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Lexis+ AI

Criminal legal aid updates

Criminal legal aid updates


98% of criminal legal aid applications can now be submitted through the updated online service

Streamlined application process with new updates

In June 2024, the Apply for Criminal Legal Aid service processed over 10,000 applications, reflecting its enhanced functionality and user-friendly design. The latest updates now enable legal aid providers to submit applications for clients with partners and employed clients, expanding the scope of those who can benefit from this streamlined service.

Key updates:

  • Expanded application scope: Providers can now submit applications for single clients and clients with partners, whether they are receiving passporting benefits, unemployed, or employed.
  • Post-submission capabilities: Providers can add post-submission evidence for applications made through the service.
  • Simplified information requirements: National Insurance numbers can be added later in some cases, and unnecessary questions are minimised based on the type of application.

What the service offers: The Apply for Criminal Legal Aid service allows providers to:

  • Submit all applications except for Change in Financial Circumstance, non-means, and self-employed cases.
  • Retain critical information like the MAAT number, offences covered, and the date of grant, ensuring all necessary data is at hand until full functionality for status tracking is available.

Ongoing use of eForms: Certain applications still require eForms, including those for self-employed clients, non-means tested applications, and post-submission evidence for eForms applications.

Benefits of the updated service:

  • User-friendly design: A simpler, streamlined process reduces manual data entry.
  • Search functions: Offence details are easily searchable, enhancing accuracy.
  • Automatic information requests: The system requests only relevant information or evidence, minimising unnecessary queries.
  • Interest of Justice Slipstreaming: For applicants under 18 or certain offences, no additional justification is required for the Interests of Justice test, simplifying the application process.

Future enhancements: Planned features include displaying application outcomes, showing application status, searching for applications, and enabling the deletion of returned applications.

The Apply for Criminal Legal Aid service continues to evolve, offering a more efficient and accessible platform for legal aid providers and their clients.

Lexis+ AI