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March 3, 2023

Changes to legal aid for people receiving cost of living payments.

When I see that there have been changes to any laws in relation to anything that can help victim/survivors of domestic abuse, I like to share it with all of you. This one is a little late – apologies.

On the 10th January 2023 changes were made to ensure individuals receiving cost of living support payments are not disadvantaged in any way when applying for legal aid.

The reason this is happening now is because for some time, the government have been giving financial support payments to the most vulnerable and the idea is that any payments received will not have to be used to pay for legal services.

This could be of particular interest to anyone who is applying for legal aid in relation to domestic abuse i.e. protective orders, child proceedings etc, and who are either not eligible for legal aid or are but these cost of living payments take you over the amount permitted, which means you are no longer eligible.

The payments that are disregarded from the 10th January 2023 are made under the:

  • Energy Prices Act 2022
  • Social Security (Additional Payments) Act 2022

This means that the list of payments to be disregarded when calculating whether someone is eligible or not for legal aid has now been expanded.

These changes will apply to both the criminal and civil legal aid means test schemes.

For more information on legal aid click on the link below

Legal aid: Overview – GOV.UK (


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  • I first met Sharon back in 2000 when I went into a refuge she worked in after fleeing a violent relationship. I had two babies and virtually just a bag of clothes and a few toys with us. She helped me with appointments with the police, solicitors and..

    A survivor of domestic abuse.
  • I was fortunate enough to meet and work with Sharon when she was the Advocacy Manager at Woman’s Trust and I was working for Westminster City Council. During this time Sharon developed and managed the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service..

    Ainslie O’Connor – Principal Advisor for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Adelaide, Australia.
  • Thank you so much for all the support you have given me. You really have been amazing, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have been able to cope with Child Protection without you. The amount of strength you have given me is totally priceless, even with..

    A survivor of domestic abuse.
  • I knew Sharon as a work colleague over ten years ago. At the time, she was supporting vulnerable people, some of them were homeless due to domestic abuse and substance misuse. For me, assisting such people was what anyone in her role would be expect..

    Ted Chanza, Head of Market Operations, Airtel Malawi Ltd, Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa.
  • I have known Sharon for 6 years and have had the pleasure of working alongside her when I chaired the Westminster MARAC. Sharon is a committed, empathetic supporter of women who are or have experienced domestic abuse. She regularly goes the extra m..

    Former Chair of The Westminster MARAC.
  • I was fortunate to have had Sharon as my support worker after 17 years of domestic violence and 4 children that had witnessed and gone through it with me. I was finally strong enough to stand up and protect myself and my children. Without Sharon’s ..

    A survivor of domestic violence.
  • Without the support and constant reassurance of Sharon, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am forever grateful to her. She is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable, having her on my side when dealing with someone as persistent..

    Anonymous survivor of Domestic Abuse.
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