What is compensation?
If you’ve been a victim of crime, you may be able to get some money to make up for what you have lost, or for any injuries you have suffered as a result of a violent crime.
What is court-awarded compensation?
If an offender is convicted of a crime against you, the court may order them to pay you compensation. You can be compensated for a range of things such as:
- personal injury
- losses from theft or damage to property
- losses from fraud
- medical expenses
- travel expenses
- pain and suffering
- loss, damage or injury caused to or by a stolen vehicle
If, when your case comes to court, you want the court to consider awarding you compensation in this way, talk to your witness supporter or young victim supporter before the trial, and make sure you tell the police.
How do I apply for court awarded compensation?
You will need to give them details about the loss or damage you've suffered; your young witness or young victim supporter, or any other adult who is supporting you through the process, can help you to work out details of the loss or the damage you’ve suffered. If you give this information to the police, they will pass it on to the Crown Prosecution Service, who will then make the request in court.
If the court decides to order the offender to pay you compensation, it will be limited to what the offender can afford and may depend on the sentence the court has already passed.
For example, the court will not usually order an offender to pay compensation if they are being sent to prison. The compensation may not cover the full cost of your damage or loss and often the offender will be able to pay it in installments. The offender makes the payments to the court, which will then pass the money on to you.
The court is responsible for making sure that the offender pays the compensation. If you have any questions about the compensation ordered by the court, talk to your young witness supporter or young victim supporter (not the offender).
What is Criminal Injuries Compensation?
If you have been injured by a violent crime, you can apply for compensation under the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme. When the scheme was created it was intended to be “an expression of public sympathy for innocent victims of violent crime”, and the money comes from public funds, not the offender.
How do I apply for Criminal Injuries Compensation?
It does not matter whether the offender has been caught, but there are other rules which affect your chances of getting any money. The process can take a long time and may seem confusing but we can explain how the system works and help you to make a claim.
If you are under 18 you can still make a claim, but you will need an adult to complete the online application form for you. You can ask an adult you trust to help you with the forms; we can help you and your supporter with filling out the form online.
The rules are sometimes quite difficult to understand but the rules say that you can claim for compensation if:
- you were physically or mentally injured (or both) as a result of a violent crime in Scotland, England or Wales; or you were the dependent and/or a close relative (such as the son or daughter) of a person who died as the result of a violent crime.
- you were injured in the last two years (sometimes, but very rarely, this time limit may be ignored).
- your injuries are serious enough to qualify for the lowest (minimum) award under the scheme, which is £1,000.