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Grants Online FAQs

Introduction to Grants Online

Applications for legal aid

Disbursements

Contributions

Payments of fees and disbursements

Duty work

Transfers of matters

Appeals to Legal Aid Review Committee

Registration for Grants Online

Panel offers

Updating personal, office and client information

Correspondence

Support

Case and duty claims (video slide shows)

Mobile devices

System requirements

Introduction to Grants Online

What is Grants Online?

Grants Online is an Internet-based facility for the electronic submission by practitioners of applications for grants of legal aid and claims for fees and disbursements. It uses web-page forms which are filled in on-screen and submitted over the Internet. Grants Online is part of Legal Aid NSW's grants management system, ATLAS.

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What is ATLAS?

ATLAS is Legal Aid NSW's computerised grants management system. ATLAS:

  • Processes all applications for grants of legal aid;
  • Manages all grants of aid;
  • Pays all practitioner invoices for fees and disbursements; and
  • Manages grant records of all Legal Aid NSW’s clients.

Grants Online is part of ATLAS.

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Must all applications for aid be submitted using Grants Online? 

Practitioners are expected to submit all applictions for grants of legal aid using Grants Online. Members of the public submitting applications for aid directly to Legal Aid NSW still use paper application forms, but not when submitting an application through a legal practitioner.

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How do I access Grants Online?

Practitioners must be registered to use Grants Online. You can register by completing and submitting the on- screen registration form accessible from the Grants Online login page of the Legal Aid NSW website, at https://elodge.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/. For further information on how to register, see How do I register to use Grants Online? To get help registering, contact the Legal Aid NSW Service Desk on (02) 9219 5999 or by email to servicedesk@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.

Upon registering you will receive a login password which you use to log in to Grants Online through the Grants Online login web page. The first time you do this you will be asked to change your password.

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When is Grants Online available?

Legal Aid NSW aims to have Grants Online available on all business days between the hours of 7am and 7pm.

Grants Online is also available at most other times. Practitioners will receive notification in advance of any planned maintenance work that will impact its availability. This notification will appear in practitioners' NoticeBoards in Grants Online.

Grants Online is generally unavailable every day between 2am and 3am.

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How can I make my searches in Grants Online more successful?

A common cause of failure to locate a file, application, client, pro forma invoice, purchase order or other object of a search in Grants Online is the entry of too many search criteria.

When a search criterion such as a file number is entered in a search screen, the record being sought must contain that criterion, e.g. that file number, in order to be retrieved by the search. If two search criteria are entered (such as the file number and the client's name), only those records containing both criteria will be retrieved. If three criteria are entered, a record must contain all three criteria in order to be retrieved, and so on.

This has two implications. The first is that if a search cannot locate a record using any one criterion (e.g. the file number) as the sole search criterion, the addition of further search criteria while retaining the original unsuccessful one will not help to locate the record. The second is that the entry of multiple search criteria reduces the prospects of a successful search. Since only those records containing all criteria will be retrieved, the absence from a record of any one of the criteria, or a misspelling or other typographical error in the entry of any of the criteria in the search screen, will result in an unsuccessful search.

Some tips to enhance the likelihood of success when searching in Grants Online are:

  1. Enter a minimal number of search criteria in the search screen.
  2. If the use of one criterion such as the file number fails to locate a record, discard that criterion and try something else, e.g. the client's name. Do not add other criteria while retaining your original, unsuccessful criterion.
  3. Try broad criteria. For example, if searching for a duty purchase order in the Search for Purchase Order screen, try entering nothing more than an ACTIVE purchase order status. (To do this, click on the "down" arrow beside the heading Advanced Criteria, then click on the drop-down arrow in the Purchase Order Status box, then select ACTIVE from the drop-down list that appears.) Since the name of your firm or organisation will already be entered in the Service Provider Office box by default, the search will return a list of all active purchase orders created for your firm. Details appearing beside each one will enable you to identify the purchase order you want (see How do I search for a duty purchase order? ).
  4. The use of the wildcard operator (%) will sometimes help in finding a record (see How do I use the wildcard operator to help me search for a name in Grants Online?).
 
How do I use the wildcard operator to help me search for a name in Grants Online?

You can use the wildcard operator (%) to help you search in Grants Online for a name such as the name of a client, practitioner or office. This is especially useful if you are not sure exactly how the name is spelt or otherwise recorded in Grants Online.

When you enter part of the name, preceded and/or followed by the wildcard operator, as your search criterion, the search will return names that include the part of the name you entered.

Do not attempt to type the wildcard operator into a box that has a magnifying-glass icon beside it. You must click on the magnifying-glass icon to fill in these boxes. However you may type the wildcard operator into boxes that appear when you click on the magnifying-glass icon, provided those boxes do not, in turn, have magnifying-glass icons beside them.

To use the wildcard operator to help you perform a search, do this:

  1. In the box where you are required to type the name, type in a part of the name that you are certain is contained in the Grants Online record.
  2. If you are not certain of what appears in the Grants Online record before the part you have entered, insert the wildcard operator, % , immediately before the part you have entered, with no spaces between. If uncertain of what comes after the part you have entered, insert % immediately after that part, again with no spaces. You can also insert % both before and after the part you have entered.
  3. When you click the Search button, the following search results appear:

    • If you inserted the wildcard operator before the part of the name you entered, the search will return all names that end with the part of the name you entered and have either nothing or additional characters in front of that part.
    • If you inserted the wildcard operator after the part of the name you entered, the search will return all names that begin with the part you entered and have either nothing or additional characters following that part.
    • If you inserted the wildcard operator both before and after the part of the name you entered, the search will return all names that contain the part you entered and have either nothing or additional characters appearing before or after that part.

