Forum

Anyone know how to get legal aid

Hi everyone

I have been trying to advise a friend with MS who has left his wife on how to go about having benefits paid to him. Anyway he has been told that legal aid is no longer available for people such as him as his house has quite a lot of equity in it. It made me wonder how the law has changed in relation to legal aid. Do we have to be destitute to get it and would the Disability Law Service be of any use?

Thanks for any advice.

I think the Citizens Advice Bureau is a good place to start. Also, alot of people don’t realise that if you have legal expense cover with your house or car insurance you can use it for any purpose. The companies usually cover you up to 50k. Good luck, Suz xx

Thanks for that Suz

He has already spoken with CAB and it was someone from there who advised him that he probably won’t be entitled to legal aid.

I’ll tell him about the insurance though, although he doesn’t drive perhaps his home insurance could help him with this.

Happy New Year

x

Eligibility for legal aid is usually calculated based on income and outgoings. Equity in ones home does not actually give you any income and as such is not, I think, a factor. However the income levels are quite low. If your friend is a single person with perhaps a pension or a non means tested benefit and low housing cost (due to the equity) he probably doesn’t qualify. Lots of solicitors will give a free half hour consultation where eligibility will be checked and basic advice given. 30 minutes is not long so it’s best to cut to the chase and be very succinct. No time for rambling.

If the issue at hand is benefits there is probably no need to get legal help. Every adult is entitled to benefits in their own right if they are not part of a couple. This is not an issue that you should need to pursue legally. However without more details it’s difficult to advise.

Jane

Thanks for that Jane, it is a bit complicated and I do wonder if his ex had ‘power of attorney’ as he has had some mental problems in the passed. Brought on I believe by his relationship with his family. This problem will probably have to wait until the New Year now I think.