On top of all the other concerns that naturally arise from being a victim of crime, you shouldn’t have to cope with financial worries.
Depending on the type of crime you have experienced, you may have lost possessions, had property damaged, or suffered a loss of earnings. You may find it reassuring to know that there is a range of ways you can receive financial support or seek compensation for your losses. At Beacon, our Beacon Support Workers are experts at understanding the different options available and what requirements need to be met. They will be able to offer guidance and information to help you complete and submit any relevant application forms.
You may be able to claim compensation if:
you are a victim of crime
you are a close relative of someone who has lost their life as a result of crime
you witnessed a serious crime, intervened and were seriously injured
Covering your expenses to attend court
Having to take time off work to give evidence at a hearing can be difficult but it can also become expensive if you need to take unpaid leave. Along with a claim to cover any loss of earnings, you can request compensation for your travel and meal expenses, plus any childcare costs you incur. Beacon can help you complete the witness expense claim form that should be provided by a court official or your solicitor.
Receiving court awarded compensation
If the person accused of the crime against you is found guilty in court, you can inform the police that you wish to make a claim for compensation and they will refer this to the Crown Prosecution Service.
The Crown Prosecution Service will act on your behalf, so you will not have any dealings with the offender. They will ask the court to order the person convicted of the crime to pay you compensation. It’s important to remember that any amount the offender is ordered to pay will be based on their income, so if they receive a prison sentence it is unlikely that they will be ordered to pay compensation as they will not be earning. The court will be responsible for collecting any payment.
Criminal justice compensation
If you were a victim of violent crime, and were unable to get court-awarded compensation, there is another option available to you. The Government-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) will consider a claim for physical and mental health injuries (recognised psychiatric or psychological illnesses) as long as the claim is within two years of the incident being reported. You can contact CICA on 0300 003 3601.
Being the victim of a violent crime may mean that you are not able to work for a period of time, making it hard to keep up with the bills. The Government recognised this issue and created The Hardship Fund. Its aim is to provide temporary financial relief to reduce some of the stress during this difficult time. Victim Support assess all claims made to the Hardship Fund, for more information contact them on 0845 456 5995.
You can apply for relief from the Hardship Fund if:
your weekly earnings are less than £111
you were unable to work for at least 7 consecutive days as a result of the crime
you have no unspent convictions that resulted in a custodial sentence or community order