Civil legal aid: assessment of capital resources and relevant disregards/allowances

All capital resources must be taken into account, excluding the following:-

  • the home in which the client and their partner live
  • the client’s household furniture and clothing
  • the client’s tools and equipment they need for work
  • the value of any property or asset that is the subject of the dispute.

In considering if an asset can be disregarded because it is subject matter of the dispute it must be shown that, at the date of application,  the asset is the subject of some form of request to the court for an order (for example a specific crave or conclusion, or the prayer in a Petition).

Examples of capital include:

  • the amount that could be borrowed against all land and buildings the client or their partner own, other than the property in which the applicant lives, including interests in timeshares
  • money in the bank, building society, post office, premium bonds, national savings certificates etc.
  • investments, stocks and shares, including ISAs
  • money that can be borrowed against insurance policies
  • the value of other non-essential possessions, such as a boat, a caravan, second car, jewellery (but not wedding or engagement rings), antiques or items bought for investment
  • money owed to the client or their partner
  • money due from the will of someone who has died
  • money due from a trust fund
  • money that can be borrowed against business assets
  • redundancy payments.

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