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.
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
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.
Civil legal aid: assessment of capital resources and relevant disregards/allowances
Find out which of your client's capital resources must be taken into account when applying for legal aid.
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.