CICA Claims: Everything You Need to Know | Winston Solicitors Skip to main content

A CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) claim is a process for victims of violent crime and abuse in the UK to seek compensation. CICA is a government body operating under the Ministry of Justice, and it compensates those who cannot claim against the individuals responsible for their injuries.

Who can apply for a CICA claim?

Individuals who can apply for a CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) claim include:

  • Victims of violent crimes in England, Scotland, or Wales, including crimes that occurred on British-controlled aircraft.
  • People who have suffered from specific types of abuse or violence, such as assault (including ABH and GBH), sexual abuse (including historical childhood abuse), domestic abuse, threats of violence causing psychological injuries, human trafficking, acts of terrorism, or if a loved one was murdered.

It's important to note that for a CICA claim, it is not necessary for the perpetrator to have received a criminal conviction, but the crime must have been reported to the police and there should be sufficient evidence to confirm that the applicant was a victim of a crime of violence​.

What injuries can you claim for through the CICA?

Through the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority), you can claim for a variety of injuries resulting from violent crimes, including:

  • Physical injuries, such as those resulting from assault.
  • Psychological injuries, for instance, from threats of violence.
  • Injuries from sexual abuse, including historical childhood abuse.
  • Injuries from domestic abuse.
  • Injuries sustained as a result of human trafficking or acts of terrorism.
  • A fixed payment for the death of a loved one as a result of a crime of violence

The CICA Scheme specifically awards compensation for both physical and mental injuries, as well as sexual abuse and domestic violence, but only for injuries listed within the Scheme.

More minor injuries like bruising, a broken nose, or lacerations without significant scarring typically do not qualify for an award under the Scheme​.

What’s the process for making a CICA claim?

The CICA claim process involves three stages: initial submission, review, and appeal. Initially, the claim is submitted to CICA, which assesses police and medical evidence before deciding on compensation. Here’s the process for making a CICA claim in more detail:

  1. Initial Stage: The claim is submitted to the CICA, which requests police and medical evidence. Based on this evidence, the CICA decides whether to pay compensation and determines the amount.
  2. Review Stage: If you disagree with the initial decision, a review application can be submitted within 56 days. The CICA will reassess the claim, possibly requesting further evidence, and a different person will make a new decision.
  3. Appeal Stage: If still dissatisfied, you can appeal to the CICA Tribunal, which is separate from the CICA. The Tribunal's decision is usually final.

Throughout this process, strict time limits apply, typically requiring submission of the application within two years of the incident. The claim process can vary in duration, depending on its complexity and the types of evidence required.

Does there have to be a conviction to make a CICA claim?

No, there does not have to be a criminal conviction against the person who caused the injuries to make a CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) claim.

However, the crime must have been reported to the police, and there must be sufficient evidence available to confirm that you were a victim of a crime of violence.

Simply reporting the crime to the police is not always enough; the available evidence and the reasons why the criminal case was not pursued further are also considered in the CICA claim process.

What are the time limits for claiming?

There are specific time limits for making a CICA claim, typically two years from the crime date. Exceptions exist for children, historical child abuse, exceptional circumstances, and medically reopening claims. In exceptional circumstances, extensions to these time limits might be granted.

The time limits for making a CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) claim are generally as follows:

Standard Time Limit: Claims must be submitted within two years of the date of the incident.

For Child Victims: If the victim was a child when the crime occurred and it was reported to the police before their 18th birthday, they have until their 20th birthday to submit the application.

Historical Child Abuse: If the victim was a child when the offences occurred but they were not reported to the police until the victim was an adult, the application must be submitted within two years of the date the abuse was first reported to the police.

Exceptional Circumstances: The CICA may extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances, such as if the police requested delaying the compensation application until after a criminal trial, or if the claimant was unable to apply sooner due to a mental or physical illness

How much compensation will you get?

The amount of compensation you receive from a CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) claim is set at fixed levels, depending on the type and severity of your injury.

The minimum compensation is £1,000, increasing to a maximum of £500,000 for the most serious injuries. You can claim for up to three injuries through CICA, but the compensation for the second and third injuries is reduced: 100% of the compensation award is given for the most serious injury, 30% for the second most serious, and 15% for the third most serious injury.

Additionally, victims can recover lost earnings and some limited special expenses if they meet the relevant criteria, such as being unable to work due to their injuries​.

To quickly learn how much you can get, use our new, easy-to-use CICA calculator.

