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What is Green Form advice and assistance?

Green Form advice and assistance is the process which generally covers your first appointment with your Advocate. This is a means tested scheme and provided you are financially eligible, you may have up to 2 hours advice and assistance about a legal problem you are currently facing. 

If the matter is fairly straightforward and can be dealt with by your Advocate doing work on your behalf for 2 hours or less, the Green Form will cover the whole matter. Many disputes can be settled quite quickly, for example, by the Advocate giving you some advice or writing a letter on your behalf.  If the matter is more complicated, the Green Form will cover initial advice and assistance but you will need to make a formal application for Legal Aid to cover the next stages.

Not all matters / disputes are funded under the Green Form Scheme. For further details see Circular 4: The Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance ("Green Form") Scheme which gives some examples of what is and isn't. You should contact one of the firms on the list and ask to be seen under the Green Form Scheme. 

When you go to the first appointment you must take with you evidence of you and any partner's income/benefits for the previous week, together with evidence of rent/mortgage/board & lodgings and any child maintenance you pay. 

The Advocate will undertake a financial assessment and you may be eligible for the 2 hours completely free or upon the payment of a contribution. If you are in receipt of Income Support you will only be required to provide evidence of this benefit. It would make the best use of the time available if you take with you to the appointment any information / documentation that you may have regarding your query. 

If you and / or your partner has savings or assets (ignoring the house you live in or any asset currently under dispute), worth in excess of: £15,000 (for a single householder or non householder with no children); £18,000 (for a couple who ordinarily live together in the same household with no children); £20,000 (for a couple or single householder or non householder with one child dependant); £25,000 (for a couple or single householder or non householder with two child dependants) or £27,000 (for a couple or single householder or non householder with three or more child dependants), they will not be financially eligible for any legal aid. 

If the matter is one that falls into scope of the legal aid scheme and the Advocate considers there are sufficient legal merits to pursue legal proceedings they will provide us with a legal opinion on the merits to enable you to apply for a full legal aid certificate. You will be asked to fill in a financial application form. As with green form, legal aid under a full certificate is not necessarily free and a contribution to costs and disbursements may be required, dependent upon the financial assessment.

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