Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Claim (CICA) for abuse

A Criminal Injuries Compensation Claim is one of two avenues a survivor of physical and/or sexual abuse can take to obtain compensation for abuse they have suffered. The other avenue is a civil compensation claim.


What is a Criminal Injuries Compensation claim?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a body set up by the government to compensate victims of any crime of violence, including those who have suffered physical and sexual assaults. It makes financial awards to those who have suffered physical and psychological injury caused by a criminal offence committed against them. In some instances, CICA will also take into account past and future lost earnings or financial losses suffered and compensate the victim accordingly.  

For many victims of physical and sexual abuse, where the abuser is no longer alive or does not have enough money or assets to compensate the victim and there is no organisation to claim against, the CICA scheme is the only form of redress. The CICA assesses all applications and if successful, an applicant will receive an award of compensation.

There are some special considerations about CICA claims:

1. Time limits

Applications to the Criminal Injures Compensation Authority have different rules regarding time limits, depending on which category of applicant you fall into. It is preferable to seek expert advice on this.  

The general rule is that if the abuse you suffered was reported to the police before you turned 18 you have until your 20th birthday to make your application to CICA. If the abuse took place before you turned 18 and you reported to the police after you turned 18, you have two years from your first report to the police to make your application to CICA.  

If you are outside of the time limits it is possible to ask the CICA to allow your application. However, this can be difficult and should be supported by evidence. You will need to show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from making your application sooner.  

2. Reporting and cooperation with the police

You will need to demonstrate that you have reported your abuse to the police and cooperated with all police investigations.

It is not essential that your abuser is convicted, so long as their conduct can be shown, on a balance of probabilities, to have occurred.

3. Criminal convictions

The applicant must not have any unspent convictions. Your own criminal history: If you have criminal convictions, it is likely that any award made to you will be reduced.

The CICA can reduce or refuse awards on the basis of the applicant’s character. When considering this the CICA will take into account any criminal convictions and involvement in tax evasion or benefit fraud. 

4. Your award

The sum you are awarded is based on a tariff system and depends on the number of abusers, the nature and circumstances of the abuse, the length of time the abuse went on for, and its effect on your physical and mental health. The maximum award you can expect to receive from the CICA is £500,000.

5. Paying back CICA if you win your civil compensation claim

If you are awarded compensation from CICA and subsequently succeed in a civil claim, you will have to reimburse CICA for any monies received.


How will I pay for my Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority claim?

Many specialist abuse lawyers, like our team at Emmott Snell, can represent you in a CICA application under a Contingency Fee Agreement. This is a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, such that if you are successful, their fees are an agreed percentage of your compensation. If you are not successful you are not charged at all.

Read more about CICA claims
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Tracey Emmott

Tracey Emmott

Tracey Emmott is a solicitor with over 25 years’ experience in personal injury law. Previously she was a partner of a regional firm in the Home Counties.

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Jacqui Morton

Jacqui is known for her hardworking and careful approach to any legal problem, her excellent rapport with clients and professionals.

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Megan Hickey

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