Welcome to the online home of the Disability Law Service


“NEWS FLASH: CORONAVIRUS ACT THREATENS CARE FOR DISABLED PEOPLE. PLEASE SEE OUR POSITION STATEMENT ON THIS DREADFUL PROSPECT. OUR STATEMENT IS BACKED BY PROFESSOR LUKE CLEMENTS.”
Please see our factsheet on how to deal with threatened cuts to care under the Coronavirus Act.A more detailed factsheet for helpline workers at other organisations is also available.

COVID 19 UPDATE: we are continuing to provide a full service but in line with government advice the team is working from home. Please contact us in the usual way. During these troubling times we are sure that many people will need our support. Please understand if it takes longer than usual to respond to you. Stay safe.

Government guidance on the coronavirus can be found at:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Please find our COVID 19 Housing Law Update here

Please find our COVID-19 benefits update here

A seminar on current employment law issues can be found here

A seminar on current benefits issues can be found here

A seminar on current housing law issues can be found here

We provide free legal advice on community care, employment, housing and welfare benefits to disabled people and their carers to ensure that they have access to their rights and justice.

PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OUR OFFICE IS CLOSED DUE TO COVID 19 THERE WILL BE NO FACE TO FACE MEETINGS AT THIS TIME.

We aim to respond to enquiries within 3-5 working days but there may be delays during the Covid 19 outbreak.

Please note that we are not able to advise on every area of disability law due to funding constraints. Please see the dropdown menus ‘Our Services’ at the top of the page to see if we can help you.

Who We Are

Disability Law Service is a unique charity that has been providing free legal advice and representation for disabled people since 1975.

What We Do

We provide a vital service to some 4,000 people each year, many of whom are in distress as a result of discrimination or improper care.

Why We’re Needed

People with disabilities find it increasingly difficult to access the law.

Our free legal service is vital.

How You Can Help

Whether by volunteering, donating, or by persuading your company that training by DLS is important, you can make a vital contribution to our work.

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Free Legal Advice Online

DLS provides free advice via information, factsheets, training courses and telephone and written advice in areas relevant to people with disabilities and their carers.

Free Legal Advice

Legal Training by DLS

DLS is able to provide bespoke legal training to corporates and charities at extremely competitive costs.

Training for Corporates

Training for Charities

Success Stories

Our service can have a life-changing beneficial impact. We are proud to have some wonderful success stories.

Success Stories

Our Patrons

Professor Luke Clements

Luke Clements, the Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice at Leeds University, is a distinguished academic and lawyer who brings his insights to inform our policy work and campaigns.
Read more about Luke here.

Rt. Hon. Sir Ed Davey MP

Sir Ed, whose distinguished parliamentary career began in 1997 and who has served on the cabinet as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is a keen champion of the rights of disabled people.
Read more about Sir Ed here.

Andrew Small

Paralympian 100 metre medallist, Andrew Small, is a proud patron of Disability Law Service.  Inspired by the 2012 London Paralympics, Andrew has found success after an incredibly short period of time and we are convinced that his support of our charity will be equally successful.
Read more about Andrew here.

Latest Developments

Priya reaches law competition final

A trainee solicitor at the Disability Law Service has beaten competition from all over the UK to be named as a finalist in a law competition.

Priya Bahri beat law students and trainees from all over the country to be named on the shortlist for National Accident Helpline’s Future Legal Mind Award.

The 31-year-old works to represent disabled adults, children and their carers in getting access to justice.

Priya said: “I am really happy to be named as a finalist for Future Legal Mind 2020.

“We are currently going through a time in life where our health is of paramount importance, where even the healthiest of people are at risk of becoming seriously ill. Unfortunately, some disabled people go through this same fear, isolation and pain every day of their lives.

“I hope to raise awareness of the importance of the law in this area, and what can be done to make positive change.”

Priya aspires to become a Community Care Solicitor, representing the legal rights of disabled people. She also hopes to do more work on policy, campaigning for laws which she feels are not working adequately to be changed.

To enter Future Legal Mind, law students and trainees were asked to write an essay about an area of the law which they would like to see changed for the better. In her essay, Priya focused on the challenges of social welfare law which she encounters in her day-to-day work.

For the final, shortlisted entrants have each recorded a video about why they believe they should be named the winner. To watch Priya’s video, visit www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/future-legal-mind.

The winner of Future Legal Mind will receive a £2,000 prize fund and will be mentored by experienced lawyers. Previous winners of the competition, which is in its sixth year, have gone on to become barristers and solicitors.

Tom Fitzgerald, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline, said: “Priya’s dedication to the area of law which she works in was clear to our judges, who were impressed by the points she made in her essay. We wish Priya good luck for the final.”

The winner of Future Legal Mind will be named in May.

Discrimination against autistic children survey results are in

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey for autistic children.

The results show that 94% of autistic children have been refused an assessment by their Local Authority Children with Disabilities team. Additionally, 80% of those children were not referred for an alternative assessment. 97% of families agreed with us that policies need to change so that autistic children are not excluded from an assessment.

Our survey shows that the social care system is failing children who are on the autistic spectrum. The failure of providing an assessment is having a detrimental effect on their health & well-being.

Policies need to change so that autistic children have the right level of support to manage their individual needs.

End Prejudice Against Renters on Benefits

The housing charity, Shelter, working in partnership with the National Housing Federation, has discovered open discrimination against people on benefits is taking place across the country.

A recent survey found that of almost 4,000 private renters, almost a third of people on housing benefit had been unable to rent a home due to a ban on individuals receiving this benefit.

The ban is sometimes imposed by estate agents, who advise their landlord clients not to accept those in receipt of housing benefit.  Sometimes landlords alone operate the policy.

Their actions amount to discrimination against disabled people (as they are more likely to receive housing benefit) as well as women (95% of single parents receiving housing benefit are women).

If, like us, you find this unacceptable, then please support Shelter’s campaign.

In particular, if you have been the subject of this kind of discrimination, please send details to info@shelter.org.uk.  Shelter may be able to bring a claim on your behalf at no cost to you.

If you are looking for work, try Evenbreak, a website devoted to finding employment for disabled people.

Link that takes you to Evenbreak website

Turn2us is a national charity helping people who are struggling financially. They provide direct and practical support through their Benefits Calculator, Grants Search and online information pages.