Applications for Compensation under the Garda Síochána (compensation) Acts
Who can apply?
How do I apply?
Do I need a solicitor to make an application?
How long does it take for a decision?
How do I get an appointment with the Garda Chief Medical Officer?
What is the role of the Chief Medical Officer?
What is the role of the Garda Commissioner?
What does the Department mean when it refers to “minor injury”?
What is Special risk?
What is a certificate of authorisation?
What do I do when I receive a certificate of authorisation?
Can I appeal the Minister’s decision if my application is refused?
1. Who can apply?
Two groups of individuals are eligible to apply for compensation under the Garda Acts:
Members of An Garda Síochána who sustained personal injuries (not causing death) maliciously inflicted upon them in performance of their duties or acting in their general capacity as a member when off duty or merely because of their being a member of An Garda Síochána.
Dependents of deceased members who were fatally injured while on duty or while acting in their general capacity as a member or merely because of their being a member of An Garda Síochána.
2. How do I apply?
Complete the relevant form and return it to:
Garda Compensation Section
Department of Justice and Equality
51 St. Stephen’s Green
Application forms should be submitted to the Department within three months of the date that the incident occurred in accordance with the statutory time limit set out in Section 5 of the Garda (Compensation) Acts 1941/1945.
3. Do I need a solicitor to make an application?
No, you do not require a solicitor to submit an application form to the Department. However, you may wish to engage a solicitor when you receive a decision regarding your application.
4. How long does it take for a decision?
The time taken to issue a decision on an application depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the injury, the recovery process, the time taken to provide all the relevant medical reports including a final prognosis to the Garda Chief Medical Officer.
Once all the relevant medical reports have been submitted to the Garda authorities, the member is placed on a waiting list to be examined by the Garda Chief Medical Officer. The Garda Chief Medical Officer then provides a report regarding his examination to the Department.
Applications are considered upon the receipt of the Garda Chief Medical Officer’s report and information from the member’s Divisional Office regarding the incident in which the member sustained their injuries. Generally, applications are processed in the order that the reports are received from the Garda authorities and not from the date that the injuries were sustained.
5. How do I get an appointment with the Garda Chief Medical Officer?
Once the Garda authorities are satisfied that a final medical report has been received, which includes a final prognosis, the members name is placed on a waiting list. The member will be informed of arrangements for his/her appointment through his/her Divisional office. Therefore, any queries regarding the provision of medical reports and appointments with the Garda Chief Medical Officer should be addressed to:
An Garda Siochána
6. What is the role of the Chief Medical Officer?
The Garda Chief Medical Officer reviews the members medical reports and provides a report to the Department, regarding the injuries sustained, the treatment received, present condition, past history (if relevant) and prognosis. The Garda Chief Medical Officer does not provide a recommendation as to whether the member’s application for compensation should be granted or refused.
7. What is the role of the Garda Commissioner?
The Garda Commissioner confirms to the Minister that the incident did occur on duty and that it was not caused as the result of the wilful default or negligence on the member’s part and whether the member was assigned to duties which included “special risk”. The Commissioner does not express a recommendation regarding the authorisation of an application.
8. What does the Department mean when it refers to “minor injury”?
The Minister is guided by previous judgements issued in the High court when deciding whether an injury should be considered minor or non-minor in nature.
The Minister would be of the opinion that a minor injury was sustained if the member returned to their pre-incident health level or recovered completely within a period of three months with no adverse medical sequelae anticipated in the future. The Minister reaches this decision by considering the medical evidence submitted in support of the application including the Garda Chief Medical Officer’s report and medical reports submitted by the applicant.
9. What is Special risk?
The Minister is advised by the Garda Commissioner whether the applicant sustained injuries while performing duties which involved special risk. Generally, members are detailed for similar duties on a regular basis and in the majority these duties pass without any incident occurring. Special risk refers to the inherent nature of the duty assigned to the member and is therefore assessed on that basis and not by reference to the incident that occurred.
10. What is a certificate of authorisation?
This is a document signed by an official on behalf of the Minister authorising the applicant to lodge proceedings with the High Court in respect of the incident which gave rise to a member’s injuries.
11. What do I do when I receive a certificate of authorisation?
The certificate of authorisation and your original application for compensation (which is returned by the Department when a certificate is issued) should be filed with the High Court within two months from the date the application was authorised.
An application to the High Court for compensation under the Garda Compensation Acts should name the Minister for Finance as defendant. The Chief State Solicitor, Osmond House, Little Ship Street, Dublin 8 will accept service of proceedings on behalf of the Minister for Finance.
12. Can I appeal the Minister’s decision if my application is refused?
There is no provision for an appeal in the relevant legislation when an application is refused. However, the Department informs the applicant when their application is being considered for refusal and gives an opportunity to the member to submit additional information or evidence in support of their application by a specific date. Upon receipt of further submissions, the application is reviewed and the Minister’s decision is communicated to the applicant or their legal advisor.
Should no reply be received from the applicant by the date specified in the Department’s notification letter, the Minister’s decision will be made based on the information available.