How do I show I cannot pay for my case ?
Your solicitor and the Legal Aid Agency will decide this. They will look at how much money you have and whether you have any savings or own any property and if so how much.
If you receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-based Employment Allowance, Guarantee Credit or Universal Credit you will qualify for "Legal Help" and will not have to pay anything for legal advice as long as your capital is not above the limits set.
If you are working and you have disposable income of £733 per month or less and a gross income of no more than £2,657 per month, (this figure increases if you have more than 4 children), and your capital is not more than £3,000 then you are entitled to see a solicitor free under the "Legal Help Scheme".
Your solicitor can give you advice and write letters, but the amount of work they can do is limited. Your solicitor can start work on the same day they see you, but they will require proof of your income or entitlement to benefits.
To get a Legal Representation Certificate so that a solicitor can go to court with you is more complicated. You may have to pay for part of your legal costs if your Income, Savings and the value of your Property is above a certain level. If it is below this level you will pay nothing.
To help the Legal Aid Agency decide if you qualify you will have to fill in forms giving details of your income, expenses and any property you own.
Your solicitor will apply to the Agency and your legal fees/costs are only covered from the date that the Certificate is granted to you.
Questions & Answers
- What is Legal Aid?
- Is Everyone entitled to Legal Aid?
- How do I show I cannot pay for my case?
- What is disposable income?
- What is meant by capital?
- Do I get something for nothing?
- Can the Statutory Charge be waived or postponed?
- Can I apply for Legal Aid on behalf of someone else?
- Are there any other schemes under which I might get free or cheap legal advice?
- Are there any cases for which Legal Aid is not available?