Following a recent review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, the vast majority of innocent victims of violent crimes are no longer eligible for any compensation under the Scheme – or any amount they do receive has been slashed.
Until November 26th 2012, the scheme awarded compensation to between 30,000 and 40,000 people each year who were seriously injured or affected by a violent crime and who couldn’t obtain recompense from any other source such as their assailant.
But politicians controversially approved a revised scheme which will cut or axe altogether the financial support given to nearly 90% of the victims of violent crime.
This will now mean many claims for compensation lodged with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will be automatically rejected.
Craig Newton, Litigation Assistant at Personal Injury specialists Neil Hudgell Solicitors, explains what to do if your claim for criminal injuries compensation is rejected.
In the first instance, “Don’t give up, as in many cases we have been able to reverse the decision and, in some cases, help clients to achieve an increased settlement.”
Craig adds: “If your claim is rejected, you can ask for a review of the decision by a different claims officer. This must be received by the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority within 90 days of the decision.”
Craig advises that if you then disagree with the review decision you can appeal to the Tribunals Service – Criminal Injuries Compensation (TS). Appeal forms are available from the website.
When lodging an appeal, you need to provide the following information:
- your reasons for appealing
- the case reference number
- your current address
- the name, address, telephone number and reference of any representatives
- a list of any documents you intend to send in support of your Notice of Appeal – for example reports or photographs
Unless you have a legally qualified representative, you must sign the form yourself. In addition, you must attach a copy of the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority’s original review decision letter and any supporting documents to your appeal form.
Appeal forms and any supporting documents should be sent to:
First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation)
134-136 Wellington Street
Glasgow G2 2XL
The Tribunals Service will make a decision based on your appeal form and any other documents you have submitted. If necessary, the Tribunals Service may ask you or the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority to provide further documents.
The Tribunals Service aims to determine an appeal within 12 weeks of receipt. The decision of the Tribunals Service is final.
Craig said: “We often find that many people are put off by the bureaucracy and give up at an early stage. That’s why it’s worth consulting a lawyer who will be able to advise you on how likely you are to succeed and can also help with the paperwork.
“Lawyers like Neil Hudgell Solicitors are “no-win, no-fee” so you don’t pay for our advice until and unless your claim is successful.
“A number of people who have already had their compensation claims rejected have approached us, and we’ve been successful in having the decisions reversed.
“We believe the changes in the CICA Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will lead to a continued influx of rejected compensation claims, and we look forward to assisting people in this situation over the coming months.”
For more information, visit www.cica-criminal-injuries.co.uk