Changes are being made to make it easier to apply and bill for criminal legal aid work to reduce the number of rejected applications.
The improvements will be live on 1 June 2018 and affect:
CRM14 eForm applications
CRM4 grant letters
CRM14 eForm changes
Help buttons and guidance notes added to help providers see the information required before financial assessments can be carried out.
- New fields to allow providers to explain client’s circumstances in more detail, e.g. when the client’s outgoings exceed their income.
- Additional tick boxes added to help explain why a client may not be declaring any income e.g. “living with parents”, “living on the streets” and “supported by friends”.
CRM4 grant letter changes
Updated letter will show both the amounts applied for and the amounts granted. This will give the provider a full breakdown of the granted preparation and travel costs.
Decisions will be fully explained and if a reduced sum is being paid then reasons will be provided.
A POCA tick box will be added for providers to indicate if their case relates to a Proceeds of Crime Act case. This will enable billing staff to identify such cases quickly and easily.
Why are you doing this?
We hope these changes will make it easier for providers to see the information we need to process your applications quickly and easily.
This should reduce the number of rejected applications and save time and money for both providers and the Legal Aid Agency.
Guidance is available on GOV.UK which you can share with providers.
Legal aid: crime eForm – see ‘Changes to CRM14 from 20 March 2018 guidance’ under CRM14 eForm