With the opening by Aneurin Bevan of the National Health Service in Manchester on 5th July 1948, and the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949 providing the means for lower income people to bring compensation claims. There was a change in the nation’s mood from that of self sufficiency to that of state support.
Whilst more than a decade later, The Criminal Injuries Scheme followed in the footsteps of those society supporting organisations. It was set up due to the realisation that Legal Aid did not help an injured claimant, if the injury was caused by someone who was subsequently imprisoned and therefore had no money to pay compensation. It was unfair that those victims of crime should not receive compensation, when other injured victims did.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority came into force in 1964 and was specifically for the benefit of blameless victims of violent crime. The CICA scheme was a taxpayer funded expression of public sympathy, paying compensation for physical and sexual assault and abuse.
In its first year the CICA paid compensation for the injuries caused by assaults and abuse of £33,430. By 1992 when the then Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced that the Government intended to introduce a procedure for the assessment of criminal injuries compensation based on a tariff system rather than the more complex system involving calculations in line with common law damages, it was paying out £109 million a year.
Whilst there had been revisions to the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme in 1969, 1979 and 1990, it was the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995 that fundamentally changed the Scheme. The CICA scheme broke the link with common law damages used for personal injury claims, and instead provided for payment to be made on the basis of a tariff scale of awards that grouped together injuries of comparable severity and allocated a financial value to them. The scheme came into force in April 1996.
Further changes were made to the criminal injuries compensation payment system with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Schemes of 2001 and 2008. Both made relatively small changes to the tariffs payable for specific injuries and paid compensation for injuries previously not paid out on.
The most recent CICA compensation payment act, is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. Not since 1995 has a new CICA act made such significant changes to the way the CICA operate. In a similar way to the review of 1992, the Government was concerned that the CICA scheme was costing the taxpayer too much money. It wanted to design a system that both reduced the number of claimants eligible for compensation, so reducing the administration costs of running the CICA, and pay more compensation for the most serious injuries. This enabled the Government to keep the overall costs of the scheme in check.
The more minor physical injuries listed in tariffs 1-5 of the CICA scheme 2008 were removed completely, only the sexual assault and abuse injuries remained.
In 2016 the CICA makes compensation payments based on the Criminal Injuries scheme 2012. It is a complex system of tariffs set out in the CICA Scheme handbook. It sets out over 400 different injuries and allocates 1 of 25 different tariffs for each injury. The tariffs range from £1,000 up to £250,000. Winston Solicitors has created a criminal injuries calculator based on the 2012 tariff scheme, which shows you how much compensation you could receive.