Welfare benefits – legal aid deserts

Our welfare system is meant to support and help those who are most at need. However, for those appealing welfare decisions legal aid and advice is rarely available, adding greater stress and turmoil to many already facing difficult circumstances.

We analysed data from the Legal Aid Agency directory of providers (October 2023) and the Office of National Statistics (2022) and found that in England and Wales:

  • 84.9% of the population do not have access to a welfare legal aid provider, leaving them unable to challenge or appeal decisions
  • of those with a welfare legal aid provider in their local authority, 10.6% of the population only had a single firm available

Click on your local authority to find out how many welfare legal aid providers there are:

View the full map or compare with 2022

Find out how the civil legal aid review might impact welfare cases

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