Compensation and Financial Support

At Beacon, we understand that being a victim of crime is distressing enough, without the potential financial cost. Damages to property, loss of belongings and loss of earnings can make a bad experience doubly difficult to bear.

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If you have suffered financial loss, there are some schemes that may be able to help you. These include court-awarded compensation, criminal injury compensation and the Hardship Fund. You can also claim expenses for giving evidence in court.

You may be able to claim compensation 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, intervened and were seriously injured

 

Court-awarded compensation

The court can order a guilty party to pay you compensation. However, you’ll need to tell the police that you want this form of compensation and what you’re claiming for. This could include:

  • 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 to or by a stolen vehicle

The police will pass your request for compensation to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS will ask the court to order the convicted person to pay compensation on your behalf.

Bear in mind that the court will set any compensation according to what the offender can afford to pay. For this reason, it may not cover your losses. The court may also allow the offender to pay instalments rather than in one lump sum.

The court will consider the offender’s punishment when deciding on compensation. If the offender receives a prison sentence, they’ll be unable to work, so ordering them to pay compensation is unlikely.

It’s the court’s job to collect compensation from the offender and pass it on to you. You won’t have to have any dealings with the offender.

 

Criminal injury compensation

If you’re a victim of violent crime and can’t get court-awarded compensation, you may be able to claim from the Government-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). 

You can claim for physical and mental injuries. Any mental injury you claim for must be a recognised psychiatric or psychological illness and covered by the scheme. 

You can apply to CICA within two years of reporting the incident, providing you’ve cooperated with any investigations.

You can call CICA on 0300 003 3601.

 

Hardship Fund

If you’re low paid and have to take time off work as a victim of violent crime, you can apply for help from the Government’s Hardship Fund.

This could provide temporary relief from financial hardship and reduce some of the stress of your experience. It'll apply if your injuries don’t qualify for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

If you apply for relief from the Hardship Fund, Victim Support will assess your eligibility for a claim. They’ll then forward your application to CICA who will process it for you.

 

Eligibility for the Hardship Fund

You can apply for relief from the Hardship Fund if you:

  • earn less than £111 per week

  • don’t get sick pay

  • couldn’t work for at least seven consecutive days as a result of the crime

  • don’t have any unspent convictions that resulted in a custodial sentence or community order

For more information on The Hardship Fund, contact Victim Support on 0808 16 89 111.

 

Let Beacon help you

At Beacon, our trained advisers will help you get all the financial help and compensation you’re entitled to. We’ll guide you through the claims processes and help you complete the forms you’ll need to submit. We understand it may be difficult to recall and write about your experience, so we’re here to offer all the practical and emotional support you need.

 

Expenses for Going to Court

Attending a hearing can leave you out of pocket as your employer doesn’t have to pay you for the time you’ll have to take off work. So, you may be able to claim expenses for your travel, meals, loss of earnings and childcare when you give evidence at a trial.

You can find more information on expenses for going to court here

 

Making a claim

You should receive a witness expense claim form, a prepaid envelope and a list of your allowable expenses before the trial. If for any reason you haven’t received these, your solicitor or a court official should provide them for you. At Beacon, if you are eligible, we’ll help you complete and submit your expenses claim form.

Find out more about witness expenses and allowances.