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4.10 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Conditions
  3. Timelimits
  4. Process for Applications
  5. Managing any Awards
  6. Application to Advance Money
  7. On Reaching 18


1. Introduction

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) came into operation on 1 April 1996. The scheme is run by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and compensation is awarded in accordance with a tariff system. The 1996 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme dealt with applications between 1st April 1996 and 31st March 2001.The scheme was revised in 2001 and the current scheme is the 2001 CICS which deals with applications after 1st April 2001.

See the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority website

The Local Authority has a responsibility to look after the best interests of the children in its care. This includes making an application for compensation where appropriate. On reaching the age of 18 years, a successful claimant may be credited with a substantial amount of money (usually several thousand pounds). Although any amount of money will not fully compensate for the abuse suffered by the child or young person, compensation may at least provide some financial security. Where the child is not in the subject of a Care Order, responsibility for making an application rests with their Parent or other person with Parental Responsibility, who should be advised to consult their solicitor.


2. Conditions

Any child who has suffered physical and/or mental injury as a result of a crime of violence could have a claim for compensation from the CICA. The definition of a crime of violence includes sexual offences and physical assault, as well as arson, poisoning, the deliberate use of an animal or motor vehicle as a weapon etc.

The applicant must have sustained injury in England, Scotland or Wales. ( Northern Ireland has its own scheme)The injury has got to be serious enough to qualify for the minimum award payable under the tariff. A child whose parent(s) have died as a result of criminal injury may apply for compensation.

The perpetrator does not need to have been convicted of the offence. However, it is very important that the incident was reported to the Police as soon as possible after it happened. Unless there is a reasonable explanation for not reporting the incident, the CICA will reject the application.

All claims need to be lodged with the CICA as soon as possible and within two years of the injury occurring. The CICA will only consider claims outside this time scale in exceptional circumstances.

Further information can be obtained by telephoning the CICA's helpline on: 0141 3312726 or free phone 0800-358-3601

The only people who can lodge a claim for compensation are:

The child her/himself

Those people holding parental responsibility for the child

A Solicitor nominated by or for the child (this includes the Official Solicitor)

The child must be given all the advice and support they need to help them and/ or their parent(s) manage the application procedure.

Children's Services can only make a claim on behalf of a child for whom the local authority has parental responsibility.

If the victim has died as a result of injuries received in a crime of violence, application may be made for a "fatal award". In this case the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may make an award even if the victim received an award whilst he/she was alive. Application for fatal award may be made by:

  • The victim's spouse, including anyone who has lived with him/her as husband or wife for at least two years up to the time of his/her death;
  • The victim's Parents, including anyone he/she accepted as a Parent;
  • The victim's children, including anyone who was accepted by the victim as a child of his/her family.


3. Timelimits

Generally applications will only be considered within 2 years of the incident, which caused the injury.

Applications may be accepted outside this 2-year period only if, because of the particular circumstances of the case, it is reasonable and in the interests of justice to do so.

Applications will not be considered for injuries caused before August 1964.

In the case of family violence, compensation is payable for incidents occurring on or after 1st October 1979.

An application for compensation must be made within two years of the incident, which caused the injury. Where there were a series of offences, this time limit runs from the date of the most recent incident. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may, however, waive this requirement in exceptional circumstances e.g. if the injury was not apparent until some time after the incident. Sympathetic consideration will be given to late applications made by, or on behalf of, people under the age of 18 and from victims whose ability to submit an application was, or is impaired.

It is not necessary to wait until someone has been convicted of the offence before applying for compensation


4. Process for Applications

This procedure must be used for all children for whom Children's Services has parental responsibility.

The child's Social Worker must obtain an application form and further information from the CICA and complete every section of the form. They must also ask for the leaflet 'Child Abuse and Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme' from the CICA, a copy of which is also held by the Child Care Litigation Unit. (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority website)

The Social Worker should seek advice from the Child Care Litigation Unit about the completion of the application form.

