The Board has introduced a process to facilitate the “passporting” of applications from certain applicants. Studies have shown that applicants falling under some specific headings will have already been tested for financial eligibility by State bodies and that they are highly unlikely to exceed the financial criteria required to qualify for legal aid and advice.
Passporting means that these applicants are subject to a streamlined application procedure and they are, subject to certain checks, considered to be financially eligible and subject to the minimum aid and advice contributions (or, if the matter is defence of an application by the Child and Family Agency for a care order or supervision order, or an application for a domestic violence remedy in the District Court, no contribution). Specific checks are carried out on passported applications to protect the integrity of the system and any applicant who would normally be subject to passporting or who may have already been passported, may, at the discretion of the Board, be required to undergo a full financial assessment at any time.
The core criteria for an applicant to be passported are as follows:
- their sole source of income must be Social Welfare payments; and
- the value of their assets is below €4,000.
Any applicant for whom a capital assessment would normally be carried out (for example, a person who owns a car valued over €4,000 or a second property), cannot be considered for passporting and should undergo a full financial eligibility test.
To passport an applicant on EOS, click the Forms tab and click Passport this case (bypass means test). The applicant’s contributions will be determined at €30 for advice and €130 for aid without the need for a means test to be completed.
International protection applicants who are in receipt of Direct Provision payments and claim the value of their assets is below €4,000 cannot be passported on EOS and a means test must be created. Once the international protection option is chosen on the EOS Means Test Form it will generate an advice contribution of €10 as appropriate.
Complete the “Passporting” milestone in EOS, and mark the “Financial Assessment” milestone as Not Needed
For the purposes of auditing and protecting the integrity of the system, every tenth applicant who would otherwise appear to be eligible for passporting should be asked to complete the Statement of Means and, if applicable, the Statement of Capital.
Passporting does not prevent the Board from carrying out a full assessment at a later date, should information arise which leads a staff member to believe that an applicant should not have been subjected to the passporting procedure. In such a case the “change in circumstances” guidelines below should be followed.
Passporting – online application pilot
The online application will not automatically passport an applicant. You will need to check the PDF application form to see if the applicant is eligible for passporting
On the case details screen in EOS, you will see a link to “Original Online Application”. Click it to open the PDF application form.
Then use the toolbar to navigate to page 3 of the application form.
You will see the following two questions:
If the questions are answered like the above – Yes to the first question, No to the second, the application can be passported. The application form will end at this point.
Passporting only applies to financial eligibility. Passported applications are subject to the same merits criteria as other applications.