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How do I see a list of all my firm's legal aid files in Grants Online?
To see a list of all the legal aid files for clients of your organisation, do this:
  1. Click on File Enquiry below Grants Management in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The File Enquiry screen appears. Click on the magnifying-glass icon beside the Assigned Office box.
  3. The Select an Office screen appears. Enter the name of your organisation in the Office Name box. (Tip: if you are unsure as to exactly how your organisation's name is recorded in Grants Online, the use of the wildcard operator (%) may assist your search - see How do I use the wildcard operator to help me search for a name in Grants Online?). Select a service type from the drop-down list in the Service Type box, then click the Search button at the top of the Select an Office screen.
  4. A list of office names matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Select an Office screen, below Search Results. If more than one name appears, check the information displaying beside each one to identify the office for which you are searching. Then click the blue, underlined name of your selected office in the Office column.
  5. You are returned to the File Enquiry screen, with the name of your organisation displaying in the Assigned Office box. (Tip: At this point you can, if you wish, further confine the scope of your search results by entering a submitted date range, assigned practitioner, law type, court type and/or court location in the relevant boxes.)
  6. When finished entering search criteria in the File Enquiry screen, click the Search button at the top of the screen.
  7. A list of Grants Online files matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the File Enquiry screen, below Search Results. You can see further details of any file by clicking the blue, underlined file number of your selected file in the File ID column.

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Do document links remain in my Inbox indefinitely?

Your Grants Online Inbox contains a list of links to electronic documents and communications relating to your clients' matters. These include notifications of the outcomes of legal aid applications and extension requests, copies of submitted applications, and advice about the results of transfer requests.

Periodically links to documents in your Inbox are deleted in the course of system maintenance. This is an ongoing process, with each link being deleted after approximately seven months.

If you want to retain a permanent copy of a document that is listed in the Inbox, you can save a copy of the document from the Inbox to your computer. To do this:

  1. Open your Inbox by clicking on Inbox below Home in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Inbox screen appears. In this screen, click the link to the document you want to save.
    1. Click the Save button in the File Download dialog box.
      1. Choose the location on your computer where you want to save the document.
      2. If desired, change the default file name appearing in the File name box to a more meaningful name. Retain the ".pdf" at the end of the file name.
      3. Leave the Save as type box set to Adobe Acrobat Document.
      4. Click the Save button.
    2. The Save As dialog box appears. In this box, do this:
    3. If a Download Complete message appears, click the Open button on the message if you want to open the saved document. Otherwise click the Close button to remove the message.
  3. If the File Download dialog box appears with an option to open or save the document, do this:
    1. Click on File in the top left corner of the Adobe Reader screen.
    2. A drop-down menu appears. From that menu, select Save a Copy....
    3. If an Adobe Reader message appears to warn that you are only saving a copy, click the OK button on that message.
      1. Choose the location on your computer where you want to save the document.
      2. If desired, change the default file name appearing in the File name box to a more meaningful name. Retain the ".pdf" at the end of the file name.
      3. Leave the Save as type box set to Adobe PDF Files (*.pdf).
      4. Click the Save button.
    4. The Save a Copy... dialog box appears. In that box, do this:
  4. If the document opens in an Adobe Reader screen without the File Download dialog box first appearing (or if you already have the document open in the Adobe Reader screen and want to save it), do this:
  5. You can now open your saved copy of the document. If prompted to choose a program with which to open the document, choose Adobe Reader.

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Applications for legal aid

How do I get a grant of aid for my clients?

All applications for aid lodged by practitioners must use the Grants Online web-based application form, which is filled in on-screen and submitted over the Internet.

The practitioner indicates on the form what type of grant is wanted and what disbursements are wanted.

In matters subject to the Legal Aid NSW means test, the form asks the practitioner to certify that the client's financial circumstances have been verified and that appropriate verifying documentation is retained on the practitioner's file. Legal Aid NSW relies on the practitioner's certification in relation to verification of the client's means.

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In matters subject to the Legal Aid NSW means test, who verifies the applicant's means?

It is the responsibility of the practitioner to verify their client's financial circumstances and to retain appropriate verifying documentation on their file. See How do I get a grant of aid for my clients?

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How do I know if my client’s application satisfies the means test?

The ATLAS system calculates whether your client satisfies the means test on the basis of figures you’ve entered in the Grants Online application form. It then displays the results on your Grants Online screen before you submit the application.

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What if I want discretion to be exercised for a client who’s outside means?

If the ATLAS means test calculation shows that your client is outside means, you can request in the Grants Online application form that discretion be exercised to grant aid.

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How do I know who to contact at Legal Aid NSW to discuss a client's application or grant?

Under the ATLAS system most files don't have individual file managers at Legal Aid NSW responsible for them; only the more complex files have individual file managers. However you can contact the Grants Division (the division at Legal Aid NSW responsible for managing grants of aid) by telephone. Telephone numbers are provided in electronically transmitted letters from Legal Aid NSW about applications for legal aid.

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Is there still a paper application for aid?

Paper application forms are still available to enable clients to submit applications for aid directly to Legal Aid NSW, since clients do not have access to Grants Online. However all applications submitted by practitioners use Grants Online's web-based application form.

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Do I need to keep a paper copy of a client's application for aid on my file?

You should print out a copy of the completed Grants Online application, sign it, get the client to sign it and keep it on your file. This is because the applicant must sign the application unless this isn't possible, e.g the applicant is in custody. In such a case the reason for non-signature must be noted and explained in a file note that must be retained on the client's file.

Does the client have to sign an application?

See Do I need to keep a paper copy of a client's application for aid on my file?

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What if later on I need to do more legal work, or incur more disbursements, than the grant of aid covers?

You need approval for further legal work beyond that covered by the existing grant, or if you want to incur more disbursements than those you specified in the application for aid. To seek this approval you should use the Extension function to obtain an extension of the grant, rather than lodging a fresh application for aid. An extension may authorise professional work, disbursements, or both.

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How do I request an extension?

