Commonly used words and terms

We have prepared explanations below of words, terms and acronyms used in the legal aid application process.

Terms used in letters

You have received a letter saying an application is…

Rejected The application submitted is incomplete and we are holding it to await receipt of the outstanding documentation. This is not yet an application for civil legal aid.
Under Assessment We have the minimum requirements to assess the application.  At this stage, we will assess the legal merits of the case and the financial eligibility of the applicant.
Refused We have assessed the application and one or more of the tests for legal aid have not been met.  If you are the applicant you will be provided with the reasons for refusal.
Continued We are assessing your application, but we need to ask you or your solicitor for more information before we can make a decision.
Granted The application has passed all of the tests for legal aid and  cover for the case is in place.
Suspended The grant of legal aid has temporarily come to an end while we consider concerns about the application.
Terminated We have decided that the tests for legal aid are no longer met, and so legal aid cannot continue. The opponents are notified of the decision.  This brings legal aid cover for the case to an end. A new application can be made if your solicitor thinks this is appropriate.
Abandoned We cannot assess the application because the information requested has not been provided within a reasonable time, or we have been told that the application is no longer needed.

Types of application

Civ sol The initial application for civil legal aid.
Amend To change something about the existing grant of legal aid, eg add a new opponent, or seek an additional order.
Special Urgency To seek approval for work to be carried out before legal aid is in place.
Sanction To seek approval for certain types of expenditure, eg to employ counsel and experts.
Transfer To change solicitor.
Stage Report Needs to be submitted by a solicitor to SLAB to keep us advised of progress.
Review Request to reconsider a decision to refuse legal aid when it has been refused at first instance.
Representations Information provided by an opponent or interested party which that person wants SLAB to take into account.


SLAB Scottish Legal Aid Board.
CLAO Civil Legal Assistance Office.
PDSO Public Defence Solicitors’ Office.
Psums Principal sums
ABWOR Assistance by way of representation
A&A Advice and assistance
SNSIAP Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers
SCL Solicitor Contact Line