Legal Aid: Are you ready for the changes to claim checks for civil submissions?

Published On: September 7, 2021

It can be found here:

The LAA will be focusing on providers giving more accurate information to speed up the payment process. They will also be guiding providers more closely and with more specific reasons as to why a claim has been rejected.

The LAA states that the following changes will be included:

  • There will be an updated guidance page for billing claims on GOV.UK
  • There will be a provider checklist for Client and Cost Management (CCMS) that providers can use to assist them with their submissions.
  • There will be a more specific “reject” process which aims to reduce the amount of “further information requests”.

The aim is that, with the updated guidance and the provider checklist, in time the number of rejected cases will reduce. Then, because of the more accurate information provided in the first instance, the providers will give all required information correctly first time.

The LAA have stated that it is a two-stage process to get the claim through for payment:

  • Claims that fail stage 1 will be returned for amendment or additional information.
  • Claims passing stage 1 will move to stage 2 for checking. If a claim fails at stage 2, it will be returned.
  • If all checks are passed, the claim will be completed for payment.

The key therefore is to utilise the documentation provided by the LAA to ensure that the specifics of each claim are added correctly. Trying to submit claims as per the old guidance will likely result in rejections which will require amendment and then resubmission.

The LAA have acknowledged that there will likely be an increase in rejections recorded on firms’ Provider Activity Report (PAR) as a result of the changes. The reason behind these may be down to providers not following the new guidance and checklists and also because the new process includes “improved reject reasons and requests for further information that were not historically included in the reported reject figure”.

The LAA is focusing on the finer details on claims where they can be more specific on their correspondence with providers. Less of a “blanket” approach and more of a “targeted” one. The idea therefore is that providers will begin to see less “further information” requests and “rejects”. By following the guidance and checklist and the LAA corresponding very specifically with providers, more claims should be processed faster, the first time.

I recommend providers review this update carefully and determine how it is likely to affect them. Ensure that everyone in the claiming process at the firm is aware of the changes and that all questions are asked and answered before the changes go live.

The LAA has made significant upgrades to their resources recently and their training and support website is excellent. It can be found here:

It is worth reviewing some CCMS bill submission training before the changes are rolled out and having a conversation with your contract manager to ensure that all resources are at the firm’s disposal beforehand.

If the firm is unprepared for changes to CCMS billing, it is inevitable that there will be a significant increase in bill rejections. This will have a knock-on effect where the firm does not get paid quickly and could see a significant reduction in cashflow. This could cause serious problems for those firms that rely on a certain amount from the LAA on their weekly BACS schedules.

The other aspect to consider is that by contributing to the LAA’s volume of rejected claims, the firm would be contributing to a backlog that the LAA will inevitably have to clear. Again, this will inevitably delay funds due to the firm and could cause cashflow issues.

My advice would be to review the guidance, get the training, confirm the position and the implementation dates with your contract manager and prepare fully for the changes. This will significantly reduce the number of rejections, ease stress and ensure that cashflow is minimally affected.


Alex Simons
New Business Manager
The Law Factory LLP