To request an extension of a grant of aid, do this:

  1. Click on Extension below Applications in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
    1. Enter your client's name in the client First Name and Surname boxes in the Create Extension screen. Then click the magnifying-glass icon beside those boxes.
    2. The Select a Client screen appears, with the client's name displaying in the First Name and Surname boxes. Click the Search button at the top of the Select a Client screen.
    3. A list of client names matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Select a Client screen, below Search Results. (Note: only the names of clients of your organisation appear.) If more than one name appears, check the personal details beside each one to identify the client for whom you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of your chosen client in the Client Name column.
    4. You are returned to the Create Client screen, with your client's name displaying in the client First Name and Surname boxes.
  2. The Create Extension screen appears. Enter the file ID, if you know it, or other indicated search criteria in the relevant boxes. To perform the search using the client's name as your search criterion, do this:
  3. When finished entering search criteria in the Create Extension screen, click the Search button at the top of the Create Extension screen.
  4. A list of file numbers matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Create Extension screen, below Search Results. If more than one file number appears, check the information appearing beside each one to identify the file for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined file number of your chosen file in the File ID column.
  5. A list of available templates appears in the Create Extension screen. Choose the appropriate template by clicking on it. This may not be the same as the template used in the original application for aid; for example, in a family law matter an FDR Early Intervention application template may have been used for the application, whereas a Commonwealth Family Law extension template may be appropriate for the extension.
  6. The Create Extension form appears. Fill in this form as you would a new application for aid, specifying on the Checklist: Professional Fees <="" professional="">and/or the Checklist: Disbursements pages only the new items for which you seek approval via the extension. Then submit the extension request by clicking the Submit button at the top of the Create Extension form.

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Do I have to start an application or extension request again if I get logged out of Grants Online when it's only partly completed?

Whether you will have to start the application or extension request again depends on whether it was saved in the Grants Online system before you were logged out.

There are two ways in which a partly-completed application for aid or extension request can be saved:

  1. You can save the completed work in the application (or extension request) by clicking the Save button at the top of the Create Application Request (or Create Extension) screen, provided you have filled in all mandatory information in the Personal Details tab of the Applicant details section of the form.
  2. Alternatively, the completed work in the application will be automatically saved (i.e. without the need to click the Save button), provided you have:
    1. filled in all required details in the five tabs that comprise the Applicant details section of the form, and
    2. either clicked on the Next button at the bottom right corner of the screen, or clicked on a link to another section of the form in the blue column of links on the left side of the form.

For assistance to find and retrieve a partly-completed, saved application or extension request in Grants Online, see How do I find a saved application or extension request?

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How do I find a saved application or extension request?

To find a saved application or extension request in Grants Online, do this:

  1. Click on Vew and Edit below Applications in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Application Request Search screen appears. If you know the Grants Online file number for the application or extension request, do this:
    1. Click on the magnifying-glass icon beside the File ID box in the Application Request Search screen.
    2. The Select a File screen appears. Enter the Grants Online file number in the File ID box. Then click the Search button at the top of the Select a file screen.
    3. Search results matching your search criteria appear at the bottom of the Select a File screen, below Search Results. Click on the blue, underlined file number in the File ID column for the application or extension for which you are searching.
    4. You are returned to the Application Request Search screen, with your selected file number displaying in the File ID box.
  3. If you don't know the Grants Online file number, enter your client's name in the client First Name and Surname boxes in the Application Request Search screen.
  4. When finished entering search criteria in the Application Request Search screen, click the Search button at the top of the screen.
  5. A list of file numbers matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Application Request Search screen, below Search Results. If more than one file number appears, or if the same file number appears on more than one row, check the information displaying beside each one to identify the application or extension for which you are searching. (Note: in the case of a number of saved extension requests bearing the same file number, these will display on separate rows, with the most recent saved extension appearing at the top, followed by the next-most-recent, and so on.) Then click on the blue, underlined number in the File ID column for your selected application or extension request.
  6. The Update Application Request screen appears, displaying your saved application or extension request. You can now continue to fill in, edit and/or submit the application or extension.

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How do I receive notification of Legal Aid NSW determinations of applications for aid?

You no longer receive the full details of determinations via email, as you did when using the old Grants Online. Instead you receive a notification via email, with a link to details of the determination. More information on this is available from the online user manual, accessible from the Grants Online login web page at https://elodge.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/.

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How do I view and respond to requisitions sent by Legal Aid NSW?

If the information contained in your client's application for legal aid or extension request is not sufficient to enable Legal Aid NSW to make a determination, it may issue requisitions seeking further information.

These requisitions will be sent to you using Grants Online, and you will see a link in your Grants Online Inbox notifying you of their arrival.

To view the requisitions, do this:

  1. In your Grants Online Inbox, click on the blue link that refers to the requisitions.
  2. The Respond to Requisition screen appears, containing information such as the file number, client name, practitioner name, date sent, and response due date.
  3. Below the heading Requisition Documents, click on the blue, underlined link in the File/Note Attachment column.
  4. A File Download dialog box appears. Click either the Save or Open button in that box, depending on whether you want to save a copy of the requisitions on your computer system, or merely view them on your screen.
  5. Clicking the Open button causes a letter from Legal Aid NSW containing the requisitions to open on your screen. You can print out this letter if so desired.

To respond to the requisitions, do this:

  1. Close or minimise the screen displaying the letter referred to in the previous step. The Respond to Requisition screen is once again visible.
  2. Type your response to the requisitions contained in the letter into the "Enter your response" box below the heading Response. (You will need to click in the box first to position your cursor.)

You can also attach supporting documentation to your response if so desired. (The supporting documentation must be a file that is on your computer system.)

To attach supporting documentation, do this:

  1. Below the heading Attachments in the Respond to Requisition screen, click on the link Show File Upload Area.
  2. A box appears below the Attachments heading, accompanied by a Browse... button. Click the Browse... button.
  3. A Choose file box appears, displaying the file system on your computer. Navigate through this box until you locate the file you want to attach. Select that file by clicking on it, then click the Open button in the bottom right corner of the Choose file box. (Note: this step describes the procedure for selecting a file on a computer using the Windows XP operating system. The procedure may be slightly different on a computer using a different operating system.)
  4. You are returned to the Respond to Requisition screen, with the file name and path of your selected file now appearing in the box beside the Browse... button, below the Attachments heading.
  5. To attach another document to your response, click the Add Another link beside the Browse... button. A second box and Browse... button appear below the first. Click the second Browse... button and follow step 3 above to select a second file from your computer's file system.
  6. When you have finished selecting documents to be attached, click the Upload File button below the box(es) containing your selected file name(s).
  7. A new box appears below the Attachments heading, with the name(s) of your selected file(s) displaying as blue, underlined links in the File/Note Attachment column of that box. You can remove a file from the box by clicking the X in the Action column beside the file name.

