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Advice and assistance calculator

This online calculator will let you work out if you are likely to qualify financially for advice and assistance in a civil, criminal or children's case. If you are unsure of what to include at any question, please press the help "i" information buttons.

Step 1

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

Types of cases are



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.


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


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.


By “partner”, we mean someone you normally live with as a couple, whether you are:

  • Married or not
  • Of the same or different sex.

If you have a partner, you must include their resources in the total figures, unless:

  • You are living apart
  • They are part of your legal problem or would be the opponent in your case
  • It would be unreasonable or too difficult to do so – if so, you should speak to your solicitor.

You are entitled to an allowance of £40.85 for your partner.

Number of dependent adults and/or children

You are entitled to an allowance for each dependant. By a dependant, we mean a child, or a person living with you who has no income of their own.
You are entitled to an allowance for each child or other dependant (other than your partner) of £65.62.

Step 3

Tell us about your weekly income

Please tick the box if you receive any of the benefits listed below - otherwise tell us your weekly income. Depending on your income, you may have to pay a contribution.


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 receive these benefits, you qualify automatically on income but please complete step 4 to check if you qualify on capital.

If you do not get these benefits, work out your net 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.

Your net weekly income

This is the total income, from all sources, you and your partner receive or become entitled to in a week. If any payments are made monthly, multiply these by 12 and then divide by 52 to work out the weekly figure.

This includes:

  • earnings (including any tips), drawings or profits from business
  • maintenance payments (unless paid through the Child Support Agency)
  • private or employee pensions
  • occupational sick pay
  • occupational maternity pay
  • student grants or bursaries (but not student loans)
  • National Asylum Support Service (NASS) payments
  • money received from friends and relatives (other than loans)
  • income from savings and investments
  • dividends from shares

Do not include:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Bereavement Payment
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Maintenance Bonus
  • Child Support Maintenance (paid through the Child Support Agency)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Pension
  • Invalid Care Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Sickness benefit
  • State Retirement Pension
  • Statutory maternity pay (non-occupational)
  • Statutory sick pay (non-occupational)
  • Sums payable to holders of the Victoria Cross or George Cross
  • War Disablement Pension
  • War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit

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 on capital

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

Examples of capital include:

  • the amount you could borrow against all land and buildings you or your partner own (but not including the home that you live in), including interests in timeshares
  • money in the bank, building society, Post Office, premium bonds, national savings certificates etc
  • investments, stocks and shares
  • money that can be borrowed against insurance policies
  • the value of any non-essential possessions, such as a boat, a caravan, second car, jewellery (but not wedding or engagement rings), antiques or items bought for investment purposes
  • money that is owed to you or your partner
  • money due from the will of someone who has died
  • money due from a trust fund
  • money that can be borrowed against business assets
  • redundancy payments.

Do not include:

  • the home you live in
  • your household furniture and clothing
  • tools and equipment you need for work
  • the value of any property or item that is the subject of the dispute.

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

Step 5

Do you 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.

Remember that this calculator is only a guide as to whether you are likely to be financially eligible. 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 legal aid information line on 0845 122 8686. Contact a solicitor who can help you with your legal aid application using our Find a Solicitor page.

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