Disability Law Service

We are sharing this information to support members and in conjunction with the Disability Law Service (DLS).

Disability Law Service – (DLS)

Did you know that over half the people living in poverty in the UK are either disabled or living with a disabled person?  It is shocking, isn’t it?  And given the high costs of legal advice and the reduction in legal aid, disabled people find their ability to access justice and to receive their rights and entitlements is severely limited.

That is why Disability Law Service (DLS) is here: to provide free legal advice so that disabled people and their carers can have access to justice and to ensure that they receive that to which they are entitled.  We cover key areas of law that are important to our clients – as explained below.

We continue to provide a full service during the coronavirus crisis, although the team is working from home and we cannot have face to face meetings.  We understand and constantly monitor the changes in law that are rapidly occurring at the moment.  We are here to help so please be in touch.

Community Care

Community Care refers to the services provided by social services and the NHS to help adults, children and their carers with their care needs. This can include help at home, respite care, access to the community, travel assistance, residential care and adaptations to homes.

The law in community care is used to challenge decisions made by local authorities and NHS trusts. The common breaches of law include: removal or reductions in care packages, delays or refusals in assessments and incorrect or unfair charges for necessary services.

We have a legal aid contract for community care and can help those who are eligible, including case work and court appearances.

For those who are not eligible for legal aid we can provide a helpline advice service, although funding constraints mean that we cannot provide a casework service or representation.

If you are not sure if you are eligible for legal aid then please be in touch: we will help with this.

Employment

We can help with a range of issues – for those in work and trying to access equality of opportunity in the workplace; or for those who have left work through dismissal or resignation.  We can also help with reasonable adjustments that may be needed and with claims clients may have for discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

We are able to provide helpline advice to clients wherever located and casework and representation for clients based in London if we have capacity at the time to do so.

Housing

We have a Legal Aid Contract to provide help to people with housing related matters & disputes. We can help with advice & representation in Homelessness Reviews & Appeals, Unlawful Evictions & Harassment, Possessions, Disrepair (only where there is evidence to link Disrepair to harm to health /risk of harm to health), and defending Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO’s)”If you are eligible for legal aid, we can provide full representation, including at court.

For those who are not eligible for legal aid we can provide a helpline advice service, although funding constraints mean that we cannot provide a casework service or representation.

If you are not sure if you are eligible for legal aid then please be in touch: we will help with this.

During the Coronavirus outbreak, we will help all people who are homeless or are threatened with homelessness, regardless of whether they identify as a disabled person.

Welfare benefits

We provide advice by phone, email and in writing to individuals who have benefit enquiries about their entitlements, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals. This includes all benefits such as Employment & Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit and Attendance Allowance.

Our benefits advisor offers telephone advice only due to high demand. The helpline operates each Tuesday but you can email or leave a message at any time.

Get in Touch

We welcome enquiries by phone, email and post or via the contact forms on our website: www.dls.org.uk.

We are a busy service and you may need to leave a message if you phone. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 3-5 working days but it may take a little longer during the coronavirus outbreak.

The table below sets out how to get in touch by phone or email, depending on which area of the charity’s work you are calling about.

Area Phone: 0207 791 9800 Email address
Community Care Please choose Option 2 advice@dls.org.uk
Employment (Greater London Area) Please choose Option 3 employment@dls.org.uk
Employment (Other areas) Please choose Option 4 employment@dls.org.uk
Housing Please choose Option 6 housing@dls.org.uk
Welfare Benefits Please choose Option 5 benefits@dls.org.uk
If you have MS Please choose Option 1 msadvice@dls.org.uk
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