Compensation for criminal injuries
If you've been injured or your parent, child, husband, wife or partner has died because of a violent crime, you may be entitled to compensation.
You may be eligible if you:
- have been injured seriously enough to qualify for at least the minimum award of £1000.00
- were injured in an act of violence in Northern Ireland – an offender does not necessarily have to have been convicted of, or even charged with the crime
- suffered a loss of earnings or special expenses as a result of a criminal injury
- are making your application within two years of the incident that caused your injury
You may also be eligible to claim if your parent, child, husband, wife, or partner died as a result of a criminal injury.
Applications may still be accepted after two years if, in your particular case, it wasn’t reasonable to expect an application to be made within this time.
If you are a UK resident, but were injured outside of England, Scotland and Wales, but in another European Union (EU) country use the link below to apply for compensation.
Making a claim online
You may now apply for criminal injury compensation online if the injury was sustained after 1 May 2002.
Find out how to claim for injuries sustained before May 2002.
As part of the online application process, you need to set up an nidirect account for which you have had your identity verified. To learn more about creating an nidirect account and to find your nearest office for identity checks, go to the link below:
To start your online application, go to the link below:
Download an application form to make a claim
You can download application forms and further guidance from the links below. Read the guidance notes carefully before completing the form.
- Claiming for criminal injuries sustained before May 2002
- Claiming for criminal injuries sustained between May 2002 and March 2009
- Claiming for criminal injuries sustained from April 2009 onwards
You may also contact the Compensation Services Customer Information Officer to ask for an application form is posted to your address or you can arrange to collect a form from the Compensation Services office.
Help making your claim
Compensation Services offers a free service, processing applications and making awards on criminal injuries, criminal damage and the Justice and Security Act compensation schemes.
If you want to make an application, you can do this yourself, or you can get free help and advice with the application process from Victim Support. You could also pay a solicitor to help you. You should be aware that Compensation Services cannot pay the costs of this for you in cases of criminal injury.
Decision on your claim
As soon as your application is received your details will be registered and a request will be made for a police report about the incident. If you applied online you will be sent an email notification, if you applied in hard copy you will receive an acknowledgement letter. Once the police report is received, a caseworker will look at your claim and decide whether further information is needed, for example, medical evidence or loss of earnings details.
Each application for compensation is determined on its own merits and in keeping with the relevant legislation. When all the information needed to make a decision on your claim is received, the caseworker will assess all the material and decide whether compensation can be paid.
If you have applied online you will be able to log into the portal to receive updates on the progress of your application.
Review a decision
If you are unhappy with the decision made by Compensation Services, you can request a review of the decision, which should be made within three months from the date of the first decision. A different caseworker within Compensation Services will re-assess your claim, and at this stage you may be asked for further information. You can request this review either online at the Compensation Services portal or in writing.
Appeal a decision
If you are unhappy with the review decision, you can appeal the decision to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel for Northern Ireland (CICAPNI), which is an independent organisation outside the remit of Compensation Services. Your appeal should be made within three months of the review decision being issued.
Reasons your compensation may be refused or reduced
Compensation Services can decide to reduce or completely refuse your compensation for the following reasons:
- due to your behaviour before, during or after the incident in which you were injured
- your criminal record
- your failure to co-operate with the police, or with Compensation Services
- your delay in informing the police, or other organisation, or person of the incident