YOUR VIEW; Today Joe Michna, Manager at Citizens Advice Hartlepool, talks about criminal injuries compensation.
Q Who can claim Criminal Injuries Compensation? A. You may be eligible for a payment from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority if you sustain an injury directly connected to you being a victim of a crime of violence.
Q. What qualifies as a crime of violence? A. This includes: | a physical attack | | any other violent act that causes physical injury to you | a sexual assault | | arson.
The incident must have been reported to the police as soon as reasonably practicable and you must have cooperated with any police investigation.
You must also have cooperated with bringing the assailant to justice. You must be of good character and have no unspent convictions. Compensation may be reduced or withheld if your conduct before, during or after the incident makes it inappropriate to make an award.
Q. How can a claim be made? A. You can apply online (www.gov.uk/claimcompensation-injury) or on the helpline (0300 003 3601). You can apply for compensation even if your assailant is unknown or has not been arrested. Applications must be made as soon as possible after the date of the incident. Where appropriate the authority will ask you to provide medical evidence. Q. How is compensation made up? A. It is made up of three elements, which are: | for the injury itself - a fixed sum assessed by reference to a tariff | loss of earnings | | special expenses for things like care and supervision costs and the cost of equipment such as a wheelchair. Q. How is a claim decided? A. The authority will look at your application to check the information you have given is correct. When you apply you are asked to give consent to the authority contacting the police, your doctor, employer or any other relevant person, to obtain confirmation of the incident, your injuries, loss of earnings etc. You may be asked to undergo a medical examination. The authority will decide if you come within the scheme and if so, will assess the amount of compensation. You will be sent a written decision. | |Your local Citizens Advice Office can provide further advice and information. There are offices in Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton.