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Eligibility for Civil Legal Aid

If you are in receipt of one of the following Isle of Man benefits, you will automatically qualify for free Legal Aid:  

  • Employed Person’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance

If you are not in receipt of one of the above benefits, the Legal Aid Office will need to calculate your net resources to check whether you are financially eligible to receive Legal Aid.

Our online calculator can give you an indication of whether you are likely to pass the financial test, however this is only a rough indication and you should still submit your financial information for assessment.

Financial Means and Legal Merits Test

Before Legal Aid can be granted, every application must pass both the Financial Means and Legal Merits Tests:

  • Financial means test to determine whether your resources mean that, according to the law, you cannot afford to pay for legal representation
  • Legal merits test to determine whether it is reasonable for your legal representation to be funded

If you are unhappy with the decision you can ask for our decisions to be reviewed.

Paying towards the cost of Legal Aid

You may be required to pay towards the cost of Legal Aid if:

  • you qualify for Legal Aid as a contributor
  • you don’t conduct your case in a reasonable manner 
  • you don’t tell the Legal Aid Office when your circumstances change
  • you don’t respond to requests by the Legal Aid Office for financial information

If you qualify for Legal Aid as a contributor we will write to you to let you know how much you have to pay and the monthly payment terms.

You can pay your contributions by sending a cheque, or in person at the Public Counter of the Isle of Man Courts of Justice. Make your cheque payable to 'Isle of Man Government' and quote your Legal Aid reference number on every payment.

If you are finding it difficult to pay your contributions you must contact the Legal Aid Office as soon as possible. If you don’t pay your contributions without agreement from the Legal Aid Office, your Legal Aid certificate may be discharged.

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