Victims of historic abuse have just three months left to submit CICA claims under the ‘same roof rule’
Thousands of victims of violent crimes who were previously denied the chance to claim compensation under the ‘same roof rule’, have only three months left to make a claim.
The ‘same roof rule’ stated that victims of violent crimes were unable to receive any compensation if the attacker was a family member with whom they were living at the time of the incident.
This longstanding rule was abolished by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in June 2019, meaning these victims finally had the right to claim the compensation they deserved. There was, however, a two year time limit placed on claims to come forward and the deadline is fast approaching.
One of our expert Criminal Injury solicitors, Niamh Wilson, explains in more detail about the ‘same roof rule’ and how there is still time to make a fresh claim if you act fast.
WHAT IS A CRIMINAL INJURY (CICA) CLAIM?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICA) is a government funded programme designed to compensate victims of violent crimes in England, Scotland or Wales.
The scheme compensates victims who are physically or mentally injured as a result of an attack. It handles as many as 40,000 applications each year. The rules of the scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by Parliament, which aims to process matters as quickly, fairly and sensitively as possible.
Compensation following a CICA claim is intended to cover:
- mental or physical injury following a crime of violence
- sexual or physical abuse
- loss of earnings – where you have no or reduced capacity to work as a result of a criminal injury
- special expenses payments – these include certain costs you 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.
HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER MY CRIMINAL INJURY (CICA) CLAIM IS ELIGIBLE?
Not all claims for CICA compensation will be successful, applicants must be eligible under the rules of the scheme. If you are unsure if you fit the criteria, talk to our specialist team at Hampson Hughes, who can give you expert, confidential advice and support.
In most cases you must also apply within two years of the crime happening. Although there are some exceptions, such as:
- you’re claiming because of childhood sexual or physical abuse
- you could not claim earlier due to mental or physical health
Up until June 2019, one of the rules of the scheme, the ‘same roof rule’ stated that incidents which occurred between August 1964 and 30 September 1979, where an applicant was living with their assailant as a family member at the time, were not entitled to claim any financial redress.
As this rule has now been abolished, victims can now make historical claims for any such crime that happened before 1 October 1979.
WHAT DID THE CHANGE IN LEGISLATION MEAN FOR ‘SAME ROOF RULE’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS?
The abolishment of the ‘same roof rule’ in June 2019 was brought in after a court of appeal test case decided the rule was incompatible with human rights. It meant that thousands of victims who had suffered harm at the hands of a family member could finally claim for the compensation they were entitled to.
An article following the ruling estimated that this meant that up to 7,500 victims of child abuse or domestic violence would finally be able to claim from a pot worth £126 million bringing relief to those who had previously been locked out of the system.
The changes allowed anyone who had previously been denied compensation under the rule, or put off from coming forward because of it, to make a fresh application. There was, however, a time limit placed on claims meaning all fresh applications need to be made before 12 June 2021.
Our expert criminal injury solicitor, Niamh Wilson, said: “The ‘same roof rule’ was unjust and it was a landmark moment when it was lifted, so that innocent victims who had suffered crimes in their own households could finally be given the support they needed.
“We are already working with a number of victims who have come forward again to make a claim and we would urge anybody else who thinks they might be entitled to compensation to come forward before it is too late. We understand that no amount of compensation will ever take away from the extreme suffering some of these victims have had to endure, sometimes for many years, but it is important that they are offered the chance to obtain the financial support they are entitled to.”
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM OF A CRIMINAL INJURY?
At Hampson Hughes, we have a team of highly experienced legal experts, who have acted for many victims of physical and sexual abuse. We recognise the trauma survivors have to deal with on a daily basis and handle all cases in a sensitive and confidential manner.
We are here to listen, advise and support you every step of the way. We provide access to the support services you need and ensure you achieve the compensation you deserve, so you can start to seek a sense of justice and closure.