Legal Aid

Simpler process to reduce rejected CDS applications

PUBLISHED May 24, 2012

24 May 2012

New version 9 CDS14 form eases the admin burden

We have simplified the process for clients who unexpectedly fail the DWP link or are unsure whether they receive a passported benefit.

Before the version 9 CDS14 was introduced, clients in this position needed to record their financial circumstances on the CDS15.

This approach was known as the 'CDS15 Workaround'.

What happens now?

The new CDS14 form allows the workaround to be done on the CDS14 alone. We have called this process the 'Benefits Bypass'.

Does your client only need to complete the CDS14?

Defendants who only need to complete the CDS14 form are those where:

  • income from all sources (including partner) is less than £12,475, and
  • do not own land or property, and 
  • do not have savings or investments

When completing the new forms, if your client is unsure of the specific benefit they receive (or the DWP link fails), they can provide details of these benefits at questions 15-22 of the CDS 14.

Answering questions 15-22, will direct the applicant to complete a CDS15 form where required.

What happens when the DWP link fails?

Where the DWP link fails, clients will not be granted a representation order until:

  • documentary evidence of the passported benefit is received, or
  • the CDS14 questions 15-22 (and CDS15 if needed) is processed.

For Crown Court cases, the representation order will be dated from the day the form is submitted to the court.

But this will only happen if the documentation:

  • confirms their passported benefit or
  • the required information is supplied to complete the means assessment.

What does this mean for your client?

Passported defendants do not have to make contributions towards the cost of their case. The same is true for defendants processed using a CDS14 only.

However, applicants who complete a CDS15 who have capital and/or equity over £30k and are convicted in the Crown Court will become liable for a contribution towards the cost of their case.

So, if your client is sure that they are on a passported benefit, they should provide evidence to show they are in receipt of the benefit.

Further information

LSC website: Benefits Bypass flyer (pdf)
LSC Website: CDS14 and CDS15 forms