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5.10.1 Criminal Injuries Compensation

Please note: Any decision to seek legal advice/involvement must be in line with Court Proceedings Procedure, Access to Legal Services.

See also: Children Looked After & Care Leavers Trust Panel Arrangements Procedure.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was entirely revised and updated in March 2017 and should be re-read in full.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Eligibility
  4. Timescales
  5. Making an Application
  6. Accepting a Payment
  7. Trust Panel Arrangements
  8. Reviewing Decisions
  9. Appealing Decisions
  10. The Award
  11. Advancing Money from the Award to the Child
  12. When a Young Person is 18


1. Introduction

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government-funded scheme designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) administers the Scheme and decides all claims.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme derives from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995. The Secretary of State is under a duty to make arrangements for the payment of compensation to, or in respect of, persons who have sustained one or more criminal injuries. These arrangements include the making of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (“the Scheme”) providing, in particular, for—

  1. The circumstances in which awards may be made; and
  2. The categories of person to whom awards may be made.

A draft of the Scheme must be approved by a resolution of each House (Commons and Lords) and The Secretary of State and the value of the payments awarded are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries up to a maximum amount of £500,000 before any reductions are applied.

The Scheme is intended to be one of last resort. Where the opportunity exists for the applicant to pursue compensation elsewhere they should do so. The CICA will expect all reasonable steps to obtain any social security benefits, insurance payments, damages or compensation to which there may be an entitlement as a result of the injuries have been taken. Evidence may be sought that the applicant has:

  • Considered if it was possible to claim compensation from the assailant and pursued this if there was a chance of success;
  • Applied for all benefits to which entitlement may be due.

The CICA Scheme may not make a decision on the case until such times as they are satisfied that the applicant is eligible and compensation could not be sought from any other sources. The CICA Scheme must be kept informed about any other claims being pursued.

Regardless of whether or not compensation or damages is being sought from other sources, an application for a CICA should be made as soon as possible.

An applicant may still be eligible for an award under the Scheme even if the assailant is not known, or is not convicted.

Where a Looked After child appears to qualify (see Section 3, Eligibility), legal advice must always be sought as to whether or not an application should be made.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can be contacted for advice on eligibility and making a claim.


2. Background

This guidance sets out the process to be followed when giving consideration to making or supporting an application for a Criminal Injuries Compensation Award (CICA).

Given the nature of the factors and circumstances that are likely to underlie a possible CICA application, extreme sensitivity needs to be given to the application process, liaison with the child (and family where they are undertaking, supporting or assisting with the claim process). Consideration should also be given to the fact that the claim process and allocation of an Award may cause distress to individual children or family members. In such circumstances, this distress may be tempered through liaison with the CICA Authority who can set out how the Award can be granted and the management arrangements for the Award. Where it is decided that it would not be in the best interest of the child to make an application, this must be clearly documented. This is particularly important as not making a CICA application may result in a compensation claim for damages and an Ombudsman finding of maladministration against the Authority at a later point, and/or when the child reaches adulthood.

Process for giving due Consideration to making a Criminal Injuries Compensation Award Claim

For detailed guidance regarding eligibility thresholds and the process of making a claim see sections below.

In principle, the application for a CICA should be made by a person with parental responsibility; however, depending on the circumstances of the claim, the local authority may be able to make the claim on behalf of the child (both Section 31 and Section 20 of the Children Act 1989).

Care Proceedings – Section 31

As part of the Legal Planning Meeting (LPM) process (alongside Care Proceedings), consideration should be given to whether the child’s circumstances would warrant a CICA application. The decision should be informed by the entirety of the child’s circumstances and whether the situation that has led to the Care Proceedings may necessitate a CICA application. The decision should be informed by reference to appendix one and the decision to apply/not to apply should be clearly set out in the minutes of the meeting(s).

The final decision should be made by the responsible Service Manager and be informed by discussions between the child’s social worker and their supervisor/team manager.

At the first and second statutory review the Independent Reviewing Officer should ensure a CICA application is considered as part of the initial care planning process and the decision to make, or not to make an application should be clearly set out in the review minutes and within the child’s Care Plan.

Accommodated – Section 20

In principle an application for a CICA should be submitted by a person with parental responsibility for the child.

Where an application is being made on behalf of a child who is ‘Accommodated’ under Section 20 by someone with parental responsibility, consideration should be given as to whether support should be given to that person (by the child’s social worker) where the CICA application relates to an incident not linked to the that individual/immediate family.

Where the incident does relate to a parent/immediate family, the application can be made on behalf of the child by the local authority. In these circumstances direct liaison should take place with the CICA Authority (by the child’s social worker) regarding the nature of the incident, the application process and whether any restrictions should be placed on the conditions of the Award given that the parent/s retain parental responsibility. In such circumstances consideration will need to be given to the sharing of information with parents and the CICA Authority as parents will retain the entirety of parental responsibility.

Case work discussions should take place prior to the first and second statutory review regarding the nature of the incident leading to a possible CICA application and as to whether it would be appropriate to support a parent to make an application, or the application should be undertaken by the local authority. The Independent Reviewing Officer should ensure this discussion takes place and should task the social worker with discussing the circumstances and issues with the CICA Authority (with attention given to sharing information with a parent/s). The discussions, actions and tasks should be considered as part of the initial care planning process and the decision to make, or not to make, an application should be clearly set out in the third review minutes and within the child’s Care Plan.

The relevant Service Manager (responsible for the service undertaking the Section 20 Accommodation process) should make the final decision regarding whether an application will be made, the decision should be informed by discussion with the child’s social worker and their supervisor/team manager and the child’s IRO.

The third and subsequent statutory reviews should clarify if a CICA application will be made, who will make the application, and any management arrangements (for the Award) should an Award be made.

Child in Need – Section 17

As part of the Child in Need planning process consideration should be given to the circumstances of the child and a decision made to signpost the parent to the CICA application process, or to support a parent with the application process.

Applications where Children are already Looked After and/or the Incident Occurs within the ‘Care’ System

In circumstances where a looked after child is subject to a violent or abusive incident, consideration should be given to supporting the child, or the child’s parent’s/ person with parental responsibility (if not the perpetrator) to make a CICA application, or to making an application on behalf of the child. The threshold and criteria for the making of a CICA application remain the same as for those who are not looked after or who are becoming looked after.

Accepting the Level of an Award/Appealing the Level of an Award

The timescale for accepting a CICA or submitting an appeal against the level of the CICA is normally 56 days (this can be extended under certain circumstances). Where a CICA is over £6000.00 the decision to accept or appeal the CICA should be taken by (the membership of) a Trust Panel Arrangements meeting (that includes a legal services representative). A Trust Panel Arrangements meeting should be set up as soon as the CICA has been made and should consider accepting/appealing the CICA and the future management of the award. See Trust Panel Arrangements Policy.

It must always be noted that the allocation of a CICA may, in itself cause distress to individual children or family members and should always be managed with great sensitivity.

Payment of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Award

During the application process liaison can take place with the CICA Authority regarding placing conditions on the Award i.e. ensuring that those causing the application cannot benefit from the Award and/or attaching conditions about its future use once the child reaches the age of 18.

Once the Award is allocated, it is normal practice for the CICA to be transferred to the local authority (Hertfordshire County Council) if the child is ‘looked after’ [section 31], usually with the imposition of conditions. However, and depending on the circumstances of the child/young person it is possible for the CICA to be held by the CICA Authority until the child/young person reaches the age of 18. Where a child is ‘looked after’ under section 20, consideration should be given to where the CICA should be paid, and/or held. Liaison with the parent/s and the CICA Authority will need to take place regarding who and where the CICA should be held.

The decision/recommendation as to where the CICA is held should be made by at the Trust Panel Arrangements meeting, which must take place as soon as the CICA is made and within 28 days, given that the decision to accept, or appeal the CICA has to be made within 56 days. The decision/recommendation should be based on a ‘Best Interest’ assessment conducted by the child’s social worker and presented to the Trust Panel Arrangements meeting.

The Trust Panel Arrangements meeting process should also be used to agree and evidence any requested conditions that are to be attached to the Award.

It is important to note that the CICA should normally be transferred to the child on reaching their 18th birthday and that any payment would be deemed to be a Personal Injuries Award (“the Award”) which is disregarded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for 52 weeks after the young person has access to the Award and for an indefinite period afterwards, if the Award is placed in any form of Trust (which includes the Court of Protection or a Deputyship arrangement). However, if the young person withdraws some or all of the money at a future point, the amount withdrawn could lead to a cessation of a means-tested benefit claim, a benefit reduction, or the levying of charge for an adult social care service. Advice should be sought via the Trust Panel Arrangements meeting process, which would include a representative from the Hertfordshire Money Advice Unit. In situations where a young person creates capital for themselves by withdrawing some or all of their CICA for personal use, advice should be sought from the Money Advice Unit regarding the impact of the capital.

Where the CICA Authority has imposed conditions on the granting of the Award and/or the young person lack’s ‘Capacity’, the Award may continue to be held (‘In Trust’) by Hertfordshire County Council. Also see the Capacity and Financial Arrangements Policy and Guidance.

As Corporate Parent, the local authority may feel it’s in the ‘Best Interests’ of a child to provide assistance to manage an Award as a result of their vulnerability, immaturity or some other circumstance. In addition, an individual with ‘Capacity’ to manage their financial affairs may request this assistance. In either case, this should be considered within the Trust Panel Arrangements meeting process and the decisions and justifications documented and recorded.

Where an Award has been made, and is being held by the local authority on behalf of the child, it is possible to make advances/payments to the child at the age of 16 or 17 for items deemed to be appropriate and of benefit, in circumstances where it can be demonstrated that it is in their ‘Best Interest’. Where this process is considered appropriate (and in the child’s ‘Best Interest’) it should be agreed by the child’s social worker, their team manager (and service manager if the amount requested is over £500.00) and the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer. Expenditure deemed appropriate may include a course of driving lessons leading to a driving test (alongside the leaving care driving lesson support), additional setting up home payments (alongside the leaving care allowance), additional educational activities (alongside the Virtual School payments). An agreement to make advanced payments must be deemed to be in the ‘Best Interest’ of the child.

Only where a child/young person aged 16 and above lacks ‘capacity’ to manage their property and financial affairs can the local authority or other party (with independent advocacy) seek authority from the Court of Protection to establish the entirety of the arrangements for the management of the Award.

The Statutory Review process and the Trust Panel Arrangements process provide an auditing and accountability framework for decisions about making a CICA application, the subsequent acceptance process and the management of the Award process (where a child is looked after).

See the following GOV.UK guidance:


3. Eligibility

A child/young person is eligible for an award under this Scheme only if:

  1. That person was ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom on the date of the incident giving rise to the criminal injury;
  2. One of the conditions in paragraph 11 was satisfied in relation to them on the date of the incident giving rise to the criminal injury; or
  3. One of the conditions in paragraph 13 is satisfied in relation to them on the date of their application under this Scheme.

The conditions referred to in paragraph 11 are that the person was:

  1. A British citizen;
  2. A close relative of a British citizen;
  3. A national of a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area;
  4. A person who had a right to be in the United Kingdom by virtue of being a family member of a national of a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area;
  5. A national of a State party to the Council of Europe Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes (CETS No. 116, 1983);
  6. A member of the armed forces; or
  7. An accompanying close relative of a member of the armed forces.

The conditions referred to in paragraph 13 are that the person has:

  1. Been referred to a competent authority as a potential victim of trafficking in human beings; or
  2. Made an application for asylum under Immigration Rules made under section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971.

Reporting the incident to the Police

The CICA Scheme requires that all incidents, for which a claim is made, be reported to the police. If the crime for which compensation is being sought has not been reported to the police the Scheme cannot make a payment.

The incident should be reported to the police as soon as is reasonably practicable. Normally this will mean immediately following the incident. Where there has been a delay reporting the incident to the police an explanation for the delay will be required. It will then be assessed to see if it could have been reasonably practicable for the incident to have been reported sooner. All the circumstances of the case will be taken into account, in particular if:

  • The applicant was too young to report the incident themselves;
  • The applicant lacked the mental capacity to report the incident;
  • The effect of the injuries meant the applicant could not make a full report to the police immediately.

The incident should always be reported to the police even if it has been reported somewhere else.

What payments are available from the CICA Scheme?

The Scheme can consider claims for the following:

  • Mental or physical injury following a crime of violence;
  • Sexual or physical abuse;
  • Loss of earnings - where there is no or limited capacity to work as the direct result of a criminal injury;
  • Special expenses payments - these cover certain costs that may have incurred as a direct result of an incident;
  • 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; the applicant must be eligible under the rules of the Scheme.

