CICA Appeal - Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7004
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a government funded body which exists to compensate the victims of violent crime for their pain and suffering or psychological trauma and for certain limited expenses or losses. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority offices are based in London and Glasgow and employ over 550 people whose task it is to assess claims and thereafter offer compensation to members of the public who have suffered from a violent assault or in certain restricted cases those who have been psychologically affected by physical injury to others. Interim decisions, if unacceptable to a claimant, can be reconsidered by a more senior person within the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and a final decision can be the subject of a full CICA appeal to an independent Appeals Panel with matters relating to mal-administration by the Appeals Panel being considered by The Parliamentary Ombudsman. A number of factors are taken into account when deciding a claim. The claim is valued on a Tariff Scheme with 25 tariff bands ranging from £1,000 to £250,000 for serious injuries. The CICA will consider the three most serious injuries and discount the second and third injuries value within the relevant tariff band before making a final cumulative offer. Claims are most often rejected because of the claimant's failure to assist the police in the investigation and prosecution of the case, the value of the claim or the claimant's previous record of 'unspent' convictions especially for offences of violence. For a claim to succeed it must have resulted in pain and suffering that lasted for at least 6 weeks necessitating at least two visits to a medical practitioner. Upon receipt of a claim form the Criminal Compensation Board will contact the Police and the medical authorities to obtain reports and information and will ask the applicant or their solicitor for further information in due course. A decision will thereafter be made and notified to the claimant or their solicitor in writing together with information on CICA appeals and the relevant CICA appeal forms.
Reconsideration of decision
At any time prior to the payment of a final award in a in a criminal injury compensation claim, the CICA has the power to re-consider its decision but where a decision has already been transmitted to an applicant it must give 30 days notice to allow the applicant to make representations which will be taken into account in reconsidering the decision. This enables the CICA to increase or decrease the amounts of an award if new evidence is available which makes the original award unfair or inappropriate.
Re-opening a claim
Even after a final decision has been made in a in a criminal injury compensation claim, the CICA has the power to re-open a case where there has been a material change in the victim's medical condition that would cause injustice if the original award of compensation were allowed to stand. There is usually a maximum 2 year limitation period on re-opening a case however the authority does have discretion to extend the period.
Reviewing an application
An applicant in a criminal injury compensation claim may ask for review, by a senior officer, if a claims officer initially :-
- refuses to waive the initial two year time limit on applications
- refuses to re-open a case
- withholds an award
- makes a reduced award
- seek repayment of an award
Applications for review to a senior officer must be received by the CICA within 90 days (except in exceptional circumstances) of the initial decision and must be in writing which must outline the reasons for the application. The applicant will be notified in writing of the senior officers decision and if that decision is unsatisfactory then the applicant may appeal to the Appeals Panel which is an outside body that is independent of the CICA.
A CICA appeal in a criminal injury compensation claim can be made to the Appeals Panel and the application for appeal must normally be received within 90 days of the date of the review decision by the CICA. The 90 day period may in exceptional circumstances be waived by the Appeals Panel if it would be in the interests of justice to do so. Written notification of the outcome of the CICA appeal, giving reasons for the decision, will be sent to both the appellant and to the CICA who must abide by the Appeal Panel's ruling.
The Appeals Panel comes under the jurisdiction of The Parliamentary Ombudsman who undertakes independent investigations into complaints about government departments relating to maladministration.
- If you want to make a complaint to the Ombudsman in England and Wales, you must write to your MP.
- If you want to complain to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman, you should write to:
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
23 Walker Street
- If you want to complain to the Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman, you should write to:
Freepost BEL 1478
- If you want to call in to the Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman's office to make a personal complaint the address is:
The Ombudsman's Office
33 Wellington Place
CICA Appeal Solicitors
We are a specialist service that deals with criminal injury compensation claims including a CICA appeal on a no win no fee basis. Our claims are completely risk free and if the application is unsuccessful, for any reason whatsoever, we will not make any charge to you. You do not have to pay for any expenses or insurance as the claim proceeds. If you would like free advice on the telephone, without obligation, just phone the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.
SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7004