Providers throughout England and Wales now have the opportunity to complete criminal applications online using the CRM14 eForm.
On 22 June 2015, Greater Manchester was the final area to transfer the processing of criminal legal aid applications.
That was when they switched from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the Legal Aid Agency.
eForms popular with providers
There are more than 10,000 applications being received every week and 77% of these are made using the CRM14 eForm.
A recent provider survey showed that more than 70% of providers who had tried the CRM14 eForm would not like to return to paper submissions.
Benefits welcomed by providers include:
- date stamp – easy to backdate applications up to 11.59pm daily
- DWP link – indication of client eligibility can be checked before submitting application
- track progress – track status of your application via eForms portal
- notifications – find out the outcome of your application as soon as a decision is made
We are continuing to make improvements to the CRM14 eForm. For example, agents will in future be able to prepare applications via the portal.
They can then send the form on to instructing solicitors for review and submission.
Criminal Applications Team (CAT)
The Legal Aid Agency’s Criminal Applications Team was established in the last year.
It is processing more than half a million criminal legal aid applications annually and is based in our Nottingham, Liverpool and Birmingham offices. The team includes colleagues from HMCTS and LAA casework teams as well as new staff.
This concludes a year-long transfer process that has seen both the crime change programme and contract managers work with providers to improve the CRM14 eForm.
We have done this through engagement, gathering feedback and improving support to help move the criminal application process online.
Information on CRM14 eForm
Changes to crime processing page