Abuse Compensation

Pre-1979 abuse compensation same roof rule now abolished – how to claim

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The governments pre-1979 same roof rule has now been abolished


On the 13th June 2019 the government announced they have formally abolished the “same roof rule” which prevents victims of crime (particularly those who suffered historical abuse) claiming compensation if they lived with their attacker before 1979. This controversial rule has wrongly denied thousands of abuse victims rightful compensation since the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) award scheme was introduced by the government in 1964. This rule NO LONGER APPLIES.

landmark decision in the summer of 2018 paved the way for changes and the cross Government Victims Strategy published in September 2018 confirmed that the Ministry of Justice intended is to abolish the 1979 CICA rule. The government decided to bring forward this change and a statutory instrument laid in Parliament on the 28th February 2019 will accelerate the process of removing the pre-1979 rule completely. More on the Victims Strategy here.

What does this mean for victims?

This rule has now become law which means that all victims have a chance to claim compensation from the CICA subject to the relevant criteria being met. Here we explain what you can do to claim:

– Claim deadline:

Be aware that there is now a deadline for claiming compensation following this rule change. The rule has yet to be set out clearly but our understanding is that victims may only be allowed 2 years from the date of the rule change (June 2019) to submit their applications. This means that claims may be refused beyond June 2021.

– If you have previously made a claim and been refused:

If you have tried to claim before and your case was rejected under this rule (and not for any other reason) you will now be able to resubmit your claim to the CICA. Your case will hopefully be assessed fairly under the standard scheme rules. You will still need to meet the eligibility criteria that applies.

– If you have not claimed previously:

Anyone who has not claimed previously now has the opportunity to do so. You are free to submit your claim immediately. Again the standard scheme rules will be applied in order to meet the eligibility requirements.

– What you should do?

We would recommend that your claim is submitted or re-submitted as soon as possible, the legal changes will take some time to work their way through the CICA system but the authority now has an obligation to assess these claims. The majority of these cases will involve sexual assault or abuse and many victims will have mental health issues that may have significantly affected their lives and careers. You maybe entitled to claim loss of earnings in addition to a higher level disabling mental injury award. Such cases are complex and legal advice is recommended.

MAKE AN ENQUIRY TODAY for specific advice on your compensation prospects following this very significant rule change.

Call 01423 593002

There is further good news for victims as the government has ordered a wide ranging review into the CICA scheme. This will involve introducing a fairer process which will be victim focused rather than looking to reduce costs and protect governments funds. There have been some welcome changes to the compensation scheme already for abuse victims and we hope that the review underpins this change in attitude.