There are a number of key areas where some simple checks will help you avoid making errors with your claims.
Providers need to ensure that cost limitations cover the costs required.
Payments cannot be made over the cost limitation for:
- payments on account
- payments under the Family Advocacy Scheme
- payments under the Family Graduated Fee Scheme
Similarly, with work processed through Client and Cost Management System, we are unable to make payments to advocates where advocacy cost allocations are insufficient.
You should only carry out work on proceedings covered by the certificate.
Where there are additional proceedings, take care to ensure you are covered for this work.
Where you are attending a final contested hearing, again, please make sure that your certificate covers this.
Make sure that work carried out on an emergency certificate is within the emergency date range.
Work undertaken after the emergency date range is ‘at risk’ pending the grant of a substantive certificate.
Further guidance on this is in the electronic handbook – see below.
For certificates issued under the Access to Justice Act, no work can be claimed for the period when there was a ‘show cause’ on the certificate.
For certificates issued under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, any work you carry out during the show cause period is ‘at risk’.
If the show cause is removed, funding will be continuous – as though the show cause was never placed on the certificate.
If the certificate is withdrawn, no work can be claimed from the date the show cause was placed on the certificate.
Legal aid guidance – to download ‘electronic handbook’