Applying for a waiver of contribution
If you cannot afford to pay the contribution, you can apply to the Board to have it waived. Waiving the contribution means you will either not have to pay the contribution at all (a full waiver), or you will only have to pay part of it (a partial waiver). For example we might ask you to pay the advice contribution but not the aid contribution. You should speak to a member of staff in the law centre if you want to apply for a waiver.
We will grant a waiver if we think that paying the contribution would cause you undue hardship. This is at our discretion. We have put in place guidelines for our decision makers to help them decide whether or not we should grant a waiver in any particular case. We will consider granting waivers in the following circumstances:
- If you are dependant entirely on supplementary welfare payments
- If you are dependant on social welfare, but the Department of Social Protection has decided to share your payments with another person or you are benefitting from a shared payment
- If you have an order directing someone to pay you maintenance, the person is still refusing to pay you, and your case is to ask the Court to take further steps to require that person to pay you (e.g. to require their employer to pay you from their wages)
- If you have applied for international protection (asylum) in Ireland and are on "direct provision"
- If you are in prison with a sentence of longer than one year and you do not own any property or other capital assets
We might consider granting waivers in other circumstances, on a case by case basis. We will look at what type of case you want to take (for example, if it is a domestic violence case). We might also, if appropriate, consider whether or not you have property that you could sell to pay for a lawyer to take your case. If you are in prison, we will also consider the length of your sentence.
In every case it is our decision whether or not to grant a waiver. Even if you fit within the guidelines, we must consider whether or not you will suffer undue hardship because you have to pay the contribution. If we do not think that you will suffer undue hardship we will not grant you a waiver.
If we decide not to grant a waiver, you can ask us to reconsider this decision or you can appeal the decision to an appeal committee. You must do this within one month of when you are told that we will not grant a waiver.