Information and evidence must be gathered that supports the claim, including, if appropriate, reports from the following professionals:

  • Health professionals which may include a Police Surgeon;
  • Education professionals;
  • A member of the psychiatric profession;
  • Those Police Officers involved in the incident;
  • Any witnesses.

The report must contain the following information:

  • Full name and date of birth of the child;
  • Details of the family and brief family history;
  • Details of the child's care history and her/his present circumstances;
  • How, when and where the injury occurred.

Details of when and where the injury was reported and of any prosecutions or reason why prosecution did not take place

  • Details of any examinations that were undertaken (including report);
  • The child's view of the injury;
  • The view of the parent(s) or those with parental responsibility;
  • A professional view of the likely effect the injury will have on the child in the future and on an emotional, physical, social or psychological basis;
  • Details of any special expenses incurred for medical, dental, optical treatment (enclose receipts) and an estimate of any future costs that might arise as a result of injury.

The Social Worker must not sign the application form.

Every application form must have a full birth certificate attached to it.

Once the above steps have been completed the application form and any reports must be passed to the Children's Service Manager.

The Children's Service Manager must read the report, sign the application and return it to the child's Social Worker.

The Social Worker must send the application form to the CICA, ensuring a copy of the application is taken and put on the case record.


5. Managing any Awards

The CICA will notify the Team Manager in writing of any award it has decided in favour of the child.

On receipt of this notification and after consultation with County Secretary's Department, if the Social Worker and Team Manager think the award is sufficient, the Team Manager must sign the appropriate form and return it to CICA.

On receipt of this notification and after consultation with the County Secretary's Department, if the Social Worker and Team Manager think the award is insufficient, they can ask for the decision to be reviewed

The Team Manager must apply in writing within 90 days from the date of the CICA's notification. (S)he should ask for an Application for Review Form and a guide to review procedures.

On receipt of the CICA's notification of the reviewed decision and after consultation with the County Secretary's Department, if the Social Worker and Team Manager think the award is still insufficient, they can appeal against the decision within 30 days from the CICA's notification.

The Team Manager should ask the CICA for an Application for Appeal Form and a guide to appeal procedures.

Once the amount of the award has been agreed, the CICA will forward a cheque for Children's Services to administer.

The Team Manager must contact the Court of Protection/Public Trust Office on 0170 664 7000 if any award is made in respect of a mentally incapacitated child. In such cases, a Receiver may have to be formally appointed to manage the money on the child's behalf.

In other case, any award received must be passed to the District Finance Manager to be banked. A note should be made on the file detailing the amount received and put in the relevant section of the case record.

All children except for those mentally incapacitated will receive the full amount of the award plus any interest accrued when they reach their 18th birthday.


6. Application to Advance Money

A child who is not mentally incapacitated can apply to be advanced some or all of the award prior to her/his 18th birthday.

Money is not to be used for day to day maintenance of the child.

The child will need to use the application form to make a request for the money. Ideally they should do this for themselves. If this is not possible they can ask someone to help them with this task.

Once the application is completed it must be submitted to the Children's Service Manager who must make the decision about the application, seeking views from the Link Accounting Manager as part of this.

The Children's Service Manager must consider the following issues:

  • All the financial implications of releasing money or allowing it to accumulate;
  • How the advance will benefit the child;
  • What other forms would be available from other sources.

A record of this meeting must be taken that details the decisions made and the reasons for these.

Approved applications together with the minutes of the above meeting must be sent to County Secretary's Department. The Solicitor must file the application and return it to the Children's Service Manager.

The Children's Service Manager must pass the above to the Team Manager who must name the person whose responsibility it is to make sure:

  • The money is used in as agreed in the application;
  • Receipts have been produced that can account for all the money spent.

All the above documents must be put in the relevant section of the file.


7. On Reaching 18

Prior to any young person receiving their award Social Worker's must make sure that they have had access to appropriate financial advice.

This advice must be arranged before the young person's 18th birthday so as not to delay the handing over of the award. However, if the young person is mentally incapacitated, then the Court of Protection/Public Trust Office must be consulted as soon as the award is accepted in order to determine who should look after the award on the young person's behalf.

End