The CICA has only a limited amount of funding to pay compensation to victims of crime. We speak to many people each day who believe the CICA should be sympathetic to their situation. We explain the importance of obtaining professional advice before submitting a claim. Often we speak to people after they have had a claim rejected when it is much harder to rectify their claim.
The 5 top tips to prevent your claim from being rejected
1 - Don’t apply for compensation if you have unspent convictions
The CICA will refuse your application, even if you are a day out. The CICA do not use their discretion to allow a claim that may initially be rejected as unspent, even if you could have applied just a few weeks later and the conviction would have been spent. This is such an unfair rule, but one the CICA use to its advantage as it can legitimately reject claims under the 2012 scheme.
If you are in anyway unsure that your conviction including drink driving is not spent, obtain professional advice.
2 - Always co-operate with the police
The CICA often reject claims saying you have not cooperated. This might be because you are injured, you tried to contact the police and they did not call you back. Or after initially speaking to them, there is some breakdown in communication and the police just file your report away.
Before you apply to the CICA, make sure the police are onside. Discuss this with an experienced CICA adviser to check that the police report will be supportive, otherwise the CICA are likely to reject your claim.
3 - Don’t assume your injury entitles you to compensation
We speak to many people whose claims have been rejected because their injury was not in the tariff of injuries in the 2012 scheme. For instance you will not be compensated for a broken nose, unless it’s an ethmoid bone, which is the bone at the very top of your nose joining your skull and eye socket. Contact us to check your injury is eligible for compensation.
4 - Make sure you apply for compensation in time
Many claims are rejected for being out of time. This might be because it is a historic claim, and the applicant says 'I did not claim previously because I did not know about the scheme'. Professional advice is needed to ensure you have a valid reason to claim.
Or 'I could not complete the application form as I did not have all the information'. Again if you are up against time, a CICA adviser is usually able to submit a claim the same day if a time limit is running out, even if you do not have all the information the CICA normally require.
5 - You thought you were entitled to psychological injury but the CICA rejected your claim
Many people rightly say the worst part about the assault or abuse they suffered is the mental trauma. However they do not realise, unless it is diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist the CICA will not pay compensation for that injury. Even if you have had months of counselling or prescribed medication for your psychiatric injury the CICA will reject your claim.
It is always worth obtaining professional advice from an experienced CICA solicitor before deciding to submit a claim. Many of the reasons the CICA will reject a claim can be identified in that conversation. Often they can be rectified so a successful claim can be made. If they can’t be rectified at least you know and will not waste one or even two years hoping for compensation you are not entitled to.
We have been helping victims of crime obtain compensation from the CICA since 1995. Our team are here to help you. For a free initial assessment of your claim, call 0113 320 5000. You will be contacted within 1 working day of your enquiry.