Apply for legal aid

If you need ongoing legal help from a lawyer, you will need to apply for a 'grant of legal aid' and fill out a Legal Aid NSW application form. A grant of legal aid means that you have a lawyer employed by Legal Aid NSW or a private lawyer paid for by Legal Aid NSW.

If possible, it is best to get legal advice before you apply for legal aid. Call the free legal help line LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 to find an advice service or search for a Legal Aid NSW service near you.

find an advice service or search for a Legal Aid NSW service near you.

 

1. How do I get a grant?

You need to fill in a legal aid application form to get a grant of legal aid. If you are vision impaired you can read this form using a screen reader. You can also get the legal aid application form from any Legal Aid NSW office, community legal centre, and many private lawyers.

The form has questions about your legal problem and asks you about your financial situation.

You will also need to give us:

proof of your income, such as copies of your pay slips or a copy of your Centrelink Income Statementyour last three bank or credit union account statements.Once you have completed the form, sign it and send it to:

Grants Division

Legal Aid NSW

PO Box K847

HAYMARKET NSW 1238

Or

Fax it to 02 9219 5061

Or

Take the form to your nearest Legal Aid NSW office.

 

2. Who can help me fill out the application form?

Legal Aid NSW lawyers might be able to help you fill out an application form at an advice clinic or you can call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 for help with filling out the form.

A private lawyer may also be able to help you fill out an application form. You can search for a lawyer who does legal aid work.

 

3. How do I know if I am eligible for a grant?

We have clear guidelines about who can get a grant of legal aid. We look at:

what you want legal assistance for

if you are likely to win your case (called a merit test)

what you earn and what you own (our means test).

The means test looks at:

what money you get from work, Centrelink or other sources

if you own a car, home or anything else of value

whether you financially support anyone else, or whether they support you.

You can use our Means Test Indicator to check whether or not you may qualify.

Grants of legal aid are provided for a range of criminal, family or civil law matters. These may include:

offences which may incur a jail sentence

family issues involving children

matters that involve DoCs

other issues such as discrimination and mental health.

If you want to discuss your matter with someone to determine if legal aid may be available, you can contact LawAccess 1300 888 529 or go to your nearest Legal Aid Office.

You can also check our A to Z guide to policies and Policies in brief to see which areas of law we provide grants in. More detailed guidelines are available in policy online.

(source: Legal Aid)