Special urgency: satisfying yourself that a client is financially eligible

Most civil clients, even for cases involving special urgency, are seen by appointment. It is best to tell your client at the time when the appointment is made what documentation they should bring to evidence their financial eligibility.

Our view is that you will usually only be able to be satisfied as to financial eligibility when you have seen documentary evidence to support this.

However, we accept that in some cases, for example where your client has had to flee the family home due to fear of harm, it may not be possible for them to produce documentary evidence of financial eligibility immediately. In such circumstances you should gather and record as much information as possible so you can show why you were satisfied as to your client’s financial eligibility.

Evidence of income

You should ask your client, and their partner if appropriate, to provide up to date evidence of their income. For example:

  • Copy of their latest payslips
  • Most recent benefit award letter
  • Up to date bank statements.

You should also ask your client and their partner if they have any other income they are not able to verify i.e maintenance payments received in cash.

Evidence of capital

You should ask your client, and their partner if appropriate, to provide an up to date statement for all accounts and investments held solely and jointly in their names.  It is important that you check the transactions, such as transfers from or to other accounts, which may be indicative of additional income and/or capital. You should also ask them if they have an interest in or are due to receive any other capital they have been unable to verify for example property, policies, inheritance etc.

Evidence of passporting benefits

The passporting benefits are:

  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Employment
  • Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit

Contribution-based Jobseekers Allowance and Contribution-based ESA are not passporting benefits so account has to be taken of these benefits and any other income.

If your client is receiving or is included in their partner’s claim for one of the above passporting benefits you should ask to see an up to date award letter.  If you are in doubt about whether the benefit is income based ask your client to telephone their local DWP office to clarify this.  Make sure you verify the correct benefit to ensure your client is eligible.

If a Form 1 is submitted with a civil application and your client is not in receipt of a passporting benefit, we will reject the application for a financial form 2 which will delay matters for both you and your client.



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