Dramatic fall in social security legal help cases
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Marc Bloomfield
On 15 January 2018, in a written reply to a question from Chris Ruance, the Labour MP for the Vale of Clwyd (HC Written Question 207160), legal aid minister Lucy Frazer QC MP outlined the dramatic fall in social security legal help (advice only) cases funded by legal aid over the past 10 years.
The figures show a steady decline for the five to years 2012/13, down from 135,751 matter starts to 82,554. In 2013/14, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) removed social security cases from scope apart from a few cases in the Upper Tribunal. Last year (2017/18), there were only 443 legal help cases and nine civil representation cases (see table).
Year
Legal help matter starts
Civil representation granted certificates
2008/09
135,751
51
2009/10
141,625
53
2010/11
116,081
23
2011/12
102,920
22
2012/13
82,554
16
2013/14
163
8
2014/15
505
6
2015/16
250
9
2016/17
442
10
2017/18
443
9
Frazer also confirmed that the post-legislative review of LASPO was ‘near completion’ and would be ‘published shortly’.

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