Each appointment in CARES has an Appointment Billing Allocation. Be sure to consult OCR's Billing Policies and Procedures to learn more about default allocations by case type and what to do for appointments that start with a zero-dollar allocation until you provide certain paperwork to OCR. Below, learn how to monitor and request to increase your allocation in CARES.
- Timing Matters
- Proactive Monitoring (Recommended)
- Automatic Warnings and Notifications
- How to Request Additional Funding
- Monitoring Requests Made
Monitor your Appointment Billing Allocation for each appointment to determine if and when an Additional Funding Request is necessary. If a request is not approved by the time the Managing Attorney creates and submits his/her invoice, the invoice will automatically exclude payment for those activities that exceed the allocation (indicated by an "Insufficient Funds" notification on the invoice). As detailed in OCR's Billing Policies and Procedures, you must request special permission from OCR's Executive Director to be paid for activities late and/or on a second invoice. More on invoicing
Seek additional funds approval in CARES well before creating and submitting an invoice in which appointments exceed the allocation thresholds (found in OCR's Billing Policies and Procedures). It takes up to 14 days for an initial request to be reviewed. Attorneys are responsible for monitoring their additional funding queue in CARES and responding to any questions from OCR in a timely manner.
Proactive Monitoring (Recommended)
Avoid the invoicing delays and non-payments described above by regularly and frequently filtering Cases > My Cases for "Nearing Maximum Billing Allocation." Determine if an Additional Funding Request is necessary for each appointment returned by this search. You can review the appointment's Appointment Financial Profile for a summary of remaining funding.
Automatic Warnings and Notifications
CARES alerts attorneys on the Home Screen when an appointment is nearing or has exceeded the allocation limits:
Click on this alert as soon as possible to review the appointment and determine if an Additional Funding Request is necessary. Review the appointment's Appointment Financial Profile for a summary of remaining funding.
CARES also displays a red alert on the appointment itself when it is nearing or has exceeded the allocation limits:
Change the thresholds that trigger these alerts by using the Warn When Billing Reaches Percentage on the appointment Profile. More on this
As a final notification, CARES displays "Insufficient Funds" in red on the bottom of any invoice in which activities are automatically excluded for lack of funding. Activities are excluded regardless of whether a funding request is pending. Click on the plus signs on the invoice until you see the blue case number--click on the case number to jump to the case and examine its Financial Profile for more information.
After a funding request leads to sufficient funding, the activities can be paid on new invoices, but there is usually not enough time to have a new additional funds request approved by the time you see an Insufficient Funds notification on an invoice--see Timing Matters above. More on invoicing
How to Request Additional Funding
To request additional funds, the appointed attorney can click on the blue words Request Additional Funding below the other text on the Financial Profile. The request form that pops up summarizes the appointment's financial information. Enter a dollar amount in "Requested Additional Funds." "Projected Allocation" will update automatically to show your requested new allocation. Enter an explanation—remember that you must support your additional funding request with a description of the legal work you anticipate is reasonably necessary per OCR's Billing Policies and Procedures. Scroll down to read and agree to the certification check box and click Submit.
Monitoring Requests Made
After you have made at least one request using the Request Additional Funding button within an appointment, you can find and monitor your own requests across all appointments by clicking Requests > Additional Funds in the left-side navigation menu.
This screen shows a table of requests. Notice the "Status" and other search filter options along the top of the Additional Funds screen; click the blue magnifying glass to apply any filters. Click on a blue case number within the table of requests to open that specific request and view details, including red notes from OCR after approval or rejection. Alerts on the Home Screen will also tell you when OCR approves or rejects a request. Click on the alert to review the status change and any red notes from OCR. Dismiss Home Screen alerts after review by clicking on them, then clicking the "Dismiss Alert" button in the upper right corner—the request can still be found in Requests > Additional Funds.
Approved requests will automatically apply to the Appointment Billing Allocation after approval. If OCR rejects a request, you may need to submit a new request if OCR asked for additional information in the red notes on the rejected request form. Within each request in Requests > Additional Funds, you can click on the blue case number to jump to that appointment (a shortcut if you need to submit another request). You can delete and thereby withdraw a request if it is still in "Submitted" status (e.g. if you find a mistake). However, you can no longer do so after OCR has processed the request.