Guidance

Submitting your claim – civil and family cases

Guidance on submitting your claim in Civil and Family Legal Aid Cases. This covers certificated and controlled work (including legal help escape cases and controlled legal representation)

Overview

When submitting your claim, you must ensure that:

  • the work claimed is within scope of any funding restrictions
  • the work undertaken is claimed at the correct rates
  • any work claimed has been explained and justified by the evidence submitted or on file
  • the correct documentation has been provided with the claim
  • claims for counsel or experts have been included in the claim or, where appropriate submitted separately

Guidance for certificated and controlled work claims

The following guidance applies to all claims submitted.The contract specification and cost assessment guidance set out the principles of assessment.The electronic handbooks provide additional operational detail.

Cost Assessment Guidance

Contracts

Expert Witness Guidance

Model File Submission for Civil Billing

Rates Calculator

Certificated bills

The claim checklists detail our documentary requirements, use of these will minimise the likelihood of your claim being rejected.

CCMS Checklist (PDF, 200KB, 2 pages)

The electronic handbook details our operational processes for caseworkers and add clarity and more detail in relation to our requirements.

Civil Finance Electronic Handbook (PDF, 1.73MB, 151 pages)

Submitting your claim on CCMS – CCMS training website

Submitting your paper claim in Certificated Matters

Civil Codes Guidance

The main reasons for rejection of claims are:

Disbursement voucher not submitted or information contained is insufficient:

  • vouchers are required for all disbursements over £20
  • the voucher should contain a breakdown of the work undertaken and the rate charged
  • details on requirements for specific disbursement types can be found in section 10 of the handbook

Counsels fees do not reconcile. We need to ensure that all claims have been submitted to allow us to make a final assessment on the case which will also allow us to quantify any liabilities:

  • in non FAS cases counsel and solicitors need to ensure they are submitting their claim at around the same time.Counsel should await confirmation from the solicitors that they intend to submit their claim before submitting their own claim
  • in FAS cases counsel should ensure they submit all claims promptly, where the amount of the claim differs

Other reasons may include:

  • information previously requested has not been provided, please ensure you are addressing all requests for information
  • it was requested by provider, these are claims where you ask us to reject the claim prior to processing the claim

Following the claim checklists will minimise the likelihood of your claim being returned. Additional guidance on our requirements can be found in the escape case handbook. This details our operational processes.

Escape Case Handbook (PDF, 1.27MB, 98 pages)

Submitting your escape case

Guide to determining financial eligibility

The main reasons for rejection of a claim are:

Incorrect rates:

  • details of the applicable rates can be found in the remuneration regulations and the rates calculator
  • additional guidance has been added to the handbook to help determine if level 1 and/or level 2 fees should be claimed in family cases

Claim does not reconcile with details on CWA (Controlled Work and Administration):

  • please ensure the amount detailed on your claim form matches the claim on CWA
  • the month detailed on your claim form should reflect the month you actually submitted on CWA
  • the claim must be submitted on CWA otherwise we are unable to process this

Disbursement voucher not submitted or information contained is insufficient:

  • vouchers are required for all disbursements over £20
  • the voucher should contain a breakdown of the work undertaken and the rate charged
  • details on requirements for specific disbursement types can be found in section 10 of the handbook

If you need to contact the team, you can contact them here: MHU-EC@Justice.gov.uk

Challenging a decision to reject

If you are dissatisfied with a decision to return a claim you can ask for this decision to be reviewed by our civil claim fix team. The service is available in relation to rejections on both controlled and certificated work. Complaints in relation to rejects should also be sent directly to the team. You can contact the team on laacivilclaimfix@justice.gov.uk

The team will review the decision to return the claim in light of your representations and will make one of three decisions:

  • the decision to return the claim was correct
  • the decision to return the claim was incorrect. In these cases the team will ensure that this return of this claim is not taken into account when calculating your reject key performance indicators (KPI) as detailed in the contract
  • we are unable to make a determination – this may be because we cannot definitively state that the information was provided initially - these rejects are discounted from your KPI’s

Please note the any decision to return an appeal is not included when calculating the reject KPI.

Published 24 July 2019