Civil news: Getting paid first time

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The Legal Aid Agency have published updated CCMS Advanced Guide to help avoid civil claims being returned to organisations to provide further information.

Common reasons for applications being returned to organisations include:

  • 38% of civil claim rejects are for claims submitted without a disbursement voucher

  • 11% of all civil claims are returned for further information on expert’s fees. Ensuring the information on expert’s fee is correct makes it more likely you will be paid first time

  • Over half returned claims are where no travel details have been provided. Details where the expert has travelled from and to are required to validate the claim.

  • Experts must provide a breakdown of the work done and the hourly rate claimed. LAA requires this to ensure work is not claimed above the codified rates. Where an expert is paid an hourly rate, submitting a claim for a lump sum cannot be accepted.

  • Where only submitting the minimum evidence, this should be justified with a note. This could be, for example, full evidence not available due to the case being historic.

Chapter 10 of the Civil Finance Electronic Handbook sets out the requirements for expert’s invoices. Ensuring this evidence is sent first time will increase the chances of your claim being paid on first pass.

If any of this information is required, but not present, it will be requested through a ‘document request’. Asking for this information is a cause of delay in paying claims first time.

Further information

CCMS training Quick Guides – for guidance on submitting bills in CCMS and uploading documents: scroll to the bottom of the page for Advanced Guides

Legal aid guidance to download.

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