Changes to Gateway Evidence for Legal Aid
The gateway evidence for legal aid has changed. Gateway evidence is the term for the documentary evidence that must be produced to demonstrate that you are eligible for legal aid subject to a financial assessment. So, for legal aid now you must be on a low income, but also able to produce documentary evidence that you have been the subject of domestic abuse, or a child has been the subject of abuse.
Our previous blog of April 2013 set out the documentary evidence that is required by the Legal Aid Agency.
When the changes were brought in under the Legal Aid and Sentencing of Offenders Act 2013 the gateway evidence for domestic abuse had to be dated within the last 24 months or 2 years.
In November 2016, after various women’s groups lobbied the Government about how restrictive the requirements were, it was announced that evidence documenting domestic abuse could be dated within the last 60 months or 5 years. Previously the evidence had to be dated within the last 24 months or 2 years.
It is understood that the Government continue to be asked to review the documentary evidence required to support legal aid – which is very strictly interpreted by the Legal Aid Agency – so watch this space!