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Can you claim CICA compensation for psychological injury?

If you were the victim of a violent crime and consequently suffered a significant decline in your mental health, you may be entitled to CICA compensation for psychological injury.

As a result of poor mental health, you might struggle with your daily practices, your relationships, and crucially, your quality of life. If the injury wasn’t your fault, you deserve compensation to help you get your life back on track.

Who is CICA?

The Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) delegates government-awarded compensation to innocent victims of violent crimes and are sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. It has jurisdiction over England, Scotland, and Wales, and receives over 35,000 claims a year, which it aims to process within 12 months.

In the event of a successful claim, CICA awards compensation for physical and psychological injuries.

What is a psychological injury?

A psychological injury refers to a mental health problem that developed or intensified due to someone’s actions, which inhibits your ability to perform day-to-day tasks.

Psychological damage may manifest due to a physical or non-physical injury and can stem from a number of sources:

  • A violent attack
  • A substantiated threat of violence
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • The sudden death of a loved one as a result of a violent crime

A decline in your mental health may consequently trigger a range of side effects and symptoms, including:

  • Overwhelming anxiety
  • Feeling guilt or shame – particularly if you survived a dangerous situation while a loved one did not
  • Intrusive and dark thoughts
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Memory loss
  • Suicidal thoughts

On your road to recovery, you may turn to a therapist or a doctor for help, often at your own expense. Naturally, you might seek compensation for financial losses and a decline in your quality of life.

How much compensation am I entitled to?

CICA awards compensation based on their extensive tariff system available in their 2012 scheme document. You are only entitled to compensation if your specific injury is listed in their tariffs and you qualify for the minimum £1000 award.

It is worth noting that CICA specifies that “temporary mental anxiety and similar temporary conditions” do not qualify for compensation. They also state that your day-to-day activities must have been disrupted by your injury.

Relevant tariffs are in the tables below:

Disabling mental injuryCompensation Award (£)
Lasts between 6 to 28 weeks1000
Lasts between 28 weeks to 2 years2400
Lasts between 2 to 5 years6200
Lasts more than 5 years but is not permanent13,500
Permanent mental injuryCompensation Award (£)
Moderately disabling19,000
Seriously disabling27,000

CICA will only pay compensation for a maximum of three injuries. You will receive 100% of the tariff for the most serious injury, 30% for the second most serious, and 15% for the third most serious.

However, you can claim additional awards from the scheme. If you have unfortunately had to take time off work and, as a result, have lost income, you can make a claim. However, CICA dictates that you must have been off work for at least 28 weeks.

Furthermore, in the tragic circumstance that you suffered the loss of a loved one due to a violent crime, you may be eligible for up to £11,000 compensation.

Finally, if an abusive situation caused your injury, CICA will only pay one tariff – either the tariff for mental injury or abuse, whichever is highest.

Does my psychological injury qualify for CICA compensation?

The scheme awards over £130 million in compensation to innocent victims every year. To qualify, you must have evidence to substantiate your claims. CICA will only accept evidence from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

Alongside evidence, you must be an innocent party that did not provoke the attack, and you must not hold a criminal record. Furthermore, you must have reported the incident to the police as soon as reasonably practicable, so you can provide CICA with a crime reference number.

However, it is worth noting that there is leeway concerning abuse claims, and it is possible to receive compensation if you delayed reporting the incident to the police. CICA processes abuse accusations claim by claim.

How do I apply for CICA compensation for psychological injury?

You can apply for CICA compensation online via their website, but we highly recommended you consult a solicitor as the process is complicated and lengthy.

We can help you with your psychological injury claim

If you believe you’re eligible for CICA compensation, get in touch with our team of expert solicitors who specialise in criminal injury compensation. Give us a call on 0151 668 0829, or fill out our online claim form so we can get started on your claim today.

If you have already begun your CICA claim but have since decided to consult a solicitor, we can take the stress out of your compensation claim. We can get in touch with CICA, get updates on your application, and provide support wherever you need it.

We offer a no-obligation consultation where we can assess whether you’re eligible for compensation. Get in touch today and let us take care of your application, so you can concentrate on getting better.

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