A ‘crime of violence’ may include:

  • A physical attack;
  • Any other act or omission of a violent nature which causes physical injury to a person;
  • A threat against a person, causing fear of immediate violence in circumstances which would cause a person of reasonable firmness to be put in such fear;
  • A sexual assault to which a person did not in fact consent; or
  • Arson or fire-raising.

The types of payment which may be made under this Scheme are:

  • Injury payments;
  • Loss of earnings payments;
  • Special expenses payments;
  • Bereavement payments;
  • Child’s payments;
  • Dependency payments;
  • Funeral payments;
  • Certain other payments in fatal cases.

Claiming after a Period of Abuse

A claim for compensation can be made if the injury occurred because of a period of physical or sexual abuse. The incident must have been reported to the police.

Contact the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for advice on eligibility.

Witnessed or present at the immediate aftermath of an incident

A claim for a mental injury can be made if an individual witnessed and was present, or was involved in the immediate aftermath of an incident in which a loved one was injured as the result of a crime of violence. Medical evidence from a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist confirming that this is the case is required.

Bereavement as a result of a crime of violence

A qualifying relative of a person who dies as a result of their injuries may be eligible to make an application.

Qualifying Relatives

A qualifying relative is someone who, when the victim died, was in one of the groups listed in paragraph 59 of the Scheme and this would include a child of the deceased.

The definition of ‘child’ is not limited to a person below the age of 18. It includes adult children and a child of the deceased born after the incident.

Children of someone who died

An application can be made for a child’s payment (award) if the child is a qualifying relative and was under 18 at the time of death and dependent on the deceased for parental services.

This is an amount of money to provide some small recognition of what a child loses as the result of the death of a parent.

The entitlement, to which a child’s payment (award) will relate, begins on the date of death and ends on the day before the child’s 18th birthday. The child’s payment (award) is £2,000 for each full year, proportionally reduced for part years. This is calculated as a lump sum.

Dependent of someone who died

A dependency application (payment) can also be sought if a qualifying relative who was financially or physically dependent on the deceased at the time of their death.

Financial Dependency

To be eligible, on the date of death the deceased victim must have:

  • Been in paid work on the date of the incident giving rise to the injury, or, in the case of a series of incidents, at any time during the series of incidents;
  • Had been in regular paid work for a period of at least three years immediately before the date of the incident giving rise to the injury; or
  • Had a good reason for not having been in regular paid work for the period.

If the deceased was not in paid work they must have had good reasons for not being so, for example, they were unable to work because they were in full-time education, or by reason of their age or caring responsibilities.

The payment (award) is calculated over the period of dependency at the weekly rate of statutory sick pay in force at the date the case is determined and in relation to a child, ends on the day before their 18th birthday.

If there is more than one qualifying relative eligible for a financial dependency payment (award), the weekly amount will be divided in equal shares between the claimants that qualify during that week.

The dependency payment (award) is paid as a lump sum unless a payment to a qualifying relative who is a child under the age of 18 is being made. In these cases the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will normally retain the dependency payment (award) and make payments through annual advances to the person with parental responsibility for the child.

Physical Dependency

Eligibility for these arises if the deceased was a main carer, i.e. the person who met the majority of an applicant’s care needs. The period of loss for which the CICA Scheme provides a payment (award) starts from the date the victim died.

A claim for physical dependency is considered in the same way as a financial dependency claim.

Funeral Payments

Where a person has died as a result of sustaining a criminal injury, a payment (award) may be made in respect of their funeral expenses.

A flat rate funeral payment of £2,500 can be made as soon as basic eligibility has been established. This is intended to cover the costs of a normal funeral. A further payment of up to £2,500 may be payable where the particular circumstances mean that the flat rate will not cover the funeral costs. The total amount of a funeral payment cannot exceed £5,000.

Claims for expenses in excess of the £2,500 basic allowance will only be paid where receipts or other satisfactory evidence is provided for the all costs incurred and where those costs are reasonable.

The funeral expenses may include items such as:

  • Provision of a funeral;
  • Tombstone;
  • Flowers;
  • Newspaper announcements;
  • Funeral breakfasts / non-alcoholic refreshments;
  • Memorials;
  • Transporting the deceased back to their country of origin.

