Legal Aid

Legal Aid allows for state funding of legal cases in certain very limited legal and financial circumstances.

Legal Aid has changed due to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which came into force on 1st April 2013.

If you are already receiving legal aid, (before 1st April 2013) for your case, this will continue. However, if your finances are reassessed and you are deemed to be no longer financially eligible you will lose your legal aid funding.

Applicants for legal aid must show that they meet the financial test and that their case has a reasonable prospect of being successful. There must also be no alternative sources of funding or representation available that would be more suitable for your case.

Due to the changes in legal aid the type of cases that could potentially be funded through legal aid has been reduced. The following is a list of case areas that can still potentially be funded:

Clinical Negligence
Only for children with neurological injury suffered during pregnancy, birth or postnatal period of 8 weeks, which results in severe disability.


  • Repossession of your home by mortgage lender
  • Orders for sale of your home
  • Involuntary bankruptcy, if includes your home, (includes statutory demand)

Where the Equality Act 2010 has been breached. This is where a person has been discriminated against for one or more of the following - age, race, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity.

Education (special educational needs)
Special education needs under the Education Act 1996, and assessments relating to learning difficulties under the Learning and Skills Act 2000.


  • Public family law relating to the protection of children
  • Family cases where evidence of domestic violence
  • Children cases where evidence of child abuse
  • Child abduction matters
  • The representation of children in private family cases
  • Legal advice as part of mediation
  • Domestic violence injunction cases
  • Forced marriage protection order cases


  • Repossession of your home, (other than by a mortgage lender)
  • Eviction from your home, both lawful and unlawful eviction
  • Repairs to rented property where condition of property poses serious threat to your health or safety
  • Homelessness, where you are homeless or risk being made homeless
  • Injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in housing matters

Immigration & Asylum

  • Where you are seeking asylum
  • Domestic violence injunctions
  • Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) proceedings
  • Leave to enter or remain in the UK for victims of human trafficking

Mediation in family law cases, to reach an agreement without having to go to court. 

Welfare Benefits

  • Appeals on a point of law to the Upper Tribunal
  • Appeals on a point of law to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court

Other Areas
Mental health, community care, actions against public authorities and public law cases.

There are other various forms of help, such as legal help and criminal legal aid. Criminal public funding is not means tested, and so is available to everyone.

If your case is publicly funded and you win compensation or damages or hang onto to your property or assets a statutory charge will be applied. This is to recover the legal costs incurred in your case. Also see our legal help faqs section for further information.

Legal Help

Legal Representation Cert.

Criminal Legal Aid

Help at Court

Family Mediation/Proceedings

Applying for Legal Aid

Limited Legal Rep Cert.

Discharged & Revoked Certs.

Paying back Legal Costs

Having a say about Costs


Links & Addresses

Legal Aid - FAQs

More - Free Legal Information