If VLA offers a grant of legal assistance, then the assisted person may choose to:
If the assisted person accepts the offer, both they and their lawyer must comply with all of VLA’s requirements in relation to the grant of legal assistance.
If the person does not accept the grant of legal assistance, they must notify VLA.
If VLA provides a grant of legal assistance, then VLA’s Legal Practice will send a letter to both the assisted person and the lawyer appointed.
The grant letter sets out:
If VLA makes a grant of legal assistance on conditions or with limitations which are not satisfactory to the person seeking the grant, then, usually, the person may request VLA to internally reconsider its decision.
If the result of the internal reconsideration is still not satisfactory, then the person may usually request an independent review of the decision. See Reconsideration and review of decisions.
If the assisted person accepts the grant of legal assistance then, usually, it will begin on the day the person signed their application form. However, if there has been a delay of more than 14 days in sending the application form to VLA, the grant of legal assistance will start on the day VLA received the application form.
The date on which the grant of legal assistance begins is stated in the grant letter as ‘the date assistance commences’.
VLA a will not usually make a retrospective grant of legal assistance for any matter where legal services have been carried out before an application for a grant of assistance is lodged. See also: Urgent applications.
VLA has the right under the Legal Aid Act 1978 to vary its decision to make a grant of legal assistance to a person. At any time, VLA may: