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Eligibility for Civil Legal Aid

If you are in receipt of one of the following Isle of Man benefits then you will automatically qualify for free legal aid without the need for a determination of your resources:  

  • Employed Person’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance

If you are not in receipt of one of the above benefits, in order to determine whether you are financially eligible to receive legal aid it will be necessary for the Legal Aid Office to calculate your net resources.

You can also use our online calculator. This will give you an indication as to whether you are likely to pass the financial test or not.

The Legal Aid Office applies two tests to your application, the Financial Means and Legal Merits Test. Your application must pass both tests in order for legal aid to be granted.

See also Prescribed Amounts

Financial Means and Legal Merits Test

Before legal aid can be granted, every legal aid application must pass the following two tests:

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

Please note that your application for legal aid must pass both tests before legal aid can be granted.

Read more about these tests 

If you are unhappy with the decision

There are steps you can take to have our decisions reviewed. Further details in relation to review and appeal procedures are included within the guidance booklet.

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