Murder & Manslaughter Compensation Claims

A close family member can claim compensation for a loved one if they die from their injuries due to a violent crime via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The CIC,  an executive agency of the UK government, manages murder compensation claims. The CICA is responsible for awarding criminal compensation to people injured by a violent crime. They also compensate qualifying relatives who have lost a loved one due to a violent crime.

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Who can claim?Who cannot claim?What’s the process?Financial dependency

Caring dependencyFuneral expensesMurdered relativeCompensation for murder

How compensation can helpMurder definitionManslaughter definitionSummaryMaking a claim

Who Can Claim for Murder of a Relative Compensation?

Several types of family members can claim criminal injury compensation, from children to former spouses and dependents of the deceased. It is important to know what category you belong to in order to claim. There can be multiple family relatives who can claim criminal injuries compensation. Please also remember that a relative can claim if the assailant was also charged and or convicted of the criminal offence of manslaughter.


There is no age limit for a ‘child’, so children of the deceased can claim even though they are over 18 years of age and a child born after the tragic event.

A token award of murder compensation will be payable to the children of the deceased for the loss of a parent’s love, affection, care and supervision, providing that the child was receiving such parental care at the time of death and that the child or children were under the age of 18 years at the time of loss.

The child’s payment is £2,000 per full year, proportionally reduced for part years. There may be additional payments for expenses incurred by the child as a direct result of the loss. Criminal compensation may be retained until the child or children are 18, but they may receive advanced payments for their education and welfare.

Former Spouse

A former spouse may claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation if they were financially dependent upon the deceased at the time of death, but they cannot claim for a bereavement award.

Civil Partnership

Similarly, if you are a former Civil Partner registered under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and were financially dependent upon the deceased, a dependency payment can be made, but no compensation for a bereavement award.

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Who Cannot Claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation?

You cannot claim criminal injury compensation if you are not a qualifying person of the deceased or you were responsible for the death. Bereavement damages may be withheld or reduced if the claimant’s or deceased’s conduct contributed to the fatal accident. In addition, if there is a history of criminal convictions, these may also be considered to reduce the criminal compensation claim.

What’s the Process for Making a Criminal Injury Claim?

When claiming the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, you must provide details about yourself, the deceased and the crime. The required information can include the crime date and location, the police station, a crime reference number, the victim’s GP details, medical treatment, and unspent criminal convictions. While you can claim yourself, it’s recommended that you appoint a specialist solicitor firm. Experienced solicitors will take the stress and emotional pain away from you and prevent any mistakes that may affect your claim.

If you meet the criteria, the CICA will investigate the murder compensation claim. They will look to confirm whether the crime occurred, the injuries sustained, and the victim’s conduct. The CICA will use medical reports to assess the victim’s injuries and award compensation that accurately reflects.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to reach a decision. If they decide in your favour, they will offer a compensation amount and arrange payment. If they rule against you or you disagree with the amount offered, you can appeal to a tribunal.

Financial Dependency Claim

A dependency award for Criminal Injuries Compensation is in addition to any bereavement award. Generally speaking, the ‘dependent’ family member must have been financially or physically dependent upon the deceased at the time of death to obtain an award of murder compensation. The dependency requirements to claim must satisfy the conditions of s 43 of the Criminal Injuries Scheme.

No claim is usually made for financial dependency if the deceased solely relied upon Government benefits as their primary income, which differs somewhat from if a claim was made under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. If the deceased was not working, a family member who qualifies under the Scheme might still be able to claim a dependency award for the death of a husband or wife, for instance, if they can show that they were in full-time education or were a carer.

The calculation for dependency compensation for criminal injuries will be for the period of the dependency at the weekly rate of statutory sick pay. It will be shared equally if multiple relatives qualify for a dependency award.

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Caring Dependency Claim

A  caring dependency claim can be made if the deceased was the claimant’s primary carer for physical needs, such as:

  • bathing
  • food preparation
  • eating
  • toileting
  • generally looking after you and keeping a watchful eye on your wellbeing

The relevant family member can claim a CICA dependency award like a financial dependency award.

Murder Claims & Funeral Expenses

These are currently limited to £2,500 for immediate payment if the family qualifies and a further payment of £2,500 as a flat rate. Most basic funeral costs will be covered, but an additional payment may be made for expenses.

Compensation Claims for a Murdered Relative

Nothing is more emotive than losing a loved one due to a criminal act such as murder.  The devastation can only be imagined by those not affected. Even perhaps more hurtful is if the murder is by a family member, husband or wife, for instance, or the murder of a child.

The unthinkable regrettably does happen, but what can the family victims left behind do? You can receive the damages you deserve in the form of a murder compensation claim.

