Means-testing

Legal aid is granted on the basis of the applicant’s income, expenditures and maintenance liability, that is, his or her available means.

The available means of the applicant determine whether the applicant is given legal aid for free or against a deductible.

Calculation of available means

Income consists of wages and salary, pension and per diems, as well as child allowances, maintenance support and capital income.

Tax withdrawals are deducted from the income. Deductions are likewise made for reasonable housing costs, day-care charges, maintenance support payments, and the scheduled payments in enforcement or debt adjustment proceedings.

In addition, a deduction of EUR 300 is made for each underage child that belongs to the applicant’s household.

Family size affects the income threshold for eligibility and the level of the deductible. The income of the spouse, domestic partner or registered partner of the applicant is taken into account in the calculation of the available means. However, legal aid is determined solely on basis of the applicant's economic standing, if the applicant is being suspected of or accused of committing a crime, or if the spouses are adversaries or have separated permanently due to estrangement.

Examples

Effect of the applicant’s income on the granting of legal aid and on the basic deductible. Also the applicant’s supplementary deductible is taken into account in determining the amount of the legal aid fee.

Single person

  • legal aid for free: available means up to EUR 600
  • legal aid against a deductible: available means over EUR 600 and up to EUR 1,300
  • no legal aid: available means over EUR 1,300

Spouses together

  • legal aid for free: available means up to EUR 1,100
  • legal aid against a deductible: available means over EUR 1,100 and up to EUR 2,400
  • no legal aid: available means over EUR 2,400
 
Published 25.8.2014