You should get documentary evidence of your client’s financial position and tell us what this evidence was. Guidance on verifying financial eligibility is in the Keycard.
If you cannot get this evidence immediately, you should see it before applying for an increase unless you can show there is real urgency in getting an increase without delay.
We would recommend that you should see, the following:
If you have not seen any evidence, you must explain how you were satisfied that the client was financially eligible. We may carry out checks with individuals and bodies to confirm the information about the financial circumstances of clients receiving advice and assistance.
We appreciate that in some circumstances, your client may not have evidence available.
For example where:
You should always seek verification from you client at the earliest opportunity.
Once you have this evidence you should tell us what this was. Keep a copy of this verification on your file, so that it can be seen at peer review, financial verification sample check, or at a compliance inspection.
For the period of the Covid-19 restrictions, solicitors must still be satisfied that the client is financially eligible, and you should record in a file note that you have discussed the eligibility tests for A&A with your clients and how you satisfied yourself that the clients are eligible. Relying on the information provided verbally by the client is acceptable.
When completing online applications, in the sections where you are asked if you have seen “the most recent evidence of the applicant’s capital and income”, you should:
Advice and Assistance application procedures
This page includes information on how to apply for non-templated increases in expenditure under civil A&A. It covers the information you should provide us with; case-related factors to address in your application; the process for reconsideration of refused increases; the process for urgently needed increases; whether authority for retrospective increases is available; and other guidance you may wish to consider.