Assessment of financial eligibility for criminal advice and assistance, financial limits in Keycard and contribution

Provided your client does not have disposable capital over the specified amount, advice and assistance is available, without contribution to any client who is receiving:

  • Income support
  • An income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • An income-related employment and support allowance
  • Universal Credit

This is also true if your client’s disposable income (for the seven days up to and including the date of application) is below a specified limit as shown in the Keycard.

You must take into account your client’s total income, net of tax and national insurance, from all sources for the seven days immediately preceding the application.

If your client has disposable capital over the specified amount, you cannot give them advice and assistance.

Finding the financial eligibility limits for criminal advice and assistance: the Keycard

To help you assess eligibility, we publish a Keycard every April which contains a summary of the assessment rules, the current income and capital limits and the table of contributions.


Your client may be liable to pay a contribution.

This is all dependent on the level of your client’s disposable income, as assessed by you [Section 11 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986]. You collect it and do not pay it to us.

Whether you collect a contribution is your own decision.

You may decide to:

  • Collect a contribution from your client in one payment
  • Collect a contribution in instalments
  • Forego it

A contribution is payable by your client and this sum cannot be claimed from the Fund.


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