The Solicitors’ Charity (SBA) is an independent charity working for solicitors both past and present, and their families for over 160 years. It provides financial assistance to those who are in serious financial need as a result of illness, accident, redundancy or other adversity. RollOnFriday director Matthew Rhodes is one of 13 trustees at the charity.
The charity recently announced a new COVID-19 Support Hub on its website and a new £1,000,000 Personal Hardship Fund designed to support solicitors who find themselves experiencing serious personal financial difficulty, following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The first applications are already being processed and solicitors can apply for help from the fund by visiting the COVID-19 Support Hub and completing the application form online ensuring they meet the eligibility criteria.
Full details on eligibility are available on the COVID-19 Support Hub. However, included in the reasons why solicitors may be able to apply for Personal Hardship Fund support are;
- 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 with no source of income 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 Solicitors’ 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 as many solicitors as it can. 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.
“We’re delighted to announce both that the fund is now open for applications and that solicitors have immediately begun applying. We hope this will provide some relief and reduce some of the stress and worry that many in the profession are currently experiencing.”
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 no more than £2,500 in accessible household savings. 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.
For any organisation wishing to donate to the Personal Hardship Fund or transfer an unclaimed balance complete with indemnity, click here.