Changes to LAOL Criminal A&A and ABWOR system

Thursday, Nov 09, 2017

Changes were implemented to the online Criminal A&A and ABWOR system at the end of August. We made a few further updates to the system on Monday 6 November to:

  • help you to understand the status of your application better
  • help you with some of the financial aspects of the system 

This update is to advise you of the changes and to provide you with some additional guidance.

The main changes are as follows:

  1. Verification of “Nil Capital”

The old Capital Mandate form was withdrawn as it as it is no longer required. The capital information has now been incorporated into the Criminal Advice and Assistance/ABWOR Legal Aid Online declaration form AA/LAO/CRIM. At Section D there are now more details of capital items, in particular in the 'All other capital assets' section. All clients need to sign this online declaration to make it a valid application. If a client has no capital items, then by signing this main declaration they are also confirming their capital position, not just in terms of money in the bank but also all the other items which could be construed as capital.

Where this applies you can now tell us that you are relying on the declaration as verification of the client’s capital position. There is now an option to select ‘Relying on signed declaration’ on Legal Aid Online. Please note this option will only be available for cases where nil capital has been selected.

  1. Financial Verification messages

We have made improvements to the wording of the financial verification notifications which means you will know if verification is pending or outstanding and the reasons for this.

Additional Financial Verification guidance

Where you select the “awaiting verification” option on the financial statement section, the application will be noted as “pending financial verification”. By selecting this option you are advising that you have asked the applicant to provide you with verification. The application will remain “pending financial verification” until you advise, by way of a verification update, the verification you have seen or the steps you have taken.

If you want to provide further information in relation to the applicant’s declared financial information or advise of the verification you have seen you must use the Verification update option. You should not send an online message to us or scan documentation, such as a wage slip or a bank statement, onto the system, unless we specifically ask for it. This should be easier and quicker for you to do.

For more information, please contact: Kingsley Thomas, Head of Criminal Legal Assistance,

Legal Aid Online

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