The list above is not exhaustive.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will consider other costs if they are supported by receipts or other satisfactory evidence.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may take into account any monies received from public funds to help pay for funeral costs.

Someone dies of their injuries at a later date

If the victim has died because of their injury, qualifying relatives may be eligible to claim. The payment (award) to the victim will affect the payment to relatives as follows:

  • If there is only one person eligible for a dependency or child’s payment (award) we will reduce this by the amount that has already been paid to the deceased;
  • If there is more than one person eligible for a dependency or child’s payment (award) we will reduce this by the amount that has already been paid to the deceased, split proportionally between all recipients.

Someone dies of an unrelated cause before receiving payment

A qualifying relative of a person who sustained a criminal injury but who has died otherwise than as a direct result of that injury may be eligible for a payment if on the date the deceased died:

  • The deceased was eligible for a final award but had not received it; and
  • They were financially dependent on the deceased.

The payment to which the qualifying relative may be entitled is limited to:

  • Any loss of earnings that the deceased may have been entitled to before the date of death;
  • Any special expenses (as allowed under the Scheme) which were incurred by the deceased before the date of death.

No payment will be made to any surviving relatives for the deceased’s injuries. The payment (award) will be reduced by the amount of any award already paid to the deceased.

Effect of other payments on an award

An award will be withheld or reduced if in respect of the criminal injury to which the award relates the applicant:

  • Receives or is awarded criminal injuries compensation or a similar payment;
  • Receives an order for damages from a civil court;
  • Agrees the settlement of a damages claim;
  • Receives a compensation order or offer made during criminal proceedings.

How to apply for a payment

An application for compensation can be made online on the GOV.UK website.

If there is no access to online services or help is needed to complete the application, Customer Service Centre advisors on 0300 003 3601 can help. The team is available from 08:30 to 17:00 except Wednesday when they are open from 10:00 to 17:00.

Applying on behalf of children

The parent, or person with parental responsibility for a child, can complete an application on their behalf. The CICA will ask for details and proof of the relationship to the child to be provided.


4. Timescales

An application must be made as soon as it is reasonably practicable for the claimant to do so. If the applicant was an adult at the time of the incident, this should normally not be later than two years after it occurred. The CICA can only extend this time limit where:

  • Due to exceptional circumstances an application could not have been made earlier; and
  • The evidence provided in support of the application means that it can be determined without further extensive enquiries by a claims officer.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority’s decision will be based on the ‘balance of probabilities’. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority does not need to wait for the outcome of a criminal trial if there is already enough information to make a decision on the case, so an application should never be delayed for that reason.

If an application is to be made more than two years from the date of the incident evidence will need to be provided that demonstrates why the application could not have been made earlier.

Time limit for applicants under 18 years of age on the date of the incident

Different rules apply, however, where the applicant was under 18 years of age on the date of the incident.

If the incident or period of abuse was reported to the police before the young person turned 18, and no one made a claim on the young person’s behalf, a claim can be made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority up until the day of the young person’s 20th birthday.

If the incident or period of abuse took place before the young person turned 18, but was not reported to the police at the time, an application can be made within two years from the reporting of the incident to the police.

However, in either case supporting evidence must be provided for the claim that means that the claims officer can make a decision without further extensive enquiries.

If an extension to these periods for applying is sought, evidence must be provided that shows why the application could not have been made earlier.


5. Making an Application

Applications can be made:

Supporting Evidence

he responsibility for making a case for compensation lies with the applicant. This means that all evidence must be provided to enable the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority to decide on the merits of the case. In particular, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may ask for the following evidence to be provided:

  • Proof that the residency requirements are met;
  • Medical evidence that shows that the child/young person suffered an injury that can be compensated under the Scheme (in the case of a sexual assault this will only be necessary where you are claiming for an injury which requires a medical opinion);
  • Evidence to support a claim for lost earning or future loss of earnings.

The CICA may collect the following evidence before they ask for a medical report to be obtained:

  • Confirmation from the police that the incident in which the injury occurred was reported to the police;
  • Confirmation from the police and/or witnesses that the behaviour of the child/young person did not contribute to the incident in which the injuries were received;
  • Confirmation from the police that the applicant co-operated with them.

Residency

If evidence is required to verify that the applicant meets the residency requirements of the CICA Scheme, the CICA Scheme will normally accept copies of official documents, however, if there is in any doubt about the authenticity of a document they will ask for the original.

