Access to Legal Aid widened: Changes to the strict time limit of Gateway Evidence
In 2013 the Government brought in new regulations which radically reduced the number of people who could access free legal advice.
The regulations meant Legal Aid was no longer available for those wanting advice about children and/or financial issues, unless they could evidence they were a victim of domestic abuse or children’s services were involved with the care of their children.
In cases of domestic abuse, a person could evidence the abuse a number of ways, including a Non-Molestation Order, letter from a GP/health professionals or letter from a refuge. Previously, the evidence, known as ‘Gateway Evidence,’ had to state that the person applying for Legal Aid had been subject to the abuse within the last 24 months.
Changes were introduced on 25th April 2016 which extends the timeframe of Gateway Evidence from 24 months to 60 months. The changes mean if you are able to evidence that you have been subject to domestic abuse in the last 5 years you may be eligible for free legal advice. Also, the changes now allow those who can evidence financial abuse to access free legal advice.
David Gray Solicitors are committed to legal aid work and we have a dedicated Customer Relationships Manager, Louise Law, who will help you identify if you are eligible for legal aid, Louise will also help you obtain the necessary Gateway Evidence.
Contact Louise in confidence on 0191 243 8163.