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

A member 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 20 February 2022

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