The new passporting benefit called Universal Credit is on track for roll-out across the north west of England by the end of December 2014.
Details of the local authority areas where the benefit is being introduced are now available in the guidance document ‘Universal Credit and Legal Aid Means Testing’. This can be found on the legal aid means testing pages.
It’s important for providers in the areas affected to know because it affects your assessment of a client’s eligibility for legal aid.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit simplifies the benefits system by bringing together a range of working-age benefits into a single, streamlined payment.
The roll-out of Universal Credit began in April 2013 and has been introduced into specific geographical areas over time.
How does Universal Credit affect legal aid means testing?
Universal Credit has been added to the list of legal aid passporting benefits.
Summary guidance on how this affects your handling of civil and criminal cases is available in the ‘Universal Credit and Legal Aid Means Testing’ guidance document – see below.
GOV.UK – to download guidance document:
Civil legal aid: means testing
Criminal legal aid: means testing