Medical Evidence

Where appropriate the CICA Scheme will ask for some basic medical evidence to be provided. They may also invite the applicant to provide this information using their Customer Portal. If there is a cost attached to obtaining the medical evidence then the applicant may be expected to meet this.

Where evidence can be provided to demonstrate that the applicant cannot reasonably afford to obtain the basic medical evidence, or if the cost exceeds £50.00, the CICA Scheme will consider paying for this.

The CICA Scheme will expect the applicant to provide evidence demonstrating that they:

  • Are relying solely on income related benefits;
  • Have a low income and are in receipt of tax credits; or
  • Earn less than the minimum amount needed to qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, as evidenced by a pay statement or letter from their employer or, if self-employed, copies of your most recent tax returns.

Where they do this, they will deduct the cost (up to the £50.00 maximum) from any award. If basic medical evidence cannot be obtained for any other reason the CICA Scheme must be notified and they will assist where they can.

The CICA Scheme may need additional medical or other evidence if the injuries are complex, or a claim is made for a mental illness. They may also need to check if there are any pre-existing conditions, if that has not already been covered in the initial medical evidence. In these circumstances they will either ask the treating practitioner for a report or may arrange for them to be seen by another expert. Where they seek additional medical or psychiatric evidence they will meet the cost of obtaining it.

If they ask for an expert to be seen, the appointment must be kept. They will meet the reasonable cost of travelling to and from the appointment. If the appointment is missed, without good reason, any incurred costs may be deducted from any award made.

If medical evidence is provided which the CICA Scheme did not request, they will only meet the cost of this if they rely on it to decide the validity of the application.

The Making of an Award

Under the CICA Scheme, the officer dealing with the claim has complete discretion as to how payments are made in connection with the award. There may be directions or conditions made by the officer as to:

  • Making one or more interim payment;
  • Establishing a trust to administer the award, on such terms, or in accordance with such arrangements as the claims officer may specify;
  • Retaining the award until the applicant’s 18th birthday;
  • Providing that an award is to consist in whole or in part of an annuity;
  • Requiring the appointment of a deputy or guardian;
  • Repaying the award in full or in part in the event that it is no longer required by the applicant, including by means of a trust on terms which provide for unused funds to revert to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority).

Payments to those under 18

Guidance issued by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority further explains such options. It provides that the normal course of action is for payments to be withheld from an under 18 year-old.

Depending on the size of the award the norm is for the payment to be retained in an interest-earning deposit account until the child’s 18th birthday. The CICA Scheme can consider a request from that person to make your payment to a Child Trust Fund, a Junior ISA or another type of account, where the full value of the payment is protected until the child is 18 years old.

If the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is holding funds, they will allow advances if these are needed for a child’s advancement, education or long term benefit. If an advance payment is made then evidence will be required proving that it has been used for the purposes intended. If the evidence is not forthcoming no further advances will be made.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority may consider making a full payment if the child is 16 or 17 years of age and living independently.

If the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority receives evidence that shows it would not be in in a recipient’s best interests to be given the payment (award) as a lump sum when they turn 18, they may give further consideration to the use of an annuity or a trust at that time.

Given that the claims officer has a wide discretion as to how payments (awards) are made, representations on the best interests of an applicant may be made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority regarding how an award should be managed. Such representations would arise from any ‘Best Interest’ assessment having been conducted and documented by the Local Authority.


6. Accepting a Payment

Legal advice via a Trust Panel should be sought without delay as to whether or not the offer should be accepted.

The acceptance form must be completed and returned within 56 days normally of it being sent to the award recipient. If it is not returned within 56 days, and no written request has been made for a review or an extension of time, a payment will not be made.

The CICA may extend the 56-day time limit for up to a further 56 days, but only if there are exceptional circumstances which mean that the acceptance form could not have complied with the time limit.  Only one such extension may be allowed.


7. Trust Panel Arrangements

Wherever a young person has financial assets, including a Criminal Injuries Award payment of £6000.00 or more, a Trust Panel Arrangements Meeting must be set up to consider how the assets should be managed and their impact on any future benefit, education allowance, claims or applications.


