Following a successful pilot, the Legal Aid Agency has confirmed that a new approach is to be adopted where a claim has been rejected because of missing documentation or information in an effort to reduce processing delays.
This new procedure will be implemented by all of the LAA’s regional offices from Tuesday 27 May 2014 and will initially apply to all civil certificated claims except Escape Case claims.
Under the new process the LAA will:
Email the reject decision to the provider, including the checklist which explains what the LAA need
Hold the claim for 24 hours
Review the claim once the provider has emailed the LAA back within 24 hours.
If the provider fails to respond to the LAA within 24 hours the claim will be returned in the normal way.
The new approach will apply to cases where the missing information or documentation includes:
Missing disbursement vouchers
Lack of information/breakdown supporting disbursement vouchers
Missing fee notes for Counsel
Missing Court Orders in relation to DNA/Drug/Alcohol testing
Missing advocates attendance forms
Incorrect rates claimed
Incorrect FAS hearing unit/fee claimed
Providers should ensure that they provide the LAA with an up-to-date email address that will enable them to respond within the 24 hour timeframe.
If it is believed that there has been an incorrect rejection it is important that this is still referred to the reject fix address in the usual way.