Legal Aid Changes 2013: Financial Eligibility

Legal Aid Changes: Financial Eligibility

There have been some changes to financial eligibility for Legal Aid although large aspects of the eligibility rules remain unchanged. The three areas of significant change are:

  1. Clients who are in receipt of Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Based Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Pension Credit Guarantee were previously automatically eligible for Legal Aid regardless of any capital that they had. Now any person who is in receipt of one of these Benefits will have to have their capital assessed to see if they come within the eligibility criteria. Capital includes equity in a home, subject to exceptions and disregards.
  2. Some Applicants for Legal Aid have been granted Legal Aid and had to pay a monthly contribution towards the cost of it. The levels of those contributions will increase.
  3. Any capital is the subject matter of the dispute limits have been put on the total amount of capital that will be disregarded before determining whether or not somebody is eligible for Legal Aid.

Should you wish to know more, please contact Higgins Miller for further information.

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