Changes to Children’s A&A/ABWOR applications, revised data protection notices and declarations and release of children’s online accounts

This update contains information about the following system changes that will go live on the evening of 23 May:

  • Changes to Legal Aid Online Children’s A&A and ABWOR application functions
  • Changes as a result of GDPR and the Data Protection Bill
  • Release of children’s LAOL account products
  • Training and guidance

Changes to Legal Aid Online Children’s A&A and ABWOR application

Why are we making changes?
The changes to Children’s A&A and ABWOR are part of our ongoing redevelopment of LAOL’s A&A Applications. We plan to update the Civil A&A & ABWOR screens later this year.

What’s changing?
You will see changes to the layout of the application screens. Some questions on the application screens have been re-worded. We have also identified areas for improvement, such as the structure of some of the questions.

We are introducing an ABWOR uplift application. This will simplify the process of applying for ABWOR to attend a children’s hearing, where ABWOR was not applied for at the outset is using the increase application.

Please note  If you want an increase in authorised expenditure in addition to a grant of ABWOR you will still have to submit an increase application.

Children’s A&A and ABWOR applications will now be accessed via the Children’s tab, as shown below. This tab will also be used to submit increases, ABWOR uplifts and verification updates for children’s A&A and ABWOR applications.

Benefits of the new layout and application changes

Some benefits of the new upgrade are:

  • A reduced number of applications will be rejected, refused or continued: the online application process will determine and filter relevant questions depending on responses given throughout the application; as well as introducing improved validations.
  • Improved internal and external communications between our staff and customers: SLAB staff will now have access to the same application view as you do.

Information on training and guidance for the new screens is available below.

Changes as a result of GDPR and the Data Protection Bill

To comply with the new data protection legislation, which includes the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Bill when it becomes an Act, we have revised the wording of the data protection notice and declarations in the legal aid application printable summaries. Where the printable summary is printed prior to submission of the application, the applicant and solicitor signed name and date will be blank. If the summary is printed post-submission, the name and date of signing will be automatically entered.

The data protection notices on the printable forms and online declarations available from our website will also be updated. These revised versions will be published shortly and we will update you when they are online. A webpage containing information on how we process data and the rights of applicants and assisted persons under the new legislation will also be added so you can direct your clients to this if they have any queries.

Release of children’s account products

We are releasing an online account product for full Children’s legal aid accounts, the last account option that currently can only be submitted using the paper format.

What are the benefits of the new Children’s accounts products?

  • Developed using the same design as other online account products
  • The system will select the correct fee table for you to frame your account from using the application details.
  • You can also submit an online claim for reimbursement of outlays.

Please note we cannot accept a mix of paper and online claims.  You must continue to submit all accounts for any given case on the format the first claim was made.

Training and guidance

The guidance section on our website currently contains training videos and interactive PDFs for the accounts products that are now live, including the new paper account process.

Please open the Guidance page and bookmark it so that you are able to access it easily whenever necessary. A link to the guidance section has also been added to the LAOL login screen.

Webinars are currently available for the products previously rolled out. We plan to host webinar’s for the new civil accounts screens and we will provide you with dates shortly.

For further information or to arrange a webinar on any of the existing live account products, please contact Christine Connerton, Digital Services Marketing Officer

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