Qualifying for Legal Aid

Do all mental health patients get free legal advice or can you have too much money to qualify?

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As far as Hospital Managers hearings are concerned it seems to depend on whether there is a Tribunal hearing at a future date. In these circumstances it seems that the solicitor is not charging for the Managers hearing. I hope I am correct about this. I am sure that I will be corrected if my understanding is erroneous.

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In Scotland all Patients and Named Persons are eligible for Legal Aid, without means-testing, for advice & representation at first tier mental health tribunals (ie lower chamber). This does not extend to appeals to higher courts (ie upper chamber) - then means-testing applies.

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The gist of it is that Mental Health Tribunal and s21A (DOLS) appeal cases are not means tested, but everything else is. The detail is on the Means testing page.

That’s pretty much it. You would bill a hospital managers’ hearing on an existing tribunal file, though it’s likely to be unpaid in the sense of not being enough work to make the case “escape” out of the fixed fee system. If there is no tribunal in the relevant period then the managers’ hearing could have its own file, but it would be means tested.

This sounds very much like in England & Wales. I’d like to have more information about Scotland on the website. What little there is can be found here: Mental health law in Scotland.