Advice and assistance and the assessment of financial eligibility

Finding the correct eligibility limits: updates and the keycard

The limits of disposable income and disposable capital are specified in regulations and normally up-rated each year. You must determine whether your client is eligible and whether a contribution is due.

To help you assess eligibility, we publish a Keycard containing:

  • Summary of the assessment rules
  • The current income and capital limits
  • The tables of contributions

Copies of the up-to-date Keycard are available on our website.

Client eligibility for advice and assistance: without a contribution

Advice and assistance is also available, subject to payment of a contribution, to your client should their disposable income be within the limits specified in regulations.  This is only if they do not have disposable capital over the specified amount. You must take into account their total income, net of tax and national insurance, from all sources for the seven days immediately preceding the application. Separate scales of contribution apply depending on whether you are giving only a diagnostic interview or standard advice and assistance.

Certain benefits should not be taken into account when assessing your client’s eligibility for Advice and Assistance. For more information on what benefits should be disregarded, please see our Keycard.

Advice and assistance and the collection of contributions

The contribution payable is based on your client’s disposable income.

You can decide whether or not to collect the contribution, this is not paid to us. You may ask for it in one payment or by instalments, or forgo it. If you put in a claim for payment of fees and outlays out of the Fund, we will deduct the contribution from your account regardless of whether you actually collected it.

If you move into standard advice and assistance, your client will have to pay any contribution due according to the scale of contributions. However, they only pay the balance between any amount they have paid for the diagnostic interview and the amount payable for the standard advice and assistance.

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