Legal Aid

Universal credit roll-out progresses

PUBLISHED October 28, 2013

Extension to Hammersmith of new benefit which affects assessment of client eligibility

The new passporting benefit - known as Universal Credit - is to be extended from October to Hammersmith.

This extension is part of a gradual roll-out of the new benefit.

It is important for providers in this area to know because it affects the assessment of client eligibility to legal aid.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit simplifies the benefits system by bringing together a range of working-age benefits into a single, streamlined payment.

The new benefit was launched in April 2013 in Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, Greater Manchester. It has since been rolled out to Wigan, Oldham and Warrington, and will be gradually rolled out to other parts of the country. 

How does Universal Credit affect legal aid means testing?

Universal Credit has been added to the list of legal aid passporting benefits.

We have published summary guidance on how this will affect your handling of the limited number of civil and criminal cases initially impacted  - see more information below.

Future consultation on eligibility

MoJ intend to consult on revised eligibility criteria proposals in due course.

For more information

Justice website:
Assess your client's eligibility ? to download Universal Credit document