Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Guideline 2 – social security and other benefits: administrative appeals

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may provide a grant of legal assistance to a person for representation in a social security or other Commonwealth benefits matter in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if:

  • the person may incriminate themself in the proceedings


  • the case is complicated


  • the case requires significant medical evidence


  • it would be unreasonable to expect the person to adequately represent themselves due to special circumstances


  • VLA determines that the appeal involves an important or complex question of law.

Documentary requirements

An in-house lawyer or a lawyer of the section 30 referral panel seeking a grant of legal assistance should submit an application for assessment via the standard grants assessment process on ATLASExternal Link , including all of the following documents:

  • having referred to guideline 2 and all available material, the lawyer’s assessment or report and documentation that shows:
    • how the person seeking a grant of legal assistance may incriminate themselves if unrepresented
    • aspects of the case which make it complicated
    • any special circumstances which would make it unreasonable for the person applying for the grant of legal assistance to represent themselves
    • any important or complex question of law raised by the matter
  • reference to how the matter meets the Commonwealth merits test
  • relevant proof of means.

Costs payable

Please see Fee Schedule 2, Table V.

Reviewed 26 April 2023

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