8. Reviewing Decisions

An applicant may seek a review of:

  • A decision as to the determination of a final award or its amount and the individual receiving the award has subsequently died as a result of the criminal injury giving rise to the award or there has been a material change in the medical condition of the individual and not altering the original determination would give rise to injustice.
    N.B. This normally needs to be made within 2 years of the original award;
  • A decision to withdraw a determination;
  • A final decision on reconsideration of an award;
  • A final decision to require repayment or partial repayment of an award;
  • A decision not to extend a time limit under the Scheme in relation to accepting or applying for an award a decision in respect of medical evidence; and
  • A decision not to re-open an application where the individual receiving the award has subsequently died as a result of the criminal injury giving rise to the award or there has been a material change in the medical condition of the individual and not altering the original determination would give rise to injustice in.

If legal advice is received that the decision should be reviewed, written application for a review must be submitted within 56 days of the date of the original decision. A review form will be sent with the decision. Any additional evidence in support of the claim must be submitted.

If it will take longer than 56 days to collect the supporting evidence, a request should be made for the time limit to be extended by up to a further 56 days. Such requests can be made after the expiry of the first 56 days, but such requests will only be granted if there are exceptional circumstances which meant that an applicant could not have requested an extension earlier.

The decision will be reviewed by a different claims officer.

The review decision can be more or less favourable than the original decision, or the original decision may be unchanged.

If the review decision is not accepted, an appeal may be made.


9. Appealing Decisions

A review decision can be challenged by appealing, within 90 days of the date of the review decision, to the First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation). An appeal form will be sent with the review decision. The form and supporting evidence should be sent to:

First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation)
Wellington House
134-136 Wellington Street
Glasgow
G2 2XL

The Tribunal is independent of the CICA.

The First Tier Tribunal must hold a hearing before making a decision unless it considers that it is able to decide the matter without a hearing and each party has consented to, or has not objected to, the matter being decided without a hearing.

The First Tier Tribunal may make a decision that is more favourable or less favourable than the review decision, or the review decision can stay the same.


10. The Award

Payment of compensation is usually by a single lump sum, but if the medical situation is unclear, one or more interim payments may be made.

No compensation will be paid until the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority receives an acceptance of the award in writing. Every effort must therefore be made to minimise the delay in responding to the Authority.

If the payment is accepted, the CICA will then normally put the money in an interest-earning deposit account in the child’s name, the payment to be paid to the child (together with all interest earned) when they reach 18.

The CICA may consider requests to make payment into a Child Trust Fund/Junior ISA or another type of account where the full value of the payment is protected until the child is 18 years old.


11. Advancing Money from the Award to the Child

The CICA may allow advances if these are needed for the child’s sole benefit, education or welfare (not for general spending money).

A child who is not mentally incapacitated can apply to be advanced some or, all of the award prior to her/his 18th birthday. The CICA may consider making a full payment if the child is 16 or 17 years of age and living independently.

Any advances are not to be used for the day to day maintenance of a child.

The CICA will need evidence (normally a receipt) proving that it has been used for the purposes intended. If they don't get this evidence, they will not allow any further advances.

The child / young person and their social worker will need to use the application form to make a request for the money. The child’s / young person’s social worker may also make a request on behalf of a child / young person where they deem expenditure may enhance their life chances or the child / young person may be open to financial exploitation when they receive the award on their 18th birthday. The application should be agreed by the Team Manager, Service Manager and Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) and be presented to the Trust Panel for approval.

The following issues should also be considered:

  • All financial implications of releasing money or allowing it to accumulate;
  • How the advance will benefit the child;
  • What other forms of money would be available from other sources.

A record of this meeting must be taken that details the decisions made and the reasons for these.

Approved applications together with the minutes of the above meeting must be sent to the County Secretary’s Department. The Solicitor must file the application and return it to the Children’s Service Manager.

The Children’s Services Manager must pass the above to the Team Manager who must name the person whose responsibility it is to make sure:

  • The money is used as agreed in the application;
  • Receipts have been produced that can account for all the money spent.

All the above documents must be put in the relevant section of the child’s record.


12. When a Young Person is 18

When the young person reaches the age of 18 years, responsibility for handling the money awarded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will be handed over to him/her unless he/she is felt to be incapable of dealing with it.

If the CICA receive evidence which shows it would not be in the child’s best interests to be given the payment as a lump sum when he/she turns 18, they may give further consideration to the use of an annuity or a trust at that time.

End