Can I get Legal Aid funding?


Evidence Required For Legal Aid Assessment

Your mediator will be able to assess your eligibility for funding at your initial meeting, as long as you provide the following:

For All Clients

  • Your National Insurance number
  • An estimate of the value of all capital assets, including the value of your home or any other properties
  • A Bank Statement covering the four week period before your meeting with the mediator

Plus

For those who are Employed, either full time or part-time

  1. If you are paid monthly: a Payslip issued within the four week period before your meeting with the mediator or
  2. If you are paid weekly: four consecutive Payslips, at least three of which fall within the four week period before your meeting with the mediator

For those who are Self-Employed

A copy of your last Tax Return plus a copy of the Accounts submitted with it.

Please note: If you believe your income has significantly changed in comparison with the previous year, you also need to bring an accounts statement for the current year.


For those receiving Income Support or Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

A current letter (dated within the last six months) advising you of your entitlement to this benefit (your appointment card or similar paperwork will not be enough).


For those receiving direct payments of Child Support and/or Spousal Support

A bank statement for the four week period before your meeting with the mediator which shows these credits paid into your account


For those receiving Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit

The letter informing you of this benefit (which must be no more than six months old) or a bank statement for the four week period before your meeting with the mediator showing the credit to your account


Housing Costs

If your monthly housing cost (rent or mortgage payment) is more than one third of your pre-tax monthly income you need to provide evidence of this payment.


Childcare Costs

If your childcare costs exceed £600 per month, for full-time work, or equivalent for part-time work, we will need you to provide evidence of this.


Assessment Notes

  • You may be assessed for Legal Aid if your pre-tax income is less than £2,657 per month and your capital (not subject matter of the dispute) is less than £8,000, or less than £100,000 (subject matter of dispute)
  • Your mediator takes into account Income Tax and NI payments; mortgage or rental payments; allowances for dependants living with you; childcare costs and maintenance payments.
  • Once all these costs have been taken into account, you may be eligible for funding if your net income is less than £733 per month, and your capital does not exceed above limits.
  • If the appropriate documents (as per evidence required overleaf) have not been provided at the time of your initial meeting, you will be charged a fee of £70 for the Assessment meeting.
  • If you are eligible for Legal Aid, the Assessment meeting is free to both you and your former partner (irrelevant of his/her personal eligibility) and all subsequent mediation sessions are free of charge to the eligible person.
  • If you not eligible for Legal Aid, then mediation sessions are payable in advance.
  • Appointments changed/cancelled with less than 3 working days notice will be charged as follows: £80 (private).

If you have any questions about this information, please feel free to call our office on 020 8891 6860 for further advice.