Released On 30th Oct 2017
Re Opening a CICA Claim and including Loss of Earnings
Under the current 2012 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (“CICA”) Scheme, an Applicant can make a claim for Loss of Earnings if they can show they have been unable to work for at least 29 weeks as a result of their injuries. However, a loss of earnings award is calculated by reference to Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) and not by reference to actual salary loss. SSP is currently £89.35 pw. By contrast average national earnings are £507pw. Hence for most applicant’s SSP is considerably less than their weekly salary and so a claim for loss of earnings under the 2012 Scheme does not adequately compensate for actual loss of salary.
Under the older CICA schemes a loss of earnings claim was much more generous. Notably for claims lodged before October 2012, the CICA would make a loss of earnings payment for actual salary loss incurred after the 29th week if you were unable to work through the injury suffered, be it physical or psychological. The payment was not calculated by reference to SSP. Obviously, it is only possible now to submit a claim to the CICA under the current and less generous 2012 Scheme. However, what about claims that were submitted and paid under the older schemes?
Is it possible to re-open historic CICA claims to receive awards for loss of earnings?
The CICA is entitled to re-open an historic claim where an Award has already been paid if:-
“there has been a material change in the medical condition of the applicant such that allowing the original determination to stand would give rise to an injustice to the applicant”.
Note that the original claim can only be re-opened on medical grounds and the material change must occur since the original award. It is not possible to re-open a claim simply to try and make a loss of earnings claim if the medical condition of the applicant has not changed.
However, for many applicants who have suffered serious injury or abuse it takes time – often several years – for mental health problems to manifest themselves. At the date of the original CICA award the applicant may not have been suffering from mental health issues. The applicant probably did not receive an award for mental health injury and did not receive a loss of earnings claim. If, as a consequence of the assault or injury their health then deteriorates and they are unable to work for long periods or at all, it may be possible to re-open their CICA award.
For instance, take the London Undergrounds bombings of 7 July 2005. On 7 July 2005 the day after London had won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, the city suffered a series of co-ordinated terrorist suicide bomb attacks which targeted civilians travelling on London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour.
Four Islamic terrorists separately detonated three bombs in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. The train bombings occurred on the Circle line near Aldgate and at Edgware Road, and on the Piccadilly line near Russell Square.
Fifty-two people, all UK residents but of 18 different nationalities, were killed and more than 700 were injured in the attacks,
Under the then 2002 CICA Scheme, applicants would have been eligible for awards including loss of earnings, if they could demonstrate ongoing health issues that resulted in an inability to work for more than 29 weeks. However, many applicants’ may not have exhibited mental health problems so early after the bombing. If so, it is unlikely they will have received any payment for a loss of earnings.
12 years on can these victims now make a claim for loss of earnings? If they have medical grounds to re-open their original award; and they have been off work for more than 28 weeks through incapacity caused by the original injury, then we may be able to re-open their CICA claim. The CICA state that if the re-opening is more than 2 years beyond the award, they will need supporting evidence, such as your original paperwork to prove the award.
If you have suffered a significant deterioration in your health after the date of the original award, please contact us on a free, no obligation basis. We can then investigate your claim. It is helpful if you have retained your original paperwork as the CICA can resist re-opening claims if they are unable to locate their records of your claim.
At Robson Shaw solicitors we specialise in CICA applications, reviews, appeals and re-opening pre-2012 CICA claims. Solicitor Robert Shaw has successfully gained six figure awards for applicants having re-opened pre-2012 claims on medical grounds and included loss of earnings. This year alone Robert has secured additional loss of earnings claims of £120,000 on an initial award of £7,500; and a loss of earnings claim of £297,000 on an initial award of £11,000. Robert can be contacted direct on 01392 345 332, or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.