Applicants: your equality data

What is equality data and why does SLAB collect it?

Equality data is information about your age, sex, any disabilities you may have, your national identity and ethnic group as part of your application for legal aid.

Completing the equality data questions in your application is important because the answers:

The staff who make decisions about your application will not be able to see your answers, other than your date of birth. Your answers will not affect your application for legal aid.

What equality data does SLAB collect?

You might remember the Scotland Census 2022. We ask the same type of questions.


To calculate your age we ask for your data of birth.  This is the date you were born.


We will ask you if you are male or female.  If you are transgender the answer you give can be different from what is on your birth certificate.  If you are non-binary or you are not sure how to answer, you could use the sex registered on your official documents such as your passport.


You can tell us if you have one or more disabilities or health conditions that has lasted, of you think will last, more than 12 months.  If you are unsure which option(s) you should choose, your solicitor can write the name of the condition under ‘other condition’.

National identity

National identity is a feeling of attachment to a nation. This does not need to be the same as your ethnic group or legal nationality (citizenship). For example, this could be about the country or countries where you feel you belong or think of as home.  You can tick as many of the listed nationalities as you like.

Ethnic group

Your ethnic group could be your cultural or family background.  It is up to you how you answer this question.  You may need to write in your ethnic group in the space provided.  Some boxes have a list of ethnic groups (for example, ‘Pakistani, Scottish Pakistani or British Pakistani’). The list simply shows all the ethnic groups which are included in that category, so you can tick the box if your ethnic group is any of those in the list.

Care experience

We ask you if you are or have been ‘looked after’ by a Local Authority.  By ‘looked after’ we mean any of: had a supervision order with no condition of residence, with foster carers, in a residential care home, in a residential school or a secure unit.

Do I have to answer the equality data questions?

No.  You can answer ‘prefer not to say’ for any question apart from age.

You must provide your date of birth because we use that to check your identity as part of your legal aid application.

What if I don’t understand the questions?

Your solicitor will help you to understand the questions we use to gather your equality data.

Your solicitor will send your answers to us when they complete your legal aid application.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at

Is my equality data safe?

Yes.  Our privacy policy describes how we collect and use personal data, including equality data.  See our privacy policy