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Justice for all, not just those who can pay
Legal aid is a vital lifeline
Many disabled people and others on low incomes who can’t afford lawyers are supported by legal aid advisers. Last year, thousands of disabled people were helped by legal aid advisers to overturn inaccurate benefits decisions that had left them struggling without the means to live.
The Government is trying to take it away
Yet the Government is trying to close the door of justice to those who can’t pay by taking away this lifeline for welfare benefits cases. If legal aid advice is removed, people with the highest level of need will be left to navigate their way through a system that requires nearly 9,000 pages of official guidance to get the support they rely on to lead their daily lives. Read our briefing for campaigners.
Peers back calls to keep Legal Aid for welfare benefit cases but will the changes survive a return to the Commons?
On 7 March 2012 Government reforms to Legal Aid suffered a severe setback as plans to remove welfare benefits from the scope of legal support were defeated in the House of Lords by 237 votes to 198.
Peers listened to our concerns and voted in support of a fairer legal system that ensures sick and disabled people will continue to have access to legal advice when they need it most. The Government has vowed to reverse these changes when the Legal Aid Bill returns to the Commons.
With your help we can ensure the Government doesn't succeed. In the coming days we'll be bringing you details of how you can support the next phase of the campaign. In the meantime on behalf of everyone involved in the campaign, thank you for helping us to persuade the Lords to save Legal Aid.
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Edwin Weston from Reading has neck and head injuries and has been diagnosed with arthritis, depression and other mental health problems. After he was incorrectly reported for benefit fraud, his benefit was halved. Find out how legal aid supported Edwin.
Rose Hartley from London has impaired mobility, speech and memory following a stroke. She was referred to the Islington Law Centre after her benefit was cut. Find out how legal aid supported Rose.
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