What services do we offer?

Our experienced CICA solicitors can help you:

  • Make a CICA claim
  • Review an application if you’re making a CICA claim yourself
  • Review the "health" of an existing claim, if you’re claiming by yourself or using another law firm
  • Make appeals to the CICA Tribunal
  • Apply to the CICA to medically reopen your case.

We can also offer advice on Court of Protection issues through our dedicated team. If your application for compensation is successful, we can help you with advice on how to invest that money.

As well as that we can help make sure your compensation doesn’t stop your entitlement to certain state benefits, by setting up a personal injury trust.

How much does it cost to claim?

We make CICA claims on a no-win no-fee basis. This means that there’s nothing for you to pay upfront and that you don’t pay us anything if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your claim is successful then our fee is deducted from your compensation award. The CICA doesn’t pay us any legal costs, unfortunately, which is why we need to deduct our fee from your compensation.

However, using a solicitor to make your CICA claim often means that you’ll receive a higher amount than if you made a claim on your own.

We offer a free initial consultation where your lawyer will explain these details and guide you through the process, maximising your chances of a favourable outcome.

Do you need a lawyer to make a CICA claim?

No, you do not need a lawyer to make a CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) claim. You can apply directly and handle the process yourself.

However, in more complex or high-value cases, it may be beneficial to seek legal advice and representation. We suggest that for straightforward cases, you might prefer to apply on your own, but we offer our services for cases that might benefit from legal expertise.

Why Winston Solicitors?

At Winston Solicitors, we understand the sensitivity and complexity of CICA claims. Our dedicated team combines expertise with a compassionate approach, ensuring your journey towards justice is as smooth as possible. Here's why choosing us can make all the difference:

  • Expert Guidance: Our solicitors possess deep knowledge of CICA processes, maximising your claim's potential.
  • Personalised Support: We tailor our services to your unique situation, offering bespoke advice and empathetic support.
  • No Win, No Fee: With this policy, you embark on your claim journey risk-free. We succeed only when you do.
  • Higher Compensation Potential: Our proven track record shows that clients often secure higher compensation with our assistance than if they proceed alone.
  • Free Initial Consultation: Start with a no-obligation discussion, where we assess your case and outline clear steps forward.

At Winston Solicitors, we're committed to turning your claim into a success story. Let us guide you towards the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Five top tips

  1. Don’t wait for the outcome of the Court Hearing. The CICA sets time limits; generally 2 years from the date of the incident. This may be different in cases of abuse. The CICA can reject your claim if there is a delay in applying. Generally speaking, it is beneficial to your claim to submit an application sooner, rather than later. You do not need to await the outcome of the court case!
  2. Check your injuries are covered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The CICA can take some time in assessing claims for compensation, with most cases taking 12 months on average to settle. There’s no point applying for compensation where the injury you are claiming for, is not covered by the CICA’s scheme. Examples of what they don’t pay for include, Anxiety, Black Eyes, Broken noses and Scarring covered by hair. The best way to check if it is worth bringing a claim is to use a criminal injuries compensation calculator. If your injuries are not listed, it’s unlikely you will receive compensation.

    Call our criminal injuries claim team on 0113 320 5000

  3. Make sure the matter has been reported to the police. You must provide a statement and be fully cooperative with the investigation. You must also be willing to press charges against your offender. If you have made a report to the police but have not heard anything more – follow this up.

    The CICA must be satisfied that you have done everything you can to assist the police with their investigations.

  4. In cases of historical abuse, the above time limits may be waived where there are exceptional circumstances. Usually if the abuse has been reported recently, the CICA can extend the time to run from the date of the report to the police, rather than when the abuse happened. Each case is assessed on its own merits so please call us on 0113 320 5000 if you wish to claim for historical abuse.
  5. If you are suffering from anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares or panic attacks, you will only receive compensation for these injuries if they are clinically diagnosed by a Psychiatrist or a consultant Psychologist. The CICA do not pay compensation for mental injury which is only confirmed by a Doctor or a Counsellor.

    For a free no obligation assessment of your case, please call 0113 320 5000. We can advise you on eligibility, likely amount of compensation and if we can offer a ‘no win no fee’ agreement.

In many cases the first offer made by the CICA, known as the initial decision, is incorrect or too low. Each case needs to be assessed on its own facts but our specialist team will advise you, not only whether the offer is correct, but we will also represent you in any application for review and make sure that any additional evidence is gathered and submitted.