To submit your response to Legal Aid NSW, do this:

  1. When you have finished entering text and attaching any supporting documents, submit your response to Legal Aid NSW by clicking the Save button at the top of the Respond to Requisition screen. (Note: despite its name, clicking the Save button submits your response to Legal Aid NSW electronically; it does not save your response for later submission.)
  2. A message appears at the top of the Respond to Requisition screen, confirming that your response has been submitted successfully. (Note: although this message states "Record was saved successfully", it is actually confirming successful submission of your response to Legal Aid NSW.)

Retaining a copy of your response

If you wish to retain a copy of your response to requisitions, you should do one of the following:

  1. Creating your own response document:
    • Instead of typing your response into the "Enter your response" box in the Respond to Requisition screen, use your computer's word-processing program to create a document containing your response.
    • Save that document on your computer. This will be your retained copy of your response.
    • In the Grants Online Respond to Requisition screen, attach a copy of the document you have created by following the steps above on attaching supporting documentation.
    • In the "Entering your response" box in the Respond to Requisition screen, type "See attached".
    • Submit your response as described in the steps above.
    • Alternatively, first type your response into the "Enter your response" box in the Respond to Requisition screen.
    • Use your computer's "copy and paste" facilities to copy and paste your text from the "Enter your response" box into a separate document on your computer (e.g. a Microsoft Word document or similar).
    • Save that separate document on your computer as your retained copy of your response.
    • Submit your response as described in the steps above.
  2. Copying and pasting your response:

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Disbursements

How do I get approval for disbursements?

You indicate on the Grants Online application form what disbursements you want.

You can also request a disbursement, or more disbursements, by making an extension request in Grants Online.

No payments can be made without a matching grant that specifically covers the item for which payment is sought. It is important to specify either in the original electronic application for aid or in a subsequent extension request what disbursements you want.

When a grant is made, the system produces electronic pro forma invoices that contain all the work items approved for that grant. You look up and use these pre-prepared, pro forma invoices when you submit claims for payment of fees and/or disbursements - see How do I submit an invoice for fees and/or disbursements?

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What if later on I need to incur more disbursements than I specified in the application for aid?

See What if later on I need to do more legal work, or incur more disbursements, than the grant of aid covers?

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Once I select the type of grant I want, does it automatically include a typical number and range of disbursements for that type of grant or matter?

Not presently, although it's possible that in the future you'll automatically receive approval for a given number of typical disbursements for the type of grant or matter you've selected in the Grants Online application. But for now, you must specify the disbursements to go with the grant you want.

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Contributions

How are initial client contributions determined?

The system calculates the initial contribution when performing the means test calculation, on the basis of figures you've entered in the Grants Online application for aid form. It then displays the contribution on your screen before you submit the application.

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What if I want the initial contribution to be waived or varied?

You can make submissions in the Grants Online application for aid form in support of a request that discretion be exercised to waive or vary the contribution.

I am trying to submit a document (or documents) and am getting an error message [748] The total size of the uploaded file attachments exceeded the 20 MB limit. What do I do?

The total size of uploaded attachments cannot exceed 20MB. This limit applies to each individual upload, not to the total of all uploaded files. You can separately upload documents that if taken together would exceed 20MB, provided each document or group of documents is less than 20MB.

Although each document is different, on average you get 1260 pages of word documents, or 300 pages of images, or 690 pages of low-resolution scanned PDFs in 20MB. This should be enough for most documents.

If your scanned document is greater than 20MB, try uploading it in an electronic format (such as a word document) rather than scanning it as scanned documents are much larger. If you don't have the document in electronic format try scanning the document in black and white bitmap, text (image only) or line art at low resolution (300 dpi), separately scan any photos in 24 bit colour (if required), and don't use OCR when you scan, this will minimise the file size. You may need to check the document after scanning to ensure it is still readable.

If your PDF document is still too large, you can try using the Reduced Size Command, or the PDF Optimizer tool, or Microsoft Word Conversion under the save as other menu within paid versions of Adobe Acrobat to reduce the PDF file size.

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Payments of fees and disbursements

How do I claim payment of fees and/or disbursements?

All claims for payments for case-related work are submitted to Legal Aid NSW using the Submit Payment Claim form in Grants Online - see How do I submit a claim? In relation to claims for payment for duty work, see How do I submit a claim for payment for duty work?

To submit your claim for case-related work, you first search for the relevant pro forma invoice in Grants Online, then submit a claim against the appropriate work items in that invoice using the Submit Payment Claim form.

The claim will be processed automatically in most cases.

On submission to Legal Aid NSW, the claim becomes the practitioner's tax invoice to Legal Aid NSW. The tax invoice can be viewed and printed in the Claim Enquiry screen in Grants Online (see How do I view and print my tax invoice?).

No claim for case-related work can be paid without a matching grant that specifically approves that work item, so it is important that you specify either in an application for aid or in a subsequent extension request in Grants Online what work items you want.

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What is a work item?

A work item is a discrete item of work for which an amount is payable by Legal Aid NSW and for which approval must be sought in an application for legal aid or an extension request.

Work items include both professional work and disbursements.

The totality of all work items requested in an application for aid or extension request comprises the scope of work for that application or extension.

Once approved, a work item is included in a pro forma invoice. A practitioner may submit a claim for payment for a completed work item contained in a pro forma invoice. It is important to note that claims for payment can only be made for work items that are contained in a pro forma invoice, so it is essential that approval for all work items be sought in an application for aid or extension request.

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What is a pro forma invoice?

A pro forma invoice is an electronic invoice generated by, and stored in, the Grants Online system when an application for aid or an extension request is approved. The pro forma invoice contains all the work items (which include both professional work and disbursements) approved for that grant or extension.

When submitting a claim for payment of fees and/or disbursements, you first search in Grants Online for the pro forma invoice, then submit a claim against the relevant work items in that invoice using the Submit Payment Claim screen in Grants Online. Note that you can only claim for work or disbursements for which there is a matching work item in a pro forma invoice.

Since the items and fees in the invoice will have been approved when the grant or extension was approved, the claim is processed automatically in most cases.

