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Frequently Asked Questions

Any debts which are due to be paid within the next twelve months, including any debts which are already outstanding and are due to be paid immediately. This might include Revenue arrears, arrears on bills that have gone to a credit control department, maintenance arrears, among others.

Yes.  In relation to the “pension levy” or the Pension Related Deduction applicable to public servants, an allowance for the full amount of the charge should be granted. 

Yes. An allowance for the full amount of the charge should be granted.

An applicant whose disposable income exceeds €18,000 per annum is not eligible to obtain legal aid or advice except in cases which come under section 28(5) of the Act.

An applicant whose disposable capital exceeds €100,000 is not eligible to obtain legal aid or advice except in cases which fall in to Section 28(5) of the Act, i.e. where the applicant is instituting Child Abduction proceedings, cases under the Maintenance Act, 1994 and cases under the Sex Offenders Act, 2001 and other cases which come under section 28(5) of the Act.

No. An applicant must be supporting an adult dependant or be living with a spouse / partner before a spouse or adult dependant allowance is given.

The contribution payable for District Court proceedings is the maximum contribution, calculated in accordance with the Regulations, subject to an upper limit of the amount that the Board pays a private practitioner for such a case, including VAT. (as of January 2012, €417).

The Board has determined that the maximum contribution is set at the lowest rate payable to a PP for the type of case in question. For example, in a maintenance, access, and guardianship case, a PP might be entitled to claim an additional fee, however for the purposes of assessing the contribution, the maximum is still €417.

No. An applicant must have an entitlement to an income for it to be treated as income.

Benefits or privileges are considered as income where the Board is of the opinion that it may increase an applicant’s income e.g. free accommodation, company car.

An ‘ex gratia’ payment is a payment made without any legal obligation, for example, payments made by a child of an applicant, if living at home, to the applicant. An allowance is given in respect of the first €20 per week.

Where the applicant is paying maintenance, whether by order, agreement or voluntarily, the full amount paid should be inserted.  Payment of this entitles the applicant to claim the amount paid as an allowance up to the maximum of the full spouse and dependant allowances, as appropriate.

No. The contribution may be greater than the minimum, if the applicant is not dependant solely on social welfare payments.

Yes. An applicant whose disposable income does not exceed €18,000 per annum and who is in receipt of social welfare payments as the only source of income is liable to pay only the minimum income contribution of €130 for legal aid and €30 for legal advice. If the applicant has disposable capital in excess of €4,000 a capital contribution may also apply.