Wednesday 11 March 2020

The History of the CICA.

Photo courtesy of Jon Tyson (Unsplash)

{Collaborative content} The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, or the CICA, is a UK government agency which dates back over 50 years. You may have heard about CICA claims for victims of crimes, but if you want to know more about what the CICA is and what it does, then the following guide can help. The UK government sometimes makes changes to the CICA.

What is the CICA?

The agency that is today known as the CICA began as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in 1964. It did not become the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority until this was established in 1996. Based in Glasgow, the CICA operates in England, Wales, and Scotland, and is funded by the Ministry of Justice and the Justice Directorate. The scheme is designed to pay financial compensation to victims of violent criminal injury in the UK. Northern Ireland has a separate compensation agency within its Department of Justice instead of the CICA.

Are there any problems with the CICA?

Over the years, the agency has made payments totalling more than £3 billion to victims of violent crime. This is the most generous compensation scheme of its kind in the world. That said, the CICA has also received plenty of criticism for its handling of criminal injury cases. In some cases, the CICA failed to make an adequate compensation award. Much criticism is aimed at the way that the process can re-traumatize vulnerable victims, consider them to have contributed to their injury, or deny compensation for those with criminal convictions.

Have the CICA rules changed?

The most recent iteration of the CICA scheme was reformed in 2012 under Justice Secretary Ken Clarke. The newer rules are more complex and restrictive than before, with strict criteria for eligibility and a 35-tier system of tariffs split into Part A and Part B to cover different types of injuries and their compensation award value. Most recently, the abolishing of the “same roof” in 1979 was made retrospective as of 2019. This means that victims who were denied compensation previously due to living with their abuser will now be eligible to make a claim.

Who can contact the CICA?

Anyone who has been the victim of a violent crime and suffered a long-lasting or permanent injury can apply for compensation from the government after reporting the crime to the police and assisting with their investigation and the prosecution as far as possible. Adults can claim on behalf of child victims, or family members may claim on behalf of deceased victims. If you seek legal assistance from a solicitor for CICA claim advice, they may contact the CICA on your behalf. You must contact the CICA to make a claim within 2 years of the criminal injury.

How to Contact the CICA

It is possible to contact the CICA online, call the CICA on the phone, or write to the CICA and apply via post. There is an online CICA contact form if you want to contact the CICA with an enquiry about an existing case, such as checking the progress of an application. It is not possible to visit the CICA offices in person, because they are not open to the public. You can contact them using the methods above between 8.30am and 5pm on weekdays (from 10am on Wednesdays). You can contact the CICA to report fraud or make an FOI request.

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