-open a case more than two years after our decision, we will only be able to do so where you are able to give us enough evidence to make a decision on the case without the need for further extensive enquiries.
It is important to note in line with CICA’s retention policy, routine case files will normally only be held for three years from the date the application is finalised or, if the application relates to a child, until the child turns 21. After this time, CICA will only hold minimal information about your claim. Please see our Privacy Notice for further information.
Further information about these requirements can also be found at paragraphs 114-116 of the Scheme.
Our aim is to provide a compassionate, efficient and fair service to victims of violent crime.
Our customer charter details the service you can expect from us and what we expect from you.
The Hardship Fund
If your injuries are not serious enough to fall within the tariff of injuries, the Government has introduced a Hardship Fund. The Hardship Fund provides temporary relief from financial hardship to very low paid workers who are temporarily unable to work because they have been a victim of a violent crime. The fund only applies to injuries sustained in England and Wales. For more information, you should contact the Victim Support line on 0808 1689 111.
Find out about support for victims of crime in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.
If you were the victim of any crime in Scotland or have been bereaved by a crime that occurred there, you may also be eligible for support under the Victims’ Fund.
If you are injured outside Great Britain
You can usually apply for compensation if you’re a UK resident and have been injured because of a violent crime in another country.
If the crime happened in one of the following countries, you can apply to their compensation schemes:
Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland. Other countries might have a compensation scheme. You have to apply directly to the country where the crime happened. Contact the British embassy, high commission or consulate for help.
If you were injured outside the EU, you may be able to apply under a similar scheme operated by the country concerned. Please contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for more information. Details can be found on www.gov.uk.
If you are a member of the Armed Forces (or an accompanying dependent) who was a victim of violent crime whilst serving outside Great Britain, you may be able to apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme operated by the Ministry of Defence. Details can be found on www.gov.uk.
If you were injured in Northern Ireland, you should contact Compensation Services at:
25 Great Victoria Street
Telephone: 0300 200 7887.
If you were ordinarily resident in the UK and you were injured outside the UK in a terrorist attack, you may be able to claim under the Victims of Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme. Please see our website for more information at www.gov.uk.
Last updated 8 February 2023 + show all updates
We have amended the wording of a heading in the guide so that it more accurately reflects the wording of paragraph 6 of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.
Amended the section on 'Same Roof Rule' time limits from: "We have discretion to consider applications beyond this deadline but only if you were a child at the time of the incident giving rise to the injury; or there are exceptional circumstances which mean you could not have applied earlier, and the evidence supplied in support of your application means that it can be determined without the need for further extensive enquiries." To " We have discretion to consider applications beyond this deadline if there are exceptional circumstances which mean you could not have applied earlier, and the evidence supplied in support of your application means that it can be determined without the need for further extensive enquiries." Change is because paragraph 88A does not mention someone being a child at the time of the incident under the same roof, and due to the original rule being removed in 1979 it is not possible for an affected applicant to be under 18 beyond 13 June 2021.
Updating section "Re-opening cases and how to appeal" to expand guidance on medically re-opening claims
Edited 'Applying for a payment' - Customer Service Team opening times have changed.
Edited "applying for a payment" section - extended Customer Support Team opening hours. Updated references to "customer service centre" to Customer Support Team
Edit section on 'same roof rule' to reflect two year deadline passing and to update guidance for affected users accordingly.
Edited chapter "Applying for a payment" to update telephone operating times due to covid workplace restrictions.
Added links in Hardship Fund section for victims of crime in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Removing two instances of the phrase "blameless" when referring to victims of violent crime. Included information on the Victims' Fund. Removing reference to EU Compensation Assistance team.
We have added link to MoD Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme
We have added guidance in relation to same roof rule applications
Changes made to sections relating to consent and obtaining medical evidence.
We have launched a new online customer portal. Our guidance now includes information about how and when this will be relevant.