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CICA ‘Same Roof Rule’ claims – deadline approaching

If you experienced sexual abuse before 1 October 1979 you can now either apply or re-apply for Criminal Injuries Compensation (CICA).

You are eligible to apply if:

  • The abuse happened before 1 October 1979

and

  • You lived with the abuser as a family member.

If you had already applied for abuse that happened before 1 October 1979 and you were refused compensation because you were living with the perpetrator as a family member, you can now re-apply.

The deadline is fast approaching – applications need to be made to CICA by 13 June 2021 (the time limit is “two years from 14 June 2019”, so to err on the side of caution, we would recommend submitting your application by 13 June 2021).

What rule did CICA change?

The “same roof rule” prevented victims/survivors of violent crime from receiving compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme if the attacker was a family member and they were living together at the time of the incident. This applied to incidents occurring between August 1964 and 30 September 1979.

In 1979 the rule was amended. However, the change only applied to CICA applications made after that year. However, in 2019 this rule was removed from the scheme.

What this means is that, if you were injured in circumstances falling under the ‘same roof rule’ but have not previously applied for compensation, you can now do so. In addition, if your application for compensation was previously refused under this rule, you can now reapply.

CICA do have discretion to consider these applications beyond the two-year period if you were a child at the time of the incident giving rise to the injury, or if you were exceptionally unable to meet this time limit.

What is CICA and who can apply?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government funded scheme designed to compensate victims of violent crime in the UK. The scheme is administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), who make decisions about claims under the scheme. CICA can consider claims for the following:

  • mental or physical injury following a crime of violence
  • sexual or physical abuse
  • loss of earnings - where you have no or limited capacity to work as the direct result of a criminal injury
  • special expenses payments - these cover certain costs you may have incurred as a direct result of an incident (CICA will only consider special expenses if your injuries mean you have been unable to work or have been incapacitated to a similar extent for more than 28 weeks)
  • a fatality caused by a crime of violence including bereavement payments, payments for loss of parental services and financial dependency, and funeral payments.

All crimes must be reported to the police before a compensation claim can be considered.

Other time limits

If you were an adult at the time of the incident or period of abuse, an application to CICA should normally be made within two years of the date the incident occurred.

Special rules apply if you were under 18 at the time of the incident. If it was reported to the police before you turned 18, and no one made an application to CICA on your behalf, you can make a claim up until the day of your 20th birthday. If the incident took place before you turned 18, but was not reported to the police at the time, you can apply to CICA within two years from reporting the incident or abuse to the police.

If you would like more information on CICA claims or applications under the “same roof rule”, you can contact our free legal helpline on 08088 010 789 to speak with a qualified solicitor. We are here to help.

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