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Filing For A Fee Waiver

Read this in: Spanish / Español
Authored By: Children's Law Center


What is a fee waiver?

The court sometimes charges a filing fee when you file court papers. A fee waiver means that you do not have to pay filing fees.

You must file a written request for a fee waiver. The request for a fee waiver is also called an application to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP).

Am I eligible for a fee waiver?

A judge will decide whether to approve the fee waiver.

If you receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance for Children (GAC), Program on Work, Employment and Responsibility (POWER), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there is a presumption that you are entitled to a fee waiver. If you receive similar means-tested benefits, such as Interim Disability Assistance (IDA) or Medicaid/D.C. Healthcare Alliance, you will probably be granted a fee waiver without needing to provide additional information.

Otherwise, you will need to provide financial information as part of the fee waiver request.

How do I request a fee waiver?

You file an Application to Proceed Without Pre-Payment of Costs, Fees and Security. Click here for the required form, which you can fill out on the computer. You will need to print it out and file it with the court. You can also fill it out by hand.

You must request your fee waiver before you pay the filing fee. You cannot get a refund if you get a fee waiver after you pay the filing fee.

Do I need to include documentation with my fee waiver request?

No. In general, you only need to fill out and sign the fee waiver request form, which is your sworn statement that the information you have provided is true.

Do I have to request a fee waiver each time there is a filing fee?

No. A fee waiver is valid until the final order is issued in the case.

I didn't ask for a fee waiver in the beginning of the case. Can I ask for one now?

Yes. You can ask for a fee waiver at any time.

Last Review and Update: Mar 20, 2024
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