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  • “The SBA confirms my professional standing as a lawyer

  • “No one should feel their life is in such a state that they can’t ask for help”

  • “You know that there are people there to support you and that you are not alone”

  • “I was not yet suicidal but I was close to breaking point

We help current and former colleagues and their families when they face serious financial hardship. We typically support those who do not have the resources to pay for the normal things in life which most people take for granted.

Who do we help?

We can consider help if:

  • You are a solicitor (current or former) on the Roll for England & Wales
  • You are (or have been) financially dependent on a current or former solicitor
  • Your total household income is below the level indicated by the relevant ‘Minimum Income Standard’ calculation
  • You do not have access to liquid assets of more than £10,000

We are best placed to help where individuals and families are dealing with:

  • Long-term health issues or short-term incapacity due to illness, accident or injury
  • Work-related issues, such as redundancy, stress burn-out, anxiety and bullying
  • Bereavement
  • Issues managing personal debt
  • Challenges coping in older age
  • Domestic violence
  • Family breakdown and separation
  • Addictions, such as drugs, alcohol and gambling

SBA’s support can help transform lives. Read other people’s stories to see what a difference SBA can make.

 

Supporting families

How do we help?

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Low or no income from work

SBA’s support depends upon a number of factors. If your income is low because you are out of work or on shorter hours, we want to maximise your chances of sustaining yourself in the long-term.

Provided your total household income is under the relevant ‘Minimum Income Standard’ calculation, we can refer you to a service geared around practical career transition support, delivered by employment specialists, Renovo.

The Renovo programme lasts for three months and it offers holistic career, job search and wellbeing support. The service is portal-based, backed up with one-to-one skype and telephone coaching.

Individuals referred to Renovo can also have access to modest financial support from SBA while they are on the programme, to help focus on jobsearch and alleviate some of the day-to-day money worries.

Advice on personal debt

Debt is a very difficult subject for solicitors. There are times when overwhelming debt needs serious measures. SBA can refer you for confidential advice on managing personal debts, provided by telephone or email by experienced personnel at Manchester CAB.

Sometimes SBA can take care of certain priority debts (eg Council Tax arrears), if clearing them once will bring household finances back on to a permanently even keel. We will not clear this type of debt twice.  To be eligible for this service, your income still needs to be below the relevant MIS calculation.

Advice on welfare benefits

We want to make sure that applicants to SBA have applied for all the statutory benefits to which they are entitled.  This can be a difficult maze to navigate, which is why we refer individuals for confidential advice on welfare benefits.  This service is also provided by experts at Manchester CAB.  Talk to one of our caseworkers to find out more.

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If you are not able to work…

..due to your age, illness, disability or accident and your income is under the relevant MIS calculation, we can provide financial support, either with an outright grant or interest-free loan (secured). Awards are designed to help bring your income up to a level that is adjudged to be socially acceptable by members of the public.

Depending on your circumstances, our awards can be made over varying periods and they are usually subject to annual review.

We also help with exceptional costs relating to health & wellbeing. This includes nursing and residential care fees as well as aids and adaptations in the home.

Can we help you?

You can check for yourself if you are likely to be eligible for help from SBA by using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ calculator. This tool is anonymous and free to use. Make sure you select the option on where you live (eg, inner London, outer London, not London) to refine your results.

If you would like to find out if we can help you, please call 020 8675 6440 for an informal and confidential chat with our casework team. You are welcome to email us too, on bensec@sba.org.uk.

You can either download our application form to print and complete at your leisure, or you can submit an application online.  To learn more about our approach to Data Protection, please click here.

SBA has certain exclusions in place on who and how it can help. Please look at these carefully before applying. To view the application process, click on the link below:

What to expect when applying for support (PDF)

To see how SBA helps change lives, have a look at some of our beneficiaries’ stories.

Beneficiaries’ Stories

 

 

Exclusions

We regret SBA cannot help if:

  • Your total household income exceeds the Minimum Income Standard for your family type and location
  • You have more than £10,000 in liquid savings
  • You are an unqualified law student or trainee
  • You have been struck off the Roll for dishonesty (although it may be possible to consider the needs of your dependants)

We do not consider help for:

  • Costs associated with running your business (eg practice certificates or indemnity insurance)
  • Business or partnership debts
  • Debts owing to family members or friends
  • Legal fees
  • Independent school fees
  • Private medical treatment
  • Repayment of student loans or costs of professional qualification.