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Criminal Injuries Compensation for Murder

The death of a loved one due to a murder or manslaughter charge may result in a claim for compensation against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The Government set up the CICA to help victims of crime by making a compensation award to certain family members affected by the death of a loved one.

The compensation award is similar to a standard claim for fatal accident compensation claims in the civil courts. The CICA have a tariff of compensation awards, which includes murder claims, and thus a bereavement award and dependency claim can be made.

The maximum award for any compensation where a deceased has been murdered relatives cannot exceed £500,000, paragraph 84 of the CICA agreement.

Compensation Can Help Victims and Relatives

Nobody is ever suggesting that a lump sum compensation award for a fatal injury claim on a charge of murder or manslaughter can replace the loss of a relative. But compensation for a murdered relative may help those family members left behind, particularly if there are young children or the breadwinner has lost his or her life due to a crime.

The compensation may help towards child care, education and protect their future. Family members struggling to make ends meet will find it easier to cope with the everyday life and bills that keep coming in. The loss of a loved one due to a crime, the criminal act does not stop bills.

Affected family members, even if they were working at the time, may not be able to come with returning to work for an extended period or at all. This can result in a loss of income, or if children have to be looked after, the working parent may not be able to return.

Whatever the circumstances, compensation for the murder of a relative due to a crime may be payable even if the perpetrator is known to the victim.

Legal Definition of Murder

The Crown Prosecution Service is charged with taking criminals to court. They have provided guidance as to what constitutes murder. If a relative has lost a loved one, and an assailant has been charged or convicted of murder, a criminal injuries compensation claim can be made.

Generally, the crime of murder is committed when a person of sound mind:

  • unlawfully kills (not self-defence or other justified killing)
  • any reasonable creature (a human being)
  • in being (born alive and breathing through its own lungs)
  • under the King’s Peace (not in wartime)
  • with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (in contrast to the offence of attempted murder, where only intent to kill will suffice)

Legal Definition of Manslaughter

Compensation for the loss of a loved one is not restricted to murder. It can also apply to manslaughter. Therefore, relatives can make a similar claim to that of a charge of murder.

The Crown Prosecution Service has provided three main criteria where manslaughter will be a crime:

  • Killing with the intent for murder but where a partial defence applies, namely loss of control, diminished responsibility or killing pursuant to a suicide pact.
  • Conduct that was grossly negligent given the risk of death, and did kill (“gross negligence manslaughter”); and
  • Conduct taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm that resulted in death (“unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter”).

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Summary of Claiming Compensation for a Murdered Relative

1. Eligibility Criteria for Compensation: Qualifying Relatives

– Spouses, civil partners, partners, parents, and children of the deceased are considered “qualifying relatives.”
– Definition of ‘child’ extends to include adult children, even those born after the incident.
– Specific conditions apply to former spouses or civil partners.

2. Comprehensive Compensation: Bereavement and Dependency Payments

– Various compensation options, including bereavement and dependency payments.
– Different categories of compensation based on the relationship with the deceased.
– Explanations of funeral payments, child’s payments, and dependency payments.

3. Funeral Expenses Coverage: Flat Rate and Additional Payments

– Immediate flat rate funeral payment of £2,500 to cover basic costs.
– Additional payment of up to £2,500 based on unique funeral circumstances.
– Total funeral payment cannot exceed £5,000.

4. Child’s Payment Recognition: Compensation for Dependent Children

– Child’s payment acknowledges intangible losses for children under 18.
– Calculated as a lump sum of £2,000 per full year, proportionally reduced for part years.
– Entitlement lasts until the day before the child’s 18th birthday.

5. Dependency Payments: Financial and Physical Dependency

– Financial dependency payments for qualifying relatives dependent on the deceased.
– Conditions for eligibility and reduction factors for social security reliance.
– Physical dependency payments for those reliant on the deceased for care.

6. Fair Compensation for Later Deaths or Unrelated Causes

– Process for compensation after a victim’s death, even if they received prior payments.
– Impact of previous payments on compensation for surviving relatives.
– Specific scenarios covered, including deaths unrelated to the criminal injury.

7. Evidence and Documentation: Key Factors in Claim Process

– Importance of providing evidence to support compensation claims.
– Role of receipts and satisfactory evidence for expenses beyond flat-rate allowances.
– Ensuring fair and appropriate support for bereaved individuals.

Making a Claim for Criminal Injuries or Murder Compensation

Criminal injury compensation is payable. Making a criminal compensation claim is simple with specialist solicitors. We shall deal with the paperwork and gather the evidence you need to take the stress and strain from you and your family. We work under a No Win, No Fee Solicitor service, so you have no financial worries in instructing specialist solicitors.

If you are looking for compensation for a murdered parent or relative, please contact us for help and advice.

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