Legal Aid Agency Errors, Rejected Claims and Quick Fixes
In Parts One and Two of this series, Kenny Shealey, National Legal Aid Training Co-Ordinator explored some interesting statistics from the Legal Aid Agency’s (LAA) Fifth Annual Report and considered key strategic objectives in their last financial year. In this third and final part, Kenny looks at the errors admitted by the LAA, reminds us of the best way to review a rejected claim and draws up some conclusions.
Errors by the LAA
The LAA themselves admit that due to the complexity of legal aid it means there is an inherent risk of error because of incorrect eligibility assessments or inaccurate payments. They are however committed to identifying and addressing the root causes and to strengthening both internal controls and provider compliance.
The LAA’s estimated gross error was £22 million, however they are focused on recovering overpayments of legal aid rather than also focusing on underpayments by the LAA.
As previously reported by us if you suspect an incorrect reject or incorrect document request, email firstname.lastname@example.org and they have a 24 hour turnaround target and if successful it will take the incorrect reject off the KPI’s or take the document request off the system.
On the whole, there does seem to be progression in the speed at which the LAA are dealing with applications for public funding and also when it comes to payment of completed bills through CCMS. However there are still many flaws with CCMS especially when the system is down or is slow, or by the LAA incorrectly assessing bills leading to a delay in final payment to the provider. Hopefully in the next year to come, the LAA will continue to listen to provider problems and issues in an attempt to make the process better.