Families living in poverty disqualified from Legal Aid

Report from Loughborough University finds that families at the maximum level of disposable income to qualify for legal aid are left without enough money to live on if they fund legal costs.

Families living in poverty disqualified from Legal Aid

Cuts to legal aid have impacted the poorest the hardest, and we have highlighted in previous posts the impact of austerity cuts to legal aid on access to justice.

This new report Priced out of justice? Means testing legal aid and making ends meet was commissioned by the Law Society and undertaken by Loughborough University.The report highlights in particular the fact that means testing for legal aid will also consider the value of people’s homes.

Professor Donald Hirsch, the report’s author said:

“Those who are out of work are generally covered by legal aid but may be excluded if they own their homes. The assumption that someone could sell their home to cover a legal bill is out of line with other forms of state means-testing – such as help with care costs, where the value of your home is ignored if you or your partner still live in it”

For more information, please see the Law Gazette article, or download the full report from the Law Society.