Get help paying court and tribunal fees

You can apply for money off a court or tribunal fee. You can do this before or after you pay the fee. 

If you’ve already paid the fee, you can apply to get money back if both of the following apply:

  • you paid the fee in the last 3 months
  • you were eligible for help when you paid it

There are different rules in Northern Ireland and in Scotland.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Eligibility

Whether you’re eligible depends on:

  • how much money you have in savings
  • which benefits you get
  • your income

There are different eligibility rules if you paid the fee before 27 November 2023. Read the ‘How to apply for help with fees’ guidance included with form EX160.

Your savings

You must have less than the maximum amount of savings to be eligible. If you have a partner, you must include their savings too.

If you and your partner are 65 or younger, the maximum amount of savings you can have depends on how much the court or tribunal fee is.

For example, you can have:

  • up to £4,250 in savings if your fee is £1,420 or less
  • up to £16,000 in savings if your fee is over £7,000

Most court and tribunal fees are less than £1,420.

If you or your partner are 66 or older, you can have up to £16,000 in savings, whatever your fee is.

Check the amount of savings you can have using the ‘How to apply for help with fees’ guidance for on or after 27 November 2023 included with form EX160.

Benefits you get

You can get money off your fee if you claim one of the following benefits:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (and you earn less than £6,000 a year)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)

You must also have less than the maximum amount of money in savings. This is usually up to £4,250.

Your income

Your income includes anything you earn before tax and any other payments you receive.

When you apply, you must report either:

  • your income in the last calendar month – for example, if you apply in January, you report your income in December
  • your average income over the last 3 calendar months - for example, if you apply in April, you report your average income between January, February and March

Report whichever income is lower.

You can get money off your fee if your reported income is:

  • £1,420 or less, if you’re single 
  • £2,130 or less, if you have a partner

For each child you have, your reported income can be:

  • £425 more for children aged 0 to 13
  • £710 more for children aged 14 and over

For example, if you have a partner and two children aged 7 and 5, your reported income can be up to £2,980.

You must also have less than the maximum amount of money in savings. This is usually up to £4,250.

If you earn more, you may be able to get some money off your fee. This depends on how much your court fee is.

Check if you’re eligible using the ‘How to apply for help with fees’ guidance for on or after 27 November 2023 included with form EX160.

How to apply

If you have more than one fee to pay, you must apply for help with each fee separately.

If you need help with fees for the Court of Protection, you cannot use this service. Fill in form COP44A instead and submit it with your court application.

Apply online

Apply for help with fees when you make your court application.

Start now

Apply by post

Download and complete form EX160 for help with court and tribunal fees.

You can also request a paper copy of the form from your nearest court.

Submit your help with fees application at the same time as your court application. Send both forms to the address on the court application.

If you’re applying for money off a fee you’ve already paid, send your help with fees application to the court or tribunal you paid your fee to.

If you need help applying

Get help with your application

Who you contact depends on which court or tribunal office you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying for a divorce you can contact the Court and Tribunal Service Centre to find out about getting help to pay for your divorce application. Find which court or tribunal office to contact.

Get help applying online

Contact We Are Group if you want to apply but do not have access to the internet or do not feel confident using it.

We Are Group
support@wearegroup.com
Telephone: 03300 160 051
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Closed on bank holidays
Text FORM to 60777 and someone will call you back
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