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Commonly used words and terms

We have prepared explanations below of words and terms used in the legal aid application process.

Terms used in letters

I have received a letter saying an application is…


The application submitted is incomplete and we are holding it to await receipt of the outstanding documentation. This is not yet an application for civil legal aid.

Under Assessment

We have the minimum requirements to assess the application.  At this stage, we will assess the legal merits of the case and the financial eligibility of the applicant.


We have assessed the application and one or more of the tests for legal aid have not been met.  If you are the applicant you will be provided with the reasons for refusal.


We are assessing your application, but we need to ask you or your solicitor for more information before we can make a decision.


The application has passed all of the tests for legal aid and  cover for the case is in place.


The grant of legal aid has temporarily come to an end while we consider concerns about the application.


We have decided that the tests for legal aid are no longer met, and so legal aid cannot continue. The opponents are notified of the decision.  This brings legal aid cover for the case to an end. A new application can be made if your solicitor thinks this is appropriate.


We cannot assess the application because the information requested has not been provided within a reasonable time, or we have been told that the application is no longer needed.


Types of Application

Civ sol

The initial application for civil legal aid.


To change something about the existing grant of legal aid, eg add a new opponent, or seek an additional order.

Special Urgency

To seek approval for work to be carried out before legal aid is in place.


To seek approval for certain types of expenditure, eg to employ counsel and experts.


To change solicitor.

Stage Report

Needs to be submitted by a solicitor to SLAB to keep us advised of progress.


Request to reconsider a decision to refuse legal aid when it has been refused at first instance.


Information provided by an opponent or interested party which that person wants SLAB to take into account.



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