Victims' Voice Policy Statement
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
Victims' Voice agrees that the new information sheets, claims forms and appeal forms, issued by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, are a great improvement from the previous ones.
Mostly, claims are processed through Victim Support or lawyers. It has often been suggested that smaller victim organisations should be given updates and training in order to handle claims for their clients without having to rely on Victim Support.
The claims procedures have been improved vastly since October 2008 because those bereaved through homicide are now allocated a more senior claims officer sooner rather than later. This speeds up the claims process because it receives greater priority over non-homicide claims. However the decision of an award may be delayed awaiting evidence from other organisations, e.g. police, coroners.
Victims' Voice wants the abolition of schedules 13 and 14 of the claims procedure - these schedules decrease an award in cases where police records show that the deceased either 'provoked' their death or that the deceased had 'unspent convictions' at the time of the death.
Despite representations from Victims' Voice, the government has not accepted the need to abolish schedules 13 and 14. Victims' Voice will keep trying to achieve this - the schedules are unfair to families bereaved through homicide.