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Criminal Injury Claim Process

A step-by-step guide to making a criminal injury claim

Most criminal injury compensation claims are dealt with by the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA). Once you have sent your application form to them this is the process that ensues.

  • Acknowledgement – CICA will send you a personal reference number that applies to your claim; this is a receipt acknowledging your claim and will also help to speedily identify your case if you need to contact them.
  • Further details – this only applies if you did not include all the necessary information on the application form — CICA will return the form and you will need to give any absent information.
  • Contact the police – CICA will proceed to contact the police about the incident that caused your injury. They must do this to confirm that your claim is genuine and that you were injured due to a criminal offence.
  • Contact any relevant medical, or other, authorities – if they need to, CICA will contact the medical authority that treated you for your injury, which will help confirm the eligibility of your claim and assist in determining the magnitude of the compensation award.
  • Confirmation of acceptance – usually within two weeks of receiving the police report CICA will be able to write to you confirming that your compensation claim has been accepted and that they can proceed in determining your final award.
  • Criminal trial? – if the offender who caused your injury is on, or awaiting trial, then CICA must halt the process temporarily until the fate of the accused is decided.
  • Additional information – CICA may need to gather more information before coming to a decision on your claim; they will liaise with police, medical and any other relevant authorities to do this.
  • Lost income and special expenses – if you made a duel, or triple, claim for compensation, requesting compensation for income loss and/or special expenses also, CICA will require further information from you regarding these. You will receive extra forms from CICA that will ask you for this information.
  • Final decision – the next step is for CICA to make a final decision on your claim. The time frame for this can vary wildly depending on the complexity of the case — it could take over a year before you receive a final decision. CICA try to offer all final awards in one lump sum payable by cheque (unless special circumstances require differently). If CICA decide to reject your compensation claim, or reduce the amount awarded, then they will give you reasons why they have done this.
  • Your response – once you have received a final decision detailing the amount of compensation CICA offer you or a rejection, it is your duty to respond within 90 days. You have two options:
  1.        Accept the decision – a written response is required and you will receive your cheque.
  2.        Contest the decision – a review form will also be included with your final decision, if you do not agree with CICA you may ask for a review and a new decision will be made by a different person.
  • Review – the possible outcomes of a review are the same as the initial final decision, in that you will either be offered compensation or told why your claim has been rejected. You claim will be completely reviewed so the compensation amount may go up or down. If you are rejected for a second time, or disagree with the amount offered, then you can seek further contestation at an independent tribunal.
  • Independent tribunal – again you have 90 days to respond. CICA will send you the forms that need to be completed in order to take your case to an independent tribunal. The tribunal is overseen by the Tribunal Service – Criminal Injuries Compensation, they are in no way affiliated with CICA.

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