Moving from a diagnostic interview to standard advice and assistance: when and how to do this

If you think that any of the circumstances affecting your client requires “high-level” advice by a solicitor equivalent to a listed category, you can ask us for an uplift to Standard Advice and Assistance.

You can do this by:

  • Requesting an uplift to Standard A&A online, the option to do this is available in the Civil applications drop down list
  • Telephoning us, if urgent. If granted, you should follow up with the online uplift to Standard A&A application and providing the telephone grant details

Factors you should address in an application to move from diagnostic to standard advice and assistance

We will consider each request to move from diagnostic to standard advice and assistance on its own merits.  The factors we will take into consideration include:

  • Local availability of other advice agencies
  • Your client’s ability to understand the case
  • If it is in the interests of someone else
  • If there are any novel or complex legal issues associated with the case
  • The value of any claim or the matters under dispute.

If you apply to uplift a diagnostic grant on Prison Rules to standard advice and assistance, we will consider each case on its own merits. The factors we will take into consideration include:

  • The nature of the specific legal advice being sought
  • If all internal complaints procedures have been used
  • If any advice on the issue has been obtained from prison based agencies

Implication of an uplift to standard A&A: effective date, payment level, and client contributions

If we authorise you to give standard advice and assistance for the case, the following rules apply:

  • Standard advice and assistance is effectively substituted for the diagnostic interview
  • Advice and assistance subject to the initial level of authorised expenditure, £95 is in place from the effective date of the initial grant
  • The diagnostic interview is deemed never to have taken place
  • The effective date of the grant of standard advice and assistance remains the date you initially admitted the client to diagnostic advice and assistance

If you move from a diagnostic interview to standard advice and assistance, your client will have to pay any contribution for standard advice and assistance.  You may wish to ensure that your client is aware that they may have to pay this higher amount.  However, they only pay the balance between any amount they have paid for the diagnostic interview and the amount payable for the standard advice and assistance.

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