More South Africans will now be able to access legal assistance. Legal Aid South Africa has amended its Means Test, which assesses whether one can qualify for legal help.

Legal Aid SA provides legal services in criminal and civil matters and receives its funding from Parliament.

Previously, it only assisted people who earned up to R 5 500 per month, after tax. The applicant’s household income had to be less than R6000.

From now on, if you are applying for legal aid, your monthly earnings, after tax, must not exceed R7 400 and your household’s monthly income shouldn’t be more than R8 000.

The value of all your assets including houses, vehicles and furniture should also be less than R640 000.

Legal Aid SA says the amendment to the Means Test was necessary, due to the impact of inflation and the rising cost of living.