News story

HMCTS online fee service easier for customers

HMCTS ‘Help with Fees’ online service makes the process quicker and easier for customers when applying for fee remission.

woman using laptop

The Help with Fees service let’s applicants who receive certain benefits (or have a low income) to check if they can get help with their court, tribunal or probate fees. This online service has been developed in partnership with users and tested extensively to make sure it offers a better experience.

How does the service work

The service checks directly with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) whether you receive the qualifying benefits and will check whether your income makes you eligible for any fees remission. This electronic link between the systems will reduce processing times of applications as paper copies of proof of income and benefits may not be required as they can be confirmed through this channel.

Unique reference number

The online service will generate a unique reference number, for example, HWF-A73-L8T. You will need this for your claim form. We have updated all our relevant literature and forms to include ‘Help with Fees’ reference number boxes. Applicants will be asked to include their unique reference number on all paper claim forms.

Employment tribunals

As Employment Tribunals claims are already submitted online there is a slightly different way in which the application gets sent to the tribunal.

What are the benefits

Applicants will still need to make a self-assessment of their eligibility but we will no longer need every applicant to send paperwork such as bank statements and payslips to support their application. Some applicants will still be asked to supply paperwork as part of their application so they should keep records of pay and benefits.

The service will provide a quicker, easier and more efficient process and user experience for applicants and result in less forms being completed incorrectly.

Published 1 December 2016