As part of its drive to use the internet to provide easier access to government services, the Cica (the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) is redesigning its website to make it simpler for victims of crime to work out how much they can claim.

The site, which is expected to go live in late spring, will feature a new eligiablity questionnaire and a graphical-based awards calculator. Once visitors have worked out how much they are entitled to claim they can fill out forms online which will be automatically forwarded to Cica for processing.

At the moment Cica receives around 80,000 claims per year, of which approximately half are successful. It is hoped that by allowing claimants to find out via the internet if they are eligible a good proportion of claims won't be submitted, thereby increasing the overall success rate and allowing Cica to focus its resources on those victims who are entitled to an award.

"Our new website makes it easier for victims of crime to find out what they are entitled to and allows the authority to provide a more efficient and effective service", explained Colin Carmichael, IT manager for Cica.