We assess and collect any contribution due by your client if you are working under special urgency cover. You must be satisfied that your client is likely to qualify financially and that the online declaration is completed and signed. Any contribution we assess can then be used to pay towards part or all the cost of that work.
The online declaration is your route to payment. By signing this, your client is obliged to pay any contribution and we are responsible for assessing and collecting this.
Clients receiving benefits must still complete the online declaration, as their circumstances may change. If it is a false declaration, it is the authority for us to recover any sums paid from the Fund.
Before we can accept a claim for payment under regulation 18, we must be satisfied that you had reasonable grounds for believing your client would be financially eligible for legal aid, based on the information you had at the time.
Your client should know that they can pay any contribution we assess by up to 48 monthly instalments, whether civil legal aid is granted or not. Your client will only be liable for the contribution or the actual cost of the work done, whichever is the lower. You may be in a position to give your client a clear indication of the likely cost of that work.
Your client must sign the declaration before we can assume responsibility for assessing and collecting any contribution.
You are relieved of the responsibility of recovering any contribution payable and of asking for a payment towards your fees and outlays from your client. If we refuse civil legal aid, we will pay you the lodged account in full (subject, of course, to any abatements).
We will assess contributions when we receive the application for legal aid. You must not delay the urgent work while we carry out this assessment.