Concerns raised about HAP recipients being denied free legal aid – Irish Examiner

People who are escaping situations of domestic violence and avail of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) are finding themselves above the financial threshold to receive legal aid.

The issue has been described as ‘unjust’ by victim support groups.

It can affect individuals when it comes to issues such as divorce proceedings, child custody battles and obtaining a restraining order.

For someone to avail of legal aid, applicants must have a disposable income below €18,000, barring certain allowances. This means that people in receipt of HAP may exceed the threshold, disqualifying them from receiving legal aid.

The Irish Examiner has been made aware of a number of incidences where victims of domestic violence have been told they are over the threshold over the last number of weeks.

Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan raised the issue in the Seanad in recent days. She claimed the practice of assessing HAP as income when applying

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