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ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE ELIGIBILITY ESTIMATOR - helps you work out if you are likely to qualify financially for advice and assistance in a civil, criminal or children's case.


At each step you MUST read the information in the 'i' buttons.

Step 1

What type of case do you want to get help with?

Types of cases are

 

Children’s

Which pays for a solicitor to give advice about going to a children’s hearing or speak for a child in an appeal to a civil court.

Criminal

Pays for a solicitor to help if you are in trouble with the police and are going to appear before a criminal court

Civil

Pays for a solicitor to help you in a civil court with non-criminal matters - things like divorce or adoption or getting compensation after an accident.


Step 2

About your household situation

Tell us about your situation and any dependants living with you - this is a child or person(s) who has (have) no income of their own.

Partner

You should include your partner or spouse in these steps even if you don’t always live in the same household. For example your partner may work away or be in prison.  

You do not have to include your partner or spouse if the application is against them or you consider the relationship to be over.

Number of dependent adults and/or children

You should only declare children who are wholly dependant on you full time. 

We may consider making an allowance when we receive your application, for children in your care part of the time or adult children who have some income of their own but for this calculation you should not include them.


Step 3

Do you qualify based on income?

 

Please tick the box if you receive any of the benefits listed below.

If you receive these benefits, you qualify automatically on income. 

Now please complete Step 4 to check if you qualify on capital.

Benefits

If you or your partner receive:

  • Income support, or
  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance or
  • Income-related employment and support allowance

You qualify for advice and assistance on income - but you need to see if you qualify on capital.




 

If you DON'T receive any of the benefits above

If you don't receive these benefits, please give us information below about your weekly income - this is the total income you and your partner receive in a week.

For example, enter your pay less tax and National Insurance contributions if you are employed plus any other income such as interest on savings. Please enter 0 if you do not receive an income or make maintenance payments.

Depending on your income, you may have to pay a contribution.

 

Your net weekly income

We calculate your income on what you and your spouse or partner, if you have one, have received in the 7 days before been granted Legal Advice and Assistance by your solicitor.  

You must include (rounded up or down to the nearest pound):
•    Earnings after Income tax and National insurance deductions
•    Drawings or profits from business
•    State benefits
•    Maintenance payments you receive from either an individual or through the Child Maintenance Service
•    Tax credits
•    Statutory sick pay or maternity pay
•    Pension payments
•    Student grants
•    Regular financial support from friends and family
•    Income from savings and investments
•    Dividends from shares
•    Income from any other source

If your income is paid monthly multiply the amounts by 12 to calculate the annual figure then divide by 52 to calculate a weekly figure.

If your income is paid 4 weekly multiply the amounts by 13 to calculate the annual figure then divide by 52 to calculate a weekly figure.

Maintenance payments

If you pay maintenance, work out what you pay weekly. Do not include any Child Support Agency payments.

Your allowances

This is calculated from the number of dependants in section 2.


The amount of weekly disposable income will be calculated and shown once you press "calculate" in step 5 below



Step 4

Do you qualify based on capital?

We calculate your capital and that of your spouse or partner as at the date of your application.

We may take into consideration any capital disposed of when you were likely to be aware of your involvement in litigation, if we don’t consider the reasons given justified.

If you think this may be a situation that applies to you, you can contact our Financial Assessment Unit on 0845 123 2330 to check if you should include the capital in this calculation.

Add up all your capital and that of your partner (unless we do not have to consider their resources - see the help information for step 2). The calculator will work out your allowances using what you told us at step 2 above.

(If you are a pensioner, you may qualify even if your capital is more than £1,716 – speak to your solicitor about this.)

Total capital

By capital we mean money and anything else of value you and your spouse or partner (if you have one) own.

Examples of capital include;

  • The value of any interest in land and buildings owned after the deduction of any loans secured on them, including interests in timeshares. We do not include the home you live in.
  • Money in the bank, building society, Post Office, credit union, premium bonds etc.
  • Investments, stocks and shares
  • Cash-in values of any policies
  • Money owed to you or your spouse or partner
  •  Money due from the will of someone who has died
  • Money due from a trust fund
  • Money available from your or your spouse’s or partner’s business or which could be borrowed against the business assets.
  • The value of any valuable possessions such as a boat, caravan, jewellery (but not wedding or engagement rings) or items bought for investment purposes

Capital not to be included;

  • The house which you live in
  • Tools and equipment you need for work
  • The value of any property or item you have an interest in which is being sought by the opponent in the action for which your civil application relates to will be disregarded for assessment purposes.  However, we will only disregard the amount/share they are putting at issue. For example if you own 50% of a house or some savings and the opponent is asking for it to be split 60/40 in their favour only 10% of your share would be disregarded for assessment purposes.


Step 5

Are you likely to qualify?

Press the calculate button to see if you are likely to qualify for advice and assistance, and information on any contribution you may have to pay.

Some final points to be aware of:

Remember that this estimator is only a guide as to whether you are likely to qualify financially for Legal Advice and Assistance and how much, if anything, you may be asked to pay as a contribution from your disposable income. Your solicitor will go through these figures with you if you go ahead with your application, and will be able to tell you if you are eligible. You can also call our Financial Assessment Unit on 0845 123 2330.

If you decide to apply for Legal Advice and Assistance, you will need to take proof (for example payslips, benefit letters, bank statements etc.) of your income and capital with you to your first appointment with your solicitor as they are required by law to satisfy themselves that you are financially eligible. Where you have a spouse or a partner you must also take proof of their income and capital as their resources may require to be taken into account when assessing your financial eligibility to receive legal advice and assistance.

At the end of your action, if you are successful in receiving or keeping an award of money or property, you may be asked to make further payment to cover the cost of your solicitor’s account from that money or property.

 

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