Tenants on benefits will get more help when paying court fees during evictions and claiming Rent Repayment Orders after the government expanded its Help with Fees scheme.
The income and capital eligibility thresholds are now being raised significantly for applicants who need to be on a low income or on Income Support, Universal Credit or Pension Credit.
The scheme is also being simplified, making it easier for people to use, including allowing their legal representatives to complete applications.
Changes to income thresholds will vary depending on different families and their circumstances, including the age of any children. For example, for a couple with two children under 14, the monthly income threshold would increase from £1,875 per month to £2,980.
Extra financial support will be given to parents with a child aged 14 or over, considering the greater cost associated with looking after older children.
The reformed scheme will come into force later this year when it will be easier for the self-employed and those who work variable shift patterns to qualify.
The scheme’s age cap will also be raised from 61 to the state pension age of 66.
Justice Minister Mike Freer (pictured) 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.”
Earlier this year more than six million more people were made eligible for legal aid advice and representation under a major government investment.