As the government roadmap lifts restrictions following the COVID-19 outbreak, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is moving to online submission of Escape Case claims.
Electronic submission and processing of these type of claims has proven to be both efficient and a popular way for providers to submit.
The agency intends to adopt this method of digital working as standard practice and we have developed an amended process to be implemented from late June 2021 onwards.
From 21 June 2021, the LAA will withdraw the contingency approach currently used for submission and processing of Controlled Work Escape Cases, which was published following the update to the COVID-19 guidance on 16 March 2021.
We will adopt as business as usual this contingency measure to enable providers to continue to submit their Escape Case claims electronically.
Providers will need to submit the core documents required under the contingency approach plus documentary evidence in support of all work completed on the case file of 1 hour or more.
This will allow the LAA to continue to process your claims with the benefits of a digital process whilst allowing the agency to carry out thorough cost assessments ensuring accurate handling of public money.
What if I can’t submit online?
For providers who are unable to adopt this approach the LAA will still continue to accept Escape Case claims via paper as before the COVID-19 outbreak procedures.
We will still require the full file in support of the claim.
But we would encourage legal aid providers to use the digital approach as it will also help to drive efficiencies for both themselves and the LAA.