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What is a claim?

A claim in Grants Online is a request by a practitioner to be paid for work done and/or disbursements incurred. Practitioners can only claim for work or disbursements for which there is a matching work item in a pro forma invoice.

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How do I search for a pro forma invoice?

In order to submit a claim for payment for work or disbursements, you must first locate in Grants Online the electronic pro forma invoice that contains the work items against which you wish to claim.

To search for a pro forma invoice, do this:

  1. Click on the Submit New Claim button below Grant Claims on the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
    1. In the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen, click on the magnifying-glass icon beside the Client ID box.
    2. The Select a Client screen appears. Enter the client's name in the First Name and Surname boxes, then click the Search button at the top of the Select a Client screen.
    3. A list of client names matching your search criteria appears below Search Results at the bottom of the Select a Client screen (note: only the names of your organisation's clients appear). If more than one name appears, use the summary information displaying beside each name to identify the client for whom you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of that client in the Client Name column.
    4. You are returned to the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen, with your client's ID number displaying in the Client ID box.
  2. The Search for a Proforma Invoice screen appears. Enter the pro forma invoice ID, if you know it, or other indicated search criteria in the relevant boxes. (Note: if you are a barrister to whom the pro forma invoice has been reassigned, you cannot perform the search using the client ID or client name as your search criteria, since it is your instructing solicitor who is the service provider for that client in Grants Online. You should therefore use the pro forma invoice ID or the file ID as your search criteria.)

    To search for the invoice using your client's name as the search criterion, do this:
  3. When finished entering search criteria, click the Search button at the top of the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen.
  4. A list of invoice numbers matching your search criteria appears below Search Results at the bottom of the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen. If more than one invoice number appears, check the summary information displaying beside each one to identify the pro forma invoice for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined number of that invoice in the Invoice column.
  5. The Submit Payment Claim screen appears. To use this screen to submit a claim, see How do I submit a claim?

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How do I submit a claim?

To submit a claim for payment for work and/or disbursements, you must first search in Grants Online for the electronic pro forma invoice that contains the work items against which you wish to claim (see How do I search for a pro forma invoice?). When you complete the search, the Submit Payment Claim form appears.

In the Submit Payment Claim form:

  1. Enter your claim reference in the Your Claim Reference box. This will usually be your own invoice number or something similar of your choosing. (Note: if you will be submitting more than one claim against this pro forma invoice, you must use a different claim reference for each claim.)
  2. If you will be making further claims against this pro forma invoice or against another pro forma invoice in this matter, you should leave the values in the Final Claim for Pro Forma Invoice? box and/or the Final Claim for this File? box set to their default values of NO.
    1. If a box displaying the figures 0.00 appears in the Units to be Claimed column, enter the number of units to be claimed in the box.
    2. If a box displaying the figures 0.00 appears in the Exclusive Amount to be Claimed column and/or the Inclusive Amount to be Claimed column, enter the GST-exclusive or GST-inclusive amount to be claimed in the relevant box.
    3. If boxes for the entry of dates appear in the Service Dates column, enter the first and last dates when the services were provided for which you are making the claim. If those services were provided on one date only, enter that date in both boxes. If the services were provided on multiple, non-consecutive dates, enter the first and last dates only. Note: Legal Aid NSW recognises that there will be some instances of files converted from the previous grants management system where practitioners were not issued with pro forma invoices before the service was performed. In these cases Grants Online will not allow you to enter the true service dates in the Submit Payment Claim form. In those situations, you should enter the current date as the service date. This issue should not occur with grants that have been fully processed through the new grants management system.
  3. Below Work Items:
  4. When all information is entered in the form, click the Submit Claim button at the top of the Submit Payment Claim screen.
  5. A confirmation message at the top of the screen lets you know your claim has been submitted successfully.

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How do I see what work items are covered by a pro forma invoice?

If you're not sure of the work items that are covered by a pro forma invoice, you can look up the details using the File Enquiry function in Grants Online. To do this:

  1. Click on File Enquiry below Grants Management in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
    1. Enter the file ID or other search criteria such as the client name in the appropriate boxes in the File Enquiry screen. To search for the file using your client's name as your search criterion, do this:
      1. Enter the client's name in the First Name and Surname boxes, then click on the magnifying-glass icon beside the Surname box.
      2. The Select a Client screen appears, with the client's name displayed. Click the Search button at the top of the Select a client screen.
      3. A list of client names matching your search criteria appears below Search Results at the bottom of the Select a Client screen. If more than one name appears, check the personal details appearing beside each name to identify the client for whom you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of your selected client in the Client Name column.
      4. You are returned to the File Enquiry screen, with the client's name displaying in the client name boxes.
    2. When finished entering search criteria, click the Search button at the top of the File Enquiry screen.
    3. A list of file numbers matching your search criteria appears below Search Results at the bottom of the File Enquiry screen. If more than one file number appears, check the summary information appearing beside each file number to identify the file for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined file number of that file in the File ID column.
  2. The File Enquiry screen appears. Use this screen to search for the Grants Online file for the matter. To search for the file, do this:
  3. The File Enquiry screen now displays information about the grant. This includes a list of work items covered by the scope of aid below Scope of Aid Summary.
  4. To see further details of the scope of aid, click on View Details beside Scope of Aid Summary.
  5. The Scope of Aid Details Enquiry screen appears. Click on the blue, downward-pointing arrow beside each Extension number to display a list of proforma invoices generated for that extension.
  6. To see the work items contained in each pro forma invoice, click on the plus (+) symbol beside each invoice number. This opens the Proforma Invoice Enquiry screen, showing amounts available and claimed to date for each work item.

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Why does the Submit Payment Claim screen show the same work item twice?

In some cases, you may find that an approved work item is duplicated in the Work Items section of the Submit Payment Claim screen. For example, the screen may display an item for court time, showing up to three hours as available for claim. A second line item may again show court time, with up to five hours approved.

This duplication occurs when Legal Aid NSW changes a work item by, for example, altering the maximum number of hours that may be claimed for that item. Pro forma invoices that are current when the change is made and that include approval for that item will then contain two versions of the item. The first contains the old rate (or old maximum), while the second contains the new rate. Both versions will display under the heading Work Items in the Submit Payment Claim screen.

