Civil news: inquest legal help means testing rules change – GOV.UK

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Bereaved families at inquests can apply to be excepted from the legal help means test using form CW1 INQ after a rule change on 4 September 2023.
Candles glowing against a dark setting.
Family members can now use form CW1 INQ for legal help in relation to an inquest without having to go through a means assessment first.
The rules change takes effect on 4 September 2023. Any applications for representation at an inquest made on form CW1 INQ will be considered by the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) team.
The ECF team will decide whether or not a means test is required based on the evidence available. They will consider whether any application under section10(2) or (4) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 would be reasonably likely to succeed.
There is no requirement that an application for ECF advocacy is submitted.
Families may continue to apply for means tested legal help in relation to inquests in the usual way.
This new provision replaces the waiver of financial thresholds, which is no longer in force.
We know that there may be applications for a waiver that are already in progress on 4 September. These will be treated as an application to be excepted from the means test under the new provision.
The new CW1 INQ application form is now available on the ECF legal aid pages on GOV.UK.
*Lord Chancellor’s Exceptional Funding Guidance (inquests) *provider information pack (inquests), which has also been expanded to explain more about inquest funding and the process – mailbox to submit CW1 INQ form
Legal aid: exceptional case funding form and guidance – for CW1 INQ form and guidance
Criminal and Civil Legal Aid (Amendment) Regulations 2023 – means test statutory instrument
Civil legal aid: means testing – for amended Lord Chancellor’s guidance on determining financial eligibility for controlled work and family mediation
Means Test Review consultation response – includes impact assessments and equalities statement
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