Urgent Appeal for Advicenow
Law for Life are the leading provider of public legal information and education in the UK that aims to tackle social injustice through the legal empowerment of individuals and communities.
Their legal help website, Advicenow, provides vital support to people across England and Wales. We receive 1,250,000 visits and more than 1.9 million page views. Demand has increased by 20% in the last year alone. 34% of Advicenow users identify as disabled, 51% are from low-income households. 28% are helping someone else - these include volunteers, advisers or friends and family.
For over a decade, Law for Life has received funding, either directly or indirectly, from the Ministry of Justice to maintain Advicenow. A recent decision has turned down our request for core funding completely with only a month to find other solutions.
Why it matters
Often people come to Advicenow when they have nowhere else to turn – when they cannot access free advice or representation and cannot afford a solicitor. Our service users comes to us for help with benefits problems, eviction and other housing difficulties, complex family law problems, and help to deal with things like broken contracts and personal injury.
Our legal guides and tools help with disability benefit appeals providing step-by-step help and our personalised digital legal support tools write the letter to the DWP for you, setting out why the decision they made is wrong. Research soon to be published shows that claimants who use our tool to challenge their PIP decision or DLA decision are more than twice as likely to get the decision changed at this stage than those who don't, saving them from waiting another 6 months for the appeal hearing. ‘God-send’, ‘Can’t thank you enough’ and ‘Without your help, I would never have managed' frequently appear in the reviews our users leave .
Our resources are also very important in the ‘access to justice eco-system’ as volunteers, advisers, MPs caseworkers, pro bono lawyers, social workers, community workers and more use them to support their work with clients. Our resources are also linked to from sites as diverse as GOV.UK, Gingerbread, Scope, CAFCASS, Benefits and Work, MoneySavingExpert, and Mumsnet.