What is criminal injury compensation?
Criminal injury compensation is paid through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a government authority that pays compensation to those who have been physically or psychologically injured by violent crime.
Who can make a criminal compensation claim?
To be able to make a criminal injury compensation claim, you must be the innocent victim of a crime. For example, anyone who voluntarily becomes involved in a fight is unlikely to be eligible.
Criminal injury compensation may be paid to those who:
- Have been injured (including those who have been hurt trying to prevent a crime).
- Saw a loved one hurt or killed or were there just after the crime happened.
- Paid for the funeral of someone who was killed.
Compensation may also be paid to someone whose close relative has died as a result of violent crime.
To make a CICA claim, the crime must have been reported to the police promptly. However, the CICA does know that there are situations where reporting a crime to the police is very difficult, and they look at each case individually.
Claims must normally be made within two years of a crime. Anyone who was a child when a crime happened has until their 20th birthday to make a criminal injury claim. There are exceptions to these time limits, so please talk to our criminal injury solicitors, who can advise you.
You can only make a CICA claim if it is worth at least £1,000. The maximum compensation the CICA can award is £500,000, but this is exceptional.