Nearly half of the Manchester Arena attack injury compensation claims have been rejected
Lawyers in Greater Manchester have now called on the government to not limit claims to the moment that the explosion happened.
It’s been revealed that nearly half of all the criminal injury compensation claims made to the UK government in relation to the Manchester Arena attack have been rejected.
Of the 741 applications submitted following the atrocity – where 22 people tragically lost their lives during a bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017 – which were decided by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a total of 331 did not result in compensation being rewarded, ITV Granada reports.
Another 97 claims submitted by people who claim have suffered physically and/or mentally following the tragedy still remain outstanding, according to reports.
These shocking figures have been revealed to be the public following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by Hudgell Solicitors – which is representing an emergency service worker who was one of the first responders at the scene.
The anonymous worker since been diagnosed with moderate to severe PTSD as a direct result of their experience, however, their application to the CICA for an award based on mental health injuries was one of those rejected.
Lawyers in Greater Manchester have now called on the government to make a change and not limit claims to the moment that the explosion happened.
They instead want eligibility for compensation claims to cover a wider period of time.
“We have, over many years, taken CICA cases to review and appeal,” explained Nicola Bailey-Gibbs, solicitor and manager of criminal injuries at Hudgell Solicitors.
“The reasons given for many unsuccessful claims range from injuries not being serious enough to mental health conditions not being recognised. However, when we seek the advice of independent experts those initial decisions are often overturned [and] in this case, my client responded in the best way they possibly could during a terrorist attack by doing their duty and helping the public in what were horrific circumstances.
“Those awful scenes will remain with this person forever [and] they have had a profound and debilitating effect on their mental health.
“CICA awards are meant to acknowledge the effects a criminal or terrorist act has on a victim, even if no-one has ever been prosecuted, and in this case I feel it was wrong of CICA to dismiss the claim by saying in effect, ‘we’re sorry, but you were not there at the very moment when the explosion happened’.”
In response to the calls by lawyers to extend compensation claim time, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said: “We set up a dedicated team that has helped over 400 victims left with a range of serious physical and mental health problems as a direct result of the attack get compensation to aid their recovery, with more than £3.7 million paid out to date.
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“For those witnesses and emergency workers who bravely rushed to the scene not eligible for taxpayer-funded compensation, we have instead provided other forms of help,
“This includes a dedicated 24/7 helpline that offers vital mental health support.”
Featured Image – BBC Sounds