The passporting benefit known as Universal Credit is now to be rolled out to jobcentres and local authority areas across all of England and Wales.
Details of the timetable for roll-out can be found on the GOV.UK website – see below.
It is important for providers in the areas affected to know because it affects the 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.
Universal Credit national expansion – see timetable for roll-out
Civil legal aid: means testing – download guidance document
Criminal legal aid: means testing – download guidance document