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LEGAL AID

Many people believe that Legal Aid has been removed for Private Law contact disputes in the Family Court. That is NOT the case.

Legal Aid is available for those who meet the following tests

  1. Merit - does the Legal Aid agency believe that what you are seeking is reasonable and has a chance of success
  2. Means - do you have proof that you have income and assets BELOW the threshold levels. As a rough calculator you must meet ALL of the following criteria - Gross Income LESS than £2657 per month, Disposable Income LESS than £733 per month, Savings / assets worth less than £8,000.
  3. Evidence of DV - there is a list of items accepted as evidence. Do NOT assume that you either meet or fail to meet the criteria until you hve checked that in detail

The evidence pathway we normally signpost individuals to is Regulation 33.2 (L) of the Civil Legal Aid Procedures Regulations (2012) as amended by the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure)(Amendment) Regulations 2016


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WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO ATTEND ONE OF OUR SUPPORT MEETINGS ACROSS WALES TO DISCUSS YOUR SITUATION WITH ONE OF OUR VOLUNTEER SOLICITORS. ALL OF OUR MEETINGS ARE REGISTERED WITH THE LAW SOCIETY'S CHARITY LAW WORKS CYMRU AS FREE LEGAL ADVICE CLINICS. 

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HOW DO I GET THE EVIDENCE?

Make an appointment to see your GP or other qualified medical professional. Nurses are authorised to sign BUT ask your GP because in most cases more junior staff will refer you to the GP anyway.

ALL YOU NEED IS A REFERRAL FROM A MEDICAL PRACTITIONER TO A SPECIALIST DV SUPPORT SERVICE. They do NOT need to confirm that you have any injuries or a condition caused by domestic violence and abuse.

Some GP surgeries may state that 'they dont do this anymore'. Some will state that they cant give you a diagnosis that you are a victim of abuse. We suggest that you are polite but clear about what you are seeking which is simply for your GP to REFER you to a DV support service for help and support. If your GP continues to refuse to help please ask them if they can refer you to another medical practitioner who would be prepared to simply refer you for help and support. 

Some GP surgeries charge for producing the referral letter/s. You may be interested in this article from the Guardian newspaper dated Sunday 5th February 2017 about charges

****[INSERT LINK TO GUARDIAN ARTICLE]****

THE REFERRAL PATHWAY

  1. Download and complete the template letter below asking your GP for help. This explains what you want from your doctor

Your letter asking GP for help

2.Download and take along to your GP the letter below which they can use to refer you to a specialist DV support service - Men's Aid. It would also help to show the GP and their administration staff where they can download this letter from our website. 

**********IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE***********

Do NOT allow the GP to refer you to any DV support services other than Men's Aid, Mankind Initiative or ourselves. This is because many if not all services for victims of DV 'screen' male callers ONLY to determine whether in their view you are genuine. This can lead to these services reporting you to Police, Children's Services or Women's Aid organisations without your knowledge or consent.

 Template referral letter to FNF BPM Cymru for use by GP

note for medical staff - when sending the referral letter by post please add f/a/o Legal Aid Dept. to the address on the envelope

FOR REFERRALS IN ENGLAND PLEASE USE THIS TEMPLATE INSTEAD

Take the template to your GP so they can see what is needed. Also signpost them to the link on this page so they can save time and effort by downloading the Word file directly.

3. GP produces the 'Evidence' Letter 

Template to be completed by GP or Medical Practioner - 'the Eligibility evidence'

The letter from your GP should be addressed to YOU, and name YOU as the applicant. 

  • IT MUST BE ON SURGERY HEADED PAPER
  • IT MUST CONTAIN THE GP's GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL REGISTRATION NUMBER
  • IT MUST BE EXACTLY IN THE FORMAT SET OUT IN THE TEMPLATE WITH NO ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS

 

 

Once you have the completed template letter FROM your GP you can approach a solicitor to ask whether they are prepared to accept you as a client for Legal Aid purposes.

We strongly recommend that you attend one of our support meetings where we can discuss the issue of eligibility for Legal Aid with you.

We are piloting a new service to liaise directly on your behalf with qualified medical practitioners to obtain the evidence you need to be able to access Legal Aid. More news on this will be shared as soon as that is available. 


Read more about: Legal Aid

Any queries? Click here to contact us

 

Help and support for separated families
Branch website system developed for Families Need Fathers Both Parents Matter Cymru by Ideas Into Reality