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Claim compensation

You may be able to claim compensation or apply for benefit payments if you’ve been affected by a crime.

This includes if you:

  • are a victim of a crime
  • are a close relative of someone who has died because of a crime
  • witnessed a serious crime, were involved or seriously injured

There are 3 ways you can receive compensation.

1. Criminal compensation orders

If someone is convicted of a crime, the court can order them to pay you compensation. This could be for:

  • personal injury
  • losses from theft or damage to property
  • losses from fraud
  • being off work
  • medical expenses
  • travel expenses
  • pain and suffering
  • loss, damage or injury caused by a stolen vehicle

The amount of compensation depends on what the court considers appropriate. They’ll take into account any evidence and any considerations raised by the offender (for example, their financial circumstances) or prosecutor (for example, how much compensation you’re hoping for).

There’s no limit on the value of a single compensation order. But courts have to strike a balance between fairly compensating the victim and not imposing debts on the offender that are unrealistic or unenforceable.

2. Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

If you’ve been injured by a violent crime, you can apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. You usually have to claim within 2 years of the crime, and the crime must be reported to the police before you apply.

Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply to the scheme.

3. Civil compensation

It’s also possible to make a claim through the civil courts, which are non-criminal courts that deal with private disputes between individuals or companies. For example, you could claim compensation for personal injury, assault or damage to property.

You should get a lawyer’s advice first, as the process is more complex. Civil claims are brought against the perpetrator and there are costs involved.

Benefits

If you’re recovering from serious injuries, there might be benefits you can claim. 

If a close relative has died, you may be entitled to bereavement benefits.

If you disagree with a benefits decision, you can apply to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal.

Insurance

You might be able to make an insurance claim if:

  • your insurance covers a property crime like theft or vandalism
  • your employer has insurance to cover injury or death at work
  • you know who committed the crime – you might be able to make a claim against their insurance policy

If you disagree with an insurer’s decision, you can apply to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If you disagree with an employer’s decision, you can speak to Acas.

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