In the Submit Payment Claim screen the Effective Date Range column under Work Items may display different date ranges for each of the two versions. Typically the "old" line item will show an effective date range from the date of approval of the item up to the date when the work item was changed by Legal Aid NSW. The "new" item will show an effective date range starting from the date of the change.

If a work item is duplicated in the Submit Payment Claim screen:

  1. Subject to 3 below, you may claim against either the "old" line item or the "new" one, or a combination of both, so long as your total claim does not exceed the maximum contained in the grant or extension when it was approved. For example, if the Submit Payment Claim screen shows an old line item allowing up to five hours for court time and a new one allowing up to three hours, and five hours was approved in the grant or extension, you may claim against either or both of the items, so long as your total claim does not exceed five hours. So, for instance, you may claim three hours against the old item and two hours against the new one (a total of five hours), but you may not claim three hours against each item (a total of six hours).
  2. Your total claim may not exceed the amount or quantity approved in the grant or extension.
  3. If the line items display date ranges in the Effective Date Range column and require you to enter service dates, you should enter your claim against the line item in which the Effective Date Range column contains the date range applicable to your date(s) of service. If this is not possible (e.g. you are trying to claim five hours against the "court time" line item that contains the date range applicable to your date(s) of service, but that item only allows up to three hours), you should contact the Grants Support Desk for assistance.

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How do I see what has been claimed and what can still be claimed on a pro forma invoice?

To see what claims have been made against a pro forma invoice and what claims can still be made, do this:

  1. Click on Invoice Enquiry below Grant Claims in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
    1. Click on the magnifying-glass icon beside the Client ID box in the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen.
    2. The Select a Client screen appears. Enter your client's name in the First Name and Surname boxes, then click the Search button at the top of the Select a Client screen. (Tip: if the search for your client's name is unsuccessful, and you are certain the client is recorded in Grants Online, using the wildcard operator may assist your search - see How do I use the wildcard operator to help me search for a name in Grants Online?)
    3. A list of client names matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Select a Client screen, below Search Results. (Note: only the names of clients of your organisation appear.) If more than one name appears, check the personal details displaying beside each one to identify the client for whom you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of your selected client in the Client Name column.
    4. You are returned to the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen, with your selected client's number displaying in the Client ID box.
  2. The Search for a Proforma Invoice screen appears. If you know the pro forma invoice number, enter it in the Proforma Invoice ID box. If not, enter other indicated search criteria in the relevant boxes. To perform the search using your client's name as your search criterion, do this:
  3. When finished entering search criteria in the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen, click the Search button at the top of the screen.
  4. A list of pro forma invoices matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Search for a Proforma Invoice screen, below Search Results. If more than one pro forma invoice appears, check the information displaying beside each one to identify the invoice for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined number of your selected invoice in the Invoice column.
  5. The Proforma Invoice Enquiry screen appears, displaying details of your selected pro forma invoice. Here you can view a list of the work items contained in the invoice. For each work item you can view the amount available for the item, the amount claimed to date, the maximum rate payable, and information on whether a partial claim on the item is available.

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How do I view and print my tax invoice?

When you submit a claim to Legal Aid NSW, that claim becomes your tax invoice. To view and print your tax invoice, do this:

  1. Click on Claim Enquiry below Grant Claims in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
    1. Click on the magnifying-glass icon beside the Client ID box.
    2. The Select a Client screen appears. Enter your client's name in the First Name and Surname boxes, then click the Search button at the top of the Select a Client screen.
    3. A list of client names matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Select a Client screen, below Search Results. (Note: only the names of clients of your organisation appear.) If more than one names appears, check the personal details appearing beside each one to identify the client for whom you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of that client in the Client Name column.
    4. You are returned to the Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen, with the client ID of your selected client appearing in the Client ID box.
  2. The Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen appears. Enter the claim ID, if you know it, or other indicated search criteria in the relevant boxes. To perform the search using your client's name as the search criteria, do this:
  3. When finished entering search criteria in the Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen, click the Search button at the top of the screen.
  4. A list of claim numbers matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen, below Search Results. If more than one claim number appears, check the information beside each one to identify the claim for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined number of that claim in the Claim column.
  5. The Tax Invoice screen appears, displaying your tax invoice for the selected claim.
  6. To print the tax invoice, use the Print function in your web browser window. For example, in Internet Explorer select File, then Print, in the top left corner of your screen.

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How do I view and print a list of claims submitted in a matter?

To see a list of all claims submitted in a matter, do this:

  1. Click on Claim Enquiry below Grant Claims in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen appears. Enter the Grants Online file number for the matter in the File ID box. Then click the Search button at the top of the Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen.
  3. A list of claims made in the matter appears at the bottom of the Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen, below Search Results. Information such as the claim date and amount, the pro forma invoice number and your claim reference displays for each claim. You can see further details of any claim by clicking on the blue, underlined number of that claim in the Claim column.
  4. To print out the list of claims in the Claim Tax Invoice Enquiry screen, use the Print function in your web browser window. For example, in Internet Explorer select File, then Print, in the top left corner of the screen.

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I am trying to submit a claim. I am getting an error message which says Certifying Practitioner must be entered, and/or [478] The Certifying Practitioner does not belong to the Certifying Office

You need to select the name of the practitioner who is certifying the claim from the pick list. To do this you need to click on the pick list icon (the magnifying glass) next to the practitioner surname field. When you click on the pick list icon you will see a screen called Select a Person. Your firm name will appear in the Office field by default. If you typed the practitioner's name (or part of the name) into the fields in the Claim form, that information will be included in the First Name and Surname fields in the Select a Person screen. Click on the Search button and you will retrieve a list of matching practitioners. Any practitioner who is on a number of Legal Aid Panels will appear on the list more than once. To fill in the practitioner's name in the Claim screen, click the blue link (a number) in the Person ID column. If the practitioner's name appears more than once with the same ID, you can click on any of the rows. Once you have clicked on the link, you will return to the Claim screen with the name filled in correctly.

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How are counsel's fees paid?

