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Tenants on benefits get more public funds to help with court fees

Tenants claiming benefits are likely to get more assistance with court fees under a revised grant scheme starting this winter.

The Help with Fees scheme provides those on low income and little to no savings with financial help towards the cost of fees.

A statement from the Ministry of Justice says: “The scheme offers essential support to vulnerable individuals and comes at a crucial time following recent, but now reducing, inflation. The income and capital eligibility thresholds are being raised significantly, potentially supporting thousands more people and ensuring justice is never unaffordable.”


The scheme is also being simplified, including allowing legal representatives to complete applications.

Justice Minister Mike Freer says: “No matter what someone’s finances, it is vital they can get the justice they deserve which is why we are making it easier for more people to get help with court fees.

“The Help with Fees scheme has already helped tens of thousands of people pay court fees since we created it in 2013 and our reforms will make it more generous for those who need it most.”

The changes to income thresholds will vary depending on different families and their circumstances, including the age of any children.

The government says it will also change how the scheme is targeted to make sure the most financially vulnerable are better supported by allowing more flexibility for individuals with money in savings and investments by increasing the minimum capital threshold for the scheme.  

This will allow applicants to have more capital before they become ineligible for the scheme.

There will also be more flexibility for the self employed whose income varies month to month. 

The reforms follow a public consultation earlier this year which found the majority of respondents were very supportive of the government’s plans to expand and improve the scheme. The reformed scheme will come into force later this year.

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