Families at inquest no longer means-tested for exceptional-case legal aid

From 12 January 2022, bereaved families at inquests can apply for legal representation through exceptional case funding (ECF) without means testing.
The changes mean that:
  • new and pending applications for ECF inquest funding no longer require means assessments
  • existing ECF inquest certificates will not require further contributions
  • legal help related to the ECF inquest application – and not already in place – will no longer require a means assessment

The changes are made through the Civil legal aid (financial resources and payment for services) (amendment) regulations 2021.

There is no change to means testing for standalone legal help. However, the legal help waiver provision also remains in place. This allows for advice and assistance in the early stages of the inquest process. 

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