Changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS ) were pushed through earlier this month, despite criticism from MPs ,which had been understood to have prompted a rethink.
However, the measures were passed by a delegated legislation committee on November 1, with critics now accusing the government of changing the membership of the committee, rather than the proposals.
After November 27, victims will still be able to seek compensation for injuries, but loss-of-earnings payments will be sharply reduced. These have historically made up the largest part of many awards made to those so badly affected by a crime that they are unable to return to work, will be sharply reduced.
Eligibility for help under the scheme will be removed entirely for non-EU nationals, such as tourists or employees of foreign companies operating in the UK, and a whole range of awards for minor injuries will be removed.
Each year 30,000-40,000 people who are seriously injured as a result of violent crime are awarded compensation under the CICS.
Shopworkers union Usdaw claims the cuts mean fewer than half that number of victims will be eligible for payments.
Usdaw spokesman Gary Arthurs said the union was concerned because many retail staff, such as convenience store and garage workers, are injured every year in armed robberies and assaults at work.
"Most Usdaw members are shopworkers and, unfortunately, like many public-facing workers, they are particularly vulnerable to the risk of criminal assault.
"An analysis of more than 100 claims we directly supported in 2011 revealed that 67% would no longer receive any compensation under the revised scheme, 22% would see their compensation halved and 11% of the most seriously injured would have their compensation significantly reduced because of the new loss-of- earnings calculations," he said.
"A victim of armed robbery is a typical example of someone who will be no longer be eligible for any compensation or, if severely physically injured, will see any compensation slashed."
The Legal Services Agency, a Scottish charity promoting access to justice, is also against the changes. Principal solicitor Paul Brown described them as "senseless" and said: "The CICS is obviously not a scheme that anybody plans to avail themselves of. Accordingly, there is no natural group lobbying on its behalf, except for victims' groups, [which] have consistently expressed concern about the proposals."
He said that from next week many loss-of-earnings payments would be capped at around £4000 per year, but added: "Even if someone was previously only on the minimum wage of about £12,000, that is a big cut and likely to plunge you into poverty.
"Meanwhile, all sorts of people will get nothing. This is not going to save that much money. But there will be people who have injuries of minor severity who will nevertheless be quite badly affected.
"If anyone has suffered an injury as a result of a crime they would be very well advised to claim now, not on or after November 27."
The government says the measures are needed to put the CICS on a sustainable footing and ease the burden on the taxpayer. It also wants to move to providing victims with support rather than pay-outs and raise up to £50 million directly from offenders to pay for services.