An electronic pro forma invoice for counsel's fees is generated by, and stored in, the Grants Online system when counsel's fees are approved in a grant or extension of legal aid assigned to a solicitor.

The solicitor can then use Grants Online to reassign that invoice to the barrister who is briefed, provided the barrister is registered to use Grants Online. The reassignment allows the barrister to submit their claim for fees directly to Legal Aid NSW using Grants Online, rather than the instructing solicitor having to submit it.

A pro forma invoice is issued at the time when a grant or extension of legal aid containing the work item associated with that invoice is approved.

For assistance to reassign a pro forma invoice, see How do I reassign a pro forma invoice?.

Barristers who are not registered to use Grants Online must register before they can avail themselves of the reassignment facility. For assistance to register, see How do I register to use Grants Online?

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How do I reassign a pro forma invoice?

An instructing solicitor can reassign a pro forma invoice for counsel's fees to the barrister who is briefed, provided the barrister is registered to use Grants Online.

To reassign an invoice for counsel's fees to the barrister, do this:

  1. Click on Reassign Invoice below Grant Claims in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Reassign Invoice screen appears. Enter the pro forma invoice number in the Proforma Invoice ID box, if you know it. Otherwise enter other indicated search criteria in the relevant boxes. (For help with searching generally, see How can I make my searches in Grants Online more successful?.)
  3. Click the Search button at the top of the Reassign Invoice screen.
  4. A list of pro forma invoice numbers matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Reassign Invoice screen, below Search Results. If more than one invoice number appears, check the information displaying beside each one to identify the pro forma invoice for which you are searching. Then click on the red, underlined number of your selected pro forma invoice in the Invoice column.
  5. Information about the selected pro forma invoice appears in the Reassign Invoice screen. The name of the office to whom the invoice is currently assigned appears in the Assigned Office box. Click the magnifying-glass icon beside the Assigned Office box.
  6. The Select an Office box appears, with the name of the currently assigned office displaying in the Office Name box. Delete the name appearing in that box, and either:
    1. enter the name of the barrister to whom you are reassigning the invoice in the Office Name box; or
    2. if you are unsure of how the barrister's name is recorded in Grants Online, enter the wildcard operator (%) in the Office Name box together with part of the barrister's name - see How do I use the wildcard operator to help me search for a name in Grants Online?. This is the better option in most cases.
  7. Select Barrister from the Service Type drop-down list in the Select an Office screen.
  8. When finished entering search criteria in the Select an Office screen, click the Search button at the top of the screen.
  9. A list of barristers matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Select an Office screen, below Search Results. If more than one office appears, check the information displaying beside each one to identify the barrister for whom you are searching. Then click on the red, underlined name of your selected barrister in the Office column.
  10. You are returned to the Reassign Invoice screen, with the name of your selected barrister displaying in the Assigned Office box. Click the Save button at the top of the screen.
  11. A green confirmation message at the top of the screen lets you know that the pro forma invoice has been successfully reassigned.

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Duty work

How do I submit a claim for payment for duty work?

To make a claim for payment for duty work you first search in Grants Online for the duty purchase order created by Legal Aid NSW staff that authorises the duty work in question. You then use that duty purchase order to submit a claim for payment using the Submit Duty Lawyer Claim form in Grants Online.

In most cases the duty claim is processed automatically.

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What is a duty purchase order?

A duty purchase order is an electronic purchase order created by Legal Aid NSW and stored in the system. It authorises the performance of, and payment for duty work, and specifies details of that work including the court type and location, the period covered by the order, and the organisation and practitioner authorised to perform the work.

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How do I search for a duty purchase order?

To search for a duty purchase order, do this:

  1. Click on Submit New Claim below Duty Work in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Search for Purchase Order screen appears, with your office displaying in the Service Provider Office field.
  3. Click the down arrow to the left of Advanced Criteria. This causes additional fields to appear below Advanced Criteria, including the Purchase Order Status field.
  4. From the Purchase Order Status drop-down list, select Active.
  5. Click the Search button at the top of the Search for Purchase Order screen.
  6. A list of currently active purchase orders for your office appears below Search Results at the bottom of the Search for Purchase Order screen. The results display information such as service period, court type, court location and practitioner for each purchase order.
  7. In the Purchase Order column, click the blue, underlined number belonging to the purchase order against which you wish to claim fees.
  8. The Submit Duty Lawyer Claim form appears. For guidance on how to submit a claim for fees once you have found the duty purchase order, see How do I use the duty purchase order to submit a claim for fees?

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What happens if I can't find a matching duty purchase order?

If you can't find a matching duty purchase order for the court location, court type and date when you did the duty work, the purchase order may not yet have been created by Legal Aid NSW. You should contact the Legal Aid NSW office or section that asked you to do the duty work and check that the purchase order has been created. You won't be able to submit the claim until the purchase order has been created.

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How do I use the duty purchase order to submit a claim for fees?

To submit a claim for fees for duty work you must first search for the online duty purchase order that authorises the duty work in question (see How do I search for a duty purchase order?). When you complete this search, the Submit Duty Lawyer Claim form appears.

In the Submit Duty Lawyer Claim screen:

  1. Enter the Court Date and Your Claim Reference (which will normally be your own invoice number or something similar of your choosing) in the relevant boxes.
  2. Enter travel details below Travel Allowance if relevant.
    1. In the Time of Arrival boxes, enter the time you arrived at court.
    2. In the Time of Departure boxes, enter the time you finished at court after completing all your matters (including duty matters, privately funded matters and matters covered by grants of legal aid).
    3. In the Duration of Lunch boxes, enter the length of time taken for lunch, in hours and minutes.
    4. In the Time on Private Funded Matters boxes, enter the length of time spent at court on privately funded matters, in hours and minutes.
    5. In the Time on Legal Aid Grants boxes, enter the length of time spent at court on matters covered by grants of legal aid. Note that these do not include matters in relation to which you performed duty services, but are matters in which grants of aid had already been made and assigned.
  3. Below Arrival and Departure Details:
    1. Click the Add button. The Service Type, Jurisdiction, Funding Category and Duration drop-down boxes appear. These must all be completed by making a selection from the drop-down list belonging to each one. The Clients Seen box must also be filled in. For guidance in choosing the right jurisdiction, see How do I choose the jurisdiction when completing the session details in a duty claim?
      1. Complete the first row, then click the green-and-white arrow in the Action column.
      2. The Add button re-appears in the Action column. Click this button to display another row of drop-down lists. Complete this row, then click the green-and-white arrow again.
      3. Repeat the procedure in step 2 as often as required to capture all values (e.g. all jurisdictions covered in the duty session).
    2. If you have performed duty services that cover more than one of the values in a drop-down list (e.g. more than one jurisdiction), you can add further rows to capture each one. To do this:
    3. When finished entering session details, click on the green-and-white arrow in the Action column.
  4. Below Session Details:
  5. Below Demographics, enter the number of Indigenous clients.
  6. You can view the total amount claimed below Claim Summary.
  7. When finished filling in the form, submit the claim by clicking the Submit button at the top of the Submit Duty Lawyer Claim form.
  8. A green confirmation message at the top of the screen lets you know that your claim has been submitted successfully.

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How do I choose the jurisdiction when completing the session details in a duty claim?

When entering the details of your duty work in the Submit Duty Lawyer Claim screen, you must record the jurisdiction that relates to the matters in which you represented clients. You do this by selecting a jurisdiction from the drop-down list in the Jurisdiction column under the heading Session Details (see How do I use the duty purchase order to submit a claim for fees?).

It is important that you select the correct jurisdiction(s) for the duty work you performed. Currently when you click on the arrow in the Jurisdiction drop-down list to display a list of possible jurisdictions, the first entry you will see in most cases is CWTH CRIME ADULT. You should select this option only if you performed duty work that consisted of matters under adult Commonwealth criminal law. If your duty matters were adult State criminal law matters, you should choose the STATE CRIME ADULT option in the list.

If you have performed duty services that cover more than one jurisdiction, you can record details of the work performed in each jurisdiction.

The Grants Online system is currently being rectified to ensure that the more commonly used options, such as STATE CRIME ADULT, will appear at the top of the drop-down list in the Jurisdiction column.

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I am trying to submit a Duty Lawyer invoice. I am getting an error message which says Practitioner must be entered.

You need to select the name of the practitioner who is certifying the claim from the pick list. To do this you need to click on the pick list icon (the magnifying glass) next to the practitioner name field. When you click on the pick list icon you will see a screen called Select a Person. Your firm name will appear in the Office field by default. If you typed the practitioner's name (or part of the name) into the fields in the Invoice form, that information will be included in the First Name and Surname fields in the Select a Person screen. Click on the Search button and you will retrieve a list of matching practitioners. Any practitioner who is on a number of Legal Aid panels will appear on the list more than once. To fill in the practitioner's name in the Invoice screen, click the blue link (a number) in the Person ID column. If the practitioner's name appears more than once with the same ID, you can click on any of the rows. Once you have clicked on the link, you will return to the Invoice screen with the name filled in correctly.

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How do I view and print my tax invoice for duty lawyer fees?

When you submit a claim for payment of duty lawyer fees to Legal Aid NSW, that claim becomes your tax invoice. To view and print your tax invoice, do this:

  1. Click on View Claim Invoice below Duty Lawyer in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
    1. Click on the magnifying-glass icon beside the Office box.
    2. The Select an Office screen appears. Enter your organisation's name in the Office Name box. (Tip: if you have trouble finding your organisation because you are unsure of exactly how the organisation's name is recorded in Grants Online, enter part of the organisation name in the Office Name box, and enter the wildcard operator (%) in the box immediately before and/or after the partial name you have entered.) Then select a service type from the drop-down list in the Service Type box, and click the Search button at the top of the Select an Office screen.
    3. A list of office names matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Select an Office screen, below Search Results. If more than one office name appears, check the information appearing beside each one to identify the office for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of your selected office in the Office column.
    4. You are returned to the Search for Duty Payment Claim screen, with the name of your organisation appearing in the Office box.
  2. The Search for Duty Payment Claim screen appears. Enter the claim ID in the Claim ID box, if you know it. Otherwise search for the claim by entering other indicated search criteria in the relevant boxes. For example, to perform the search using your organisation's name as the search criterion, do this:
  3. When finished entering search criteria in the Search for Duty Payment Claim screen, click the Search button at the top of the screen.
  4. A list of claim numbers matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Search for Duty Payment Claim screen, below Search Results. If more than one claim number appears, check the information displaying beside each one to identify the claim for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined number of your selected claim in the Claim column.
  5. The Tax Invoice screen appears, displaying your tax invoice for the selected claim.
  6. To print the tax invoice, use the Print function in your web browser window. For example, in Internet Explorer select File, then Print, in the top left corner of your screen.

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Transfer of matters

How do I transfer a matter to another practitioner?

In exceptional circumstances and in accordance with Legal Aid NSW policy you may request that a matter be transferred to another practitioner. To do this you complete a Grants Online transfer request form on your screen, then submit it to Legal Aid NSW over the Internet. If the transfer is approved, Legal Aid NSW re-assigns the matter in accordance with the Legal Aid NSW Grants Allocation Guidelines.

Legal Aid NSW advises you of the practitioner to whom the matter has been assigned.

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Appeals to Legal Aid Review Committee

How do I appeal on behalf of a client against a determination by Legal Aid NSW?

Grants Online contains a form which you complete on your screen and submit over the Internet to lodge an appeal to the Legal Aid Review Committee. The form allows you to attach any supporting documentation.

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Registration for Grants Online

Must I be registered to use Grants Online?

Practitioners must be registered to use Grants Online. For assistance to register, see How do I register to use Grants Online?

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How do I register to use Grants Online?

To register, do this:

  1. From the Legal Aid NSW website, click on Grants Online, (under the For Lawyers menu).
  2. The Grants Online login screen appears. Click on the Registration button on the left side of the screen.
    1. Your organisation's name, street address, postal address, DX number and location, telephone and fax numbers, and ABN.
    2. The name and email address of your organisation's nominated system administrator. This person is responsible for registering and maintaining your organisation's user names and passwords.
    3. The name, telephone number and email address of each legal practitioner providing legal aid services.
    4. The