Crime can have a devastating impact, not just physically but also mentally. The emotional trauma caused by a violent experience can linger long after the initial incident. If you are the innocent victim of a crime and have suffered a psychological injury as a result, you may be eligible for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA).

This blog aims to be a comprehensive guide, equipping you with the knowledge you need to navigate a psychological injury claim under CICA. It will answer all your key questions, empowering you to seek the support you deserve.

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA)?

Established by the government, CICA is a scheme designed to provide financial compensation to victims of violent crime in England, Scotland, and Wales. This compensation can cover both physical and psychological injuries sustained as a direct result of the crime.

Who can claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA) ? 

To be eligible for a CICA claim for a psychological injury, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be the innocent victim of a crime of violence, such as assault, robbery, or sexual assault.
  • You must have suffered a “disabling” psychological injury as a direct result of the crime. This means the injury significantly impacts your daily life, affecting your ability to work, maintain relationships, or participate in activities you once enjoyed.
  • You cannot have contributed to the crime in any way.
  • In some cases, secondary victims who witnessed a loved one suffer a violent crime may also be eligible for compensation if they develop a disabling psychological injury.

Is there a time limit for making a CICA psychological injury claim?

It’s important to act promptly when making a CICA claim. Generally, you have two years from the date of the crime to submit your claim. However, there may be exceptions in specific circumstances, such as when the psychological injury only manifests later. It’s always best to check with CICA or seek legal advice if you’re unsure about the time limit in your case.

Steps to make a successful CICA Claim for psychological injury

The psychological injury claim process involves several steps:

1. Download the CICA claim form:

The form can be found on the CICA website (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/criminal-injuries-compensation-authority).

2. Gather evidence:

Strong evidence is crucial for a successful claim. This primarily includes medical reports from a qualified psychiatrist or clinical psychologist diagnosing your psychological injury and linking it to the crime. Police reports, witness statements, and personal accounts of the event can also be helpful supporting evidence.

3. Submit the completed form and evidence:

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documentation, submit it to CICA following their instructions.

Do you need a solicitor for starting your CICA claim?

While you can submit a CICA claim yourself, seeking legal representation from a solicitor specialising in such cases can be highly beneficial. A solicitor can:

  • Help you with the legalities of the claim process.
  • Help gather and present evidence in a way that maximises your chances of success.
  • Ensure you receive the appropriate level of compensation based on the severity of your injury.
  • Handle appeals if your claim is rejected or you disagree with the compensation offered.

What psychological injuries are covered by CICA?

CICA recognizes various psychological conditions caused by crime, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression

The key factor is that the injury must be “disabling,” meaning it has a significant negative impact on your daily life.

How much compensation can you expect?

CICA awards compensation based on a published tariff system. This system assigns a specific compensation amount to different levels of injury severity. You can find the tariff guide on the CICA website.

The amount you receive might also take into account additional factors like loss of earnings due to your injury or the need for ongoing care.

Appealing a Decision

If your claim is rejected or you disagree with the amount of compensation offered, you have the right to appeal CICA’s decision. The appeals process involves submitting a formal complaint and potentially attending a hearing.

Final Thoughts

The aftermath of a crime can be a difficult and emotionally challenging time. If you have suffered a psychological injury as a result, a CICA claim can provide much-needed financial support. By understanding the eligibility criteria, claim process, and potential compensation, you can make an informed decision about seeking the compensation you deserve.

Share This Article!