Civil legal aid assessment period and its consequences: ‘period of computation’

We assess an applicant’s disposable income over 12 months immediately following the date they apply to us – this fixed period is known as the “period of computation” and is defined in regulation 2.

Under regulation 23, the applicant must tell us about any changes in circumstances, financial or otherwise, that may affect their ongoing eligibility for civil legal aid.  If the proceedings for which legal aid is granted conclude before the end of the period of computation, this does not affect this obligation.  We may still reassess the applicant’s means and seek payment of any contribution arising from that assessment.

No similar statutory provision exists for the period over which we assess the applicant’s capital and we therefore only reassess a person’s disposable capital while the proceedings for which legal aid has been made available are continuing.

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