Disability Law Service Community Care And Housing Advice Line

Note: this service is NOT for use for employment or welfare benefits queries, nor for those with MS.  Please see our drop-down menu at the top right of the page and select the option appropriate for you if you wish to enquire about employment, welfare benefits or if you have MS.

This page explains our helpline service and our legal aid service.


 The Disability Law Service Community Care and Housing Advice Line is provided for those who are not eligible for legal aid.  If you are eligible for legal aid, please do not call our advice line.  If you do contact our helpline and it appears you are eligible for legal aid, you will be asked to end the call and follow the steps outlined below under the heading LEGAL AID SERVICE.

Opening Hours

The helpline will be open for 3 ½ hours each working day from 2pm to 5.30pm.  Mondays and Wednesdays will be for community care, Tuesdays and Thursdays will be for housing, Fridays will cover housing and community care.

Using the Helpline

If you are not eligible for legal aid please follow the following steps:

  • Please call 020 7791 9809 during helpline opening hours and, as no calls will be answered, please leave a message. If your impairment means you cannot use the phone, please send an email during helpline opening hours to helpline@dls.org.uk stating clearly that you need an adjustment requiring use of email.  If you do not include such a statement your email will not be read.
  • At the start of your message please state if your issue relates to community care, housing or both.
  • Please then leave a brief message explaining your issue. Please be as brief as possible.
  • Please note that it will not be possible to leave a message or send an email outside helpline opening hours. If you do send an email or leave a message outside of opening hours we do not have capacity to read or listen to such messages.

Calls and emails will be dealt with in the order in which they are received.  This will be done during the opening hours of the helpline.  If you do not receive a call back or email on the day that you contacted us, you will need to contact us again.  This is because we do not have the resources to deal with all enquiries we receive each day.


 You need to consider if you are eligible for legal aid.

To be eligible for legal aid your matter must come within legal aid scope and you must be financially eligible.

Legal Aid Scope

 The following are within legal aid scope:

Community Care:

  • Requesting, Reviewing & Challenging Care & Support Assessments for Adult Users and Carers
  • Challenging Personal Budgets & requesting Direct Payments
  • Challenging ‘Disabled Facilities Grants’ decisions
  • ‘Safeguarding’ Investigations
  • Securing Leaving Care Services for ‘Looked After Children’
  • ‘Child in Need’ Assessment including disabled children
  • Requesting aftercare services following sectioning under Mental Health Act 1983
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards


  • Homelessness assistance for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
  • “Possessions” and “Eviction” proceedings whether with Local Authorities, Housing Associations/Trusts or private landlords.
  • Unlawful eviction and landlord harassment.
  • Disrepair matters (we are able to assist if there is documentary evidence confirming the harm or risk of harm to a client’s health resulting from the disrepair)
  • Injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (in the context of housing).
  • Anti-social Behaviour (ASBOs).

Financial  Eligibility

 Please consider the questions below to see if you pass financial eligibility requirements.

Legal Help Scheme (Pre-Court work)

  1. Do you and/or your partner have disposal capital above £8000? Capital includes savings, investments, valuable items and other capital)

Yes – You are not eligible for free legal help and advice (note, however, that If you own a home with equity less than £100k, you may be eligible for legal help and advice.  If this applies to you please call us on the number below.

No – continue

  1. Are you in receipt of a passported benefit (Income Support, • Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance, • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, • Guarantee Credit or • Universal Credit)?

Yes – You are eligible for free legal help and advice

No – continue

  1. Do you and your partner have a monthly gross income below £2657?

Yes – continue

No – You are not eligible for free legal help and advice

  1. Do you and your partner have monthly disposal income exceeding £733? In order to work this out follow the instructions below.

Monthly Gross Income less the following:

Partner                                                             £185.54

Children aged 15 or under                                 £298.08

Children aged 16 or over                                   £298.08

Employment Expenses                                      £45

Housing Costs (not inc. Housing Benefit)

Childcare costs

Child maintenance payments

Tax & National Insurance

Yes, my/our monthly disposal income does not exceed £733

You are eligible for free legal help

No, my/our monthly disposal income does exceed £733 –

You are not eligible for free help and advice.


Full legal aid under a Public Funded Certificate (Court work)

The above calculations also applies to eligibility for publicly funded work under a legal aid certificate. However, contributions may be payable as a condition of the grant of funding.

If you are eligible for legal aid, please call: 020 7791 9820 and leave a message – we will get back to you as soon as possible.  Alternatively you can email details to legalaid@dls.org.uk.

At the start of your message please state that to the best of your knowledge you are eligible for legal aid.  Please keep the message outlining your issues as brief as possible.

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