Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and regulations sets out the rules as to who qualifies for legal aid.
The Means Test assesses financial eligibility. Receipt of certain benefits may "passport" clients through the income means test
The Merits Test assesses the case and its prospects and there are certain factors to be taken into account to determine whether the individual qualifies for legal aid
In children cases that are not s31 care and/or supervision, parents and other family members are often confused as to why they do not qualify for funding.
We are regularly contacted by grandparents or other family members who want to see more of their grandchildren. They seek funding to help take the matter through the courts, where they are unable to fund the process privately, and are devastated to learn that they do not automatically qualify, and are subject to means and merits testing.
This is an intensive and time consuming process, because the criteria is so stringent. However, to fail these tests means you are ineligible for funding.
Contact our Childcare team now, for advice and support on your situation.
The Legal Aid Agency says: “Applicants for legal aid for civil cases must satisfy merits and financial means tests.”