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
In this section
Financial eligibility for civil legal aid: general conditions and limits
Satisfy yourself that the client is financially eligible for civil legal aid with reference to income and capital.
Choosing the right financial information form for the client
Use the appropriate civil application financial form depending on clients circumstances
Civil legal aid assessment period and its consequences: ‘period of computation’
View information about the period of computation and your client's obligation to tell us about any change in circumstances that may affect their eligibility.
Taking partners’ financial resources into account: civil legal aid
Learn about how partner is defined, contrary interest and parties living apart when considering financial resources for civil legal aid.
Civil legal aid: how we calculate income and what’s included
Learn about assessment of wages/salary from employment, net profit from self-employment or business, other souces of income and things that can be disregarded.
Financial assessment where applicant has deprived themselves of resources: no disregards given
Under regulation 12, we must consider capital disposed of before an application was made.
Calculating disposable capital and disregards: are the resources the subject matter of dispute?
Assessing the clients disposable capital and guidance on the relationship between subject matter of dispute and clawback
Financial assessment for special categories of applicant
The financial resources of any person who owes a POA to a child applicant are to be treated as part of the child’s own resources unless unjust to do so.
Appellate proceedings: is a fresh financial assessment and additional contribution necessary?
We may reassess disposable income and disposable capital if there has been a change in circumstances that would normally result in a reassessment.
Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000: modified financial assessment process
Guidance on modified financial assessment process in Adults with Incapacity cases
Will my client be liable to pay a contribution?
Information on how instalment rates of maximum contribution are set and the relationship with case cost.