If you have been an innocent victim of a violent crime, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government funded scheme designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain.

You can apply for compensation if you or someone you know has been hurt in a violent crime, but you must apply within two years of when the attack happened.

You may have been affected by a violent crime in any one or a number of ways and can ask the CICA to consider a claim for:

  • mental or physical injury following a crime of violence;
  • sexual or physical abuse;
  • loss of earnings - where you have no or limited capacity to work as the direct result of a criminal injury;
  • special expenses payments - these cover certain costs you may have incurred as a direct result of an incident. You can only ask us to consider special expenses if your injuries mean you have been unable to work or have been incapacitated to a similar extent for more than 28 weeks;
  • a fatality caused by a crime of violence including bereavement payments, payments for loss of parental services and financial dependency; and funeral payments;

Not all claims for compensation will be successful; you must be eligible under the rules of the Scheme.

See the full guide to the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme.

The scheme is administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), who decide all claims.

The rules of the Scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by Parliament and are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries. Although the size of the award varies to reflect the seriousness of the injury, the compensation can never fully compensate you for what you have suffered or lost - it is just society’s way of recognising that you have been a victim.

You make your claim through an online form, which should only take about 15 minutes. Before doing this, though, you will need your unique police reference number and the contact details of any doctor who treated your injury (if you received treatment).

If you need help with your claim or have any questions, you can also contact the CICA Customer Service Centre advisors on 0300 003 3601.

Free independent advice

You do not need a paid representative such as a solicitor or claims management company to apply for compensation. Free independent advice may be available from Victim Support or other charitable organisations. You can also get advice from your local Citizens Advice service, a law centre, or from a welfare rights organisation. If you belong to a trade union, they may be able to help too.

The Hardship Fund

If your injuries are not serious enough to fall within the tariff of injuries, the Government has introduced a Hardship Fund. The Hardship Fund provides temporary relief from financial hardship to very low paid workers who are temporarily unable to work because they have been a victim of a violent crime. The fund only applies to injuries sustained in England and Wales.

For more information, you should contact the Victim Support line on 0845 3030 900.