What is criminal injury compensation in Northern Ireland?

Criminal injury compensation is available in Northern Ireland, funding is made by the Secretary of State under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Northern Ireland Order 2002. It is the responsibility of the Secretary of Stare to deem what awards should be provided to individual cases, if any compensation is deemed payable.

In certain circumstances compensation will not be paid, there are a number of potential reasons for non payment. Any injuries before the scheme was introduced will not be accepted. If an applicant has lodged a previous claim for the same criminal injury under this scheme or any other compensation scheme. If the criminal injury was sustained before 1st July 1988 and the victim and the assailant were living together at time as members of the same family.

If a victim is deemed to be eligible for compensation then an application must be placed under the scheme. This is a thorough application which will ask for large amounts of information relating to the incident and also the injuries sustained. Victims may find the process quite upsetting, although only the totally necessary information is asked for. Victims will need to detail the total amount of information which relates to the incident, this includes the location and time. Any witnesses which were present will also need to be named and their addresses supplied. If the person who attacked the victim is known, they should also be named. A police reference number will be required, this is sometimes known as the crime reference number. Applicants should note that a successful prosecution is not a necessity in order to secure compensation.

Once an application has been received by the panel, the case will be assessed. How long the process takes is completely dependent on the individual case and the amount of information supplied. Applicants are advised to supply as much supporting information at the outset. Medical records are often a vital piece of evidence in supporting a case. The scheme will need to be informed of the injuries caused and evidence will need to be provided. In the majority of cases the victims GP should be named and an address provided.

If a case is assessed and proven to be one which should be awarded compensation, a Tariff award scheme will be followed. The panel will rate the application on a level between 1 and 25, level 1 will pay

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