We get our client’s CICA compensation increased from £22,000 to £241,901
Criminal injuries compensation specialist Elizabeth Duncan recently settled a CICA claim for £241,901 after the CICA had made an initial offer of £22,000.
Elizabeth’s client, who we will refer to as J, made contact with us as she had suffered prolonged sexual abuse as a child. This had a devastating effect on her mental health and her ability to work. She had been unable to sustain employment for decades and lived a restricted life as she was plagued by intrusive psychological symptoms.
The perpetrator of the abuse was penniless, so a claim made directly against him would not have been worthwhile. However Elizabeth recommended that an application be made to the government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) scheme. This is a scheme designed to compensate the victims of violent crime where very strict eligibility criteria are satisfied.
J was outside the usual time limit to make a CICA application, but Elizabeth felt confident that the time limit would be extended due to the exceptional circumstances of J’s poor mental health that meant she had not been able to seek advice or make an application before.
The CICA did accept Elizabeth’s arguments on the delay and made an offer of £22,000 which is the set amount under the CICA tariff for a permanently disabling mental injury of “moderate severity”.
However, the CICA had not taken account of the impact on J’s working life, despite her application having included confirmation that she had not been able to work for decades.
Elizabeth therefore had the decision reviewed as she believed J satisfied the eligibility criteria in the scheme for an additional payment.
This action paid off with the CICA eventually increasing their offer to just over £240,000, a ten-fold increase.
“This award, while in no way making up for what J has been through, will allow her to seek private treatment to improve her quality of life as well as giving her some financial security for the rest of her life. All too often I see cases where the CICA makes a reasonably modest offer to an unrepresented applicant which is subsequently dramatically increased on review or appeal. This is unfair to survivors of heinous offences who are suffering long term devastating effects of such crimes and who should be able to trust that a scheme run by the government will be fairly and fully applied across the board. The CICA should not be a lottery but all too often it is.”