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CICA ‘Same roof rule’ deadline – 13th June 2021

CICA 'Same roof rule' deadline - 13th June 2021

We’ve been contacted by survivors who have struggled to submit their applications, due to all the issues around Covid-19 and the pandemic. We’ve raised this issue with MoJ who say the Scheme is statutory and its rules are approved by Parliament, and administered independently by CICA. As such, there would need to be a formal process to undergo if ministers determined that a change was required to the ‘same roof’ rule deadline. However, CICA has discretion to accept late applications in exceptional circumstances. 

In the meantime, MoJ have stated:

We would like to assure you that this issue has been raised with Ministers, and that there are already existing provisions within the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (the Scheme) to accommodate claims submitted outside of the time limit, which includes applications relating to the ‘same roof’ rule. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (the CICA), which administers the Scheme, has discretion to extend the time limit for claims in instances where, due to exceptional circumstances, the applicant could not have applied earlier. Cases are carefully considered on their own merits and the CICA must have sufficient evidence to be able to determine a claim without further extensive enquiries. The CICA will consider a wide range of factors, including whether, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic or its wider impact, a victim has been prevented from submitting their application for compensation sooner.

“We recognise that making claims to the Scheme will be difficult for some applicants and the CICA has established a dedicated team to handle ‘same roof’ rule applications and re-applications. All applicants under the Scheme will have a named contact, to minimise having to recount details of what they have suffered on multiple occasions and to different people. The CICA will make appropriate enquiries with the applicant and the relevant authorities, and will aim to do this as sensitively and as quickly as possible. This bespoke provision is particularly vital during these challenging circumstances.  We invite your assistance in encouraging victims intending to apply under the ‘same roof’ rule change to do so as soon as possible, and by the deadline of 13 June 2021 if they can.”  

Background

CICA is a government funded organisation that makes compensation payments to victims of violent crime.

Before 1979, when the rule was abolished, victims of  non-recent child sexual abuse who lived with their attacker were barred from claiming.   The rule was abolished in 1979.  However, it was not made retrospective.  This meant  that one sibling would be awarded compensation if the abuse continued after October 1979, whilst another whose abuse ended prior to 1979 was not allowed to make a claim. 

After many years of campaigning, this this bizarre and unfair rule was retrospectively abolished on 13th June 2019. Anyone who had been denied compensation as a result of the rule could  now make a claim, subject to the deadline of 13th June 2021 – allowing the standard two-year limitation period for making a claim to CICA.

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