Community Legal Service (Financial) (Amendment No 2) Regulations 2009
See Legal Aid for further details of the Legal Aid system for mental health law.
Extract from Explanatory Note
These Regulations amend the Community Legal Service (Financial) Regulations 2000, which govern the financial aspects of the provision of services funded by the Legal Services Commission in civil and family matters. A person who receives specified benefits is entitled to funded services. The Regulations make it clear that in assessing whether such a person is, or is any longer, financially eligible for particular services, the Legal Services Commission must be satisfied that the person is not only in receipt of the benefits but also entitled to them.
Extract from Explanatory Memorandum
8.3 The Department does not believe that LSC staff will become involved in assessing entitlement to benefits. The changes are designed to clarify the LSC’s entitlement to raise questions with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) regarding a legal aid applicant’s entitlement to benefits, in the event that allegations regarding that applicant’s entitlement to benefits are made. The changes will help ensure that resources saved on any improper or fraudulent claims can be used to assist the most vulnerable applicants. Some legal aid applicants have questioned the LSC’s ability to take up an applicant’s benefit entitlement with the DWP. While the LSC contends that it already has the power to do this, the changes are intended to provide certainty on this point. Tofacilitate closer working between the LSC and DWP a protocol is being agreed to improve the interface between the LSC and DWP, and to improve the efficiency of checks on legal aid and benefit entitlement.