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  • “The SBA confirms my professional standing as a lawyer

The Solicitors’ Charity announces new £1,000,000 Personal Hardship Fund for solicitors affected by COVID-19

The Solicitors’ Charity (SBA) has announced it will soon be accepting applications to a £1,000,000 Personal Hardship Fund designed to support solicitors who find themselves in serious financial difficulty, following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The announcement of the new Fund follows the launch of the charity’s online COVID-19 Support Hub last week. Together, these initiatives by the charity focus specifically on supporting all solicitors in times of need or crisis. They aim to alleviate and reduce some of the stress and worry that many in the legal profession are currently experiencing.

Once applications open, solicitors will be able to apply for Personal Hardship Fund support for reasons including;

  • Being placed on SSP due to self-isolation
  • If their employment status has been changed (and they are not supported by the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)
  • If a person is self-employed, unable to practise and ineligible for Government help or can’t manage during the delay in the help getting to them.

Nick Gallagher, CEO of The Solicitors’ Charity said: “The Solicitor’s Charity has been helping solicitors for 160 years and in 2019 we awarded over £986,000 to solicitors in need. The situation many currently find themselves in is unexpected, stressful and many will be feeling that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, so it’s imperative the charity provides as much help as possible for those in need. The creation of this extra fund, initially of £1,000,000, could provide a financial cushion and peace of mind vital to so many at this time.”

The Personal Hardship Fund requires applicants to be on or have been on, the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales. It also focuses strongly on getting money to those most in need, and so requires applicants to have accessible savings within their household of less than £2,500. It is also expected that applicants will have taken advantage of available help such as mortgage payment holidays and will have started the process of applying for any applicable welfare benefits.

The Fund has been announced alongside the launch of the charity’s online COVID-19 Support Hub which provides useful information, support and links to help individuals.

Nick said of the Support Hub launch: “There are so many different sources of information and support available at the moment both from the Government and third parties, we wanted to make it easy for solicitors to find the help most appropriate to their situation, in one place.”

For more information on the Personal Hardship Fund, including eligibility and to see when applications to the fund have opened, please visit The Solicitors’ Charity COVID-19 Support Hub www.sba.org.uk/covid-19.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • SBA The Solicitors’ Charity is an independent charity working for solicitors both past and present and their families.
  • It financially assists solicitors and their families who are in serious financial need as a result of illness, accident, redundancy or other adversity.
  • It determines ‘serious financial need’ by using research produced by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s ‘Minimum Income Standard’.
  • Formerly known as The Solicitors Benevolent Association, it has been working at the heart of the legal profession for over 160 years.
  • SBA The Solicitors’ Charity has 13 trustees whose personal profiles can be found here

For more information:
Website: www.sba.org.uk

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