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Benefits and money advice

Legal advice

If you’re facing a serious problem and can't afford legal advice or support in court, you might be able to get free help

Image: Legal advice

Am I allowed free legal advice?

If you live in England or Wales, you might be able to get free, confidential and independent advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA). This advice is funded by legal aid and their specially trained advisors can help you with legal problems such as:

  • Debt, if your home is at risk
  • Housing problems, if you’re homeless or at risk of being evicted
  • Domestic abuse
  • Separating from an abusive partner, when you’re making arrangements for children or sorting out money and property
  • A child being taken into care
  • Special education needs
  • Discrimination
  • Some child abduction cases

Legal aid is means-tested. This means your income and savings need to be below a certain amount for you to qualify. You can check if you can get legal aid on the government’s website.

If your case requires more active representation then CLA are likely to refer you for face to face advice with a local solicitor, Citizens Advice or Law Centre who specialise in your issue. If this becomes necessary your legal advice will only remain funded by legal aid if:

  • The legal issue you have is covered by legal aid funding
  • You are financially eligible

If either of the above does not apply then you will need to pay for your legal advice.

Please note you can approach a local solicitor, Citizens Advice or Law Centre directly to be assessed for eligibility for legal aid without first contacting CLA if your case concerns issues regarding eviction from your home, homelessness, or the condition of your property.

Can I get face to face legal advice?

If your case is serious, Civil Legal Advice (CLA) might refer you for face to face advice with a local solicitor, Citizens Advice or a Law Centre. Whether this is still funded by legal aid or not will depend on the case type and your financial circumstances.

Please note, if you're homeless or facing eviction, you can choose whether to get legal advice from the CLA or go straight to a local solicitor, Citizens Advice or Law Centre for face to face help. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re eligible for legal aid.

I live in Scotland. Am I allowed free legal advice?

Unfortunately, this free legal advice service isn’t available if you live in Scotland as legal aid works a little differently there. You can find out more about legal aid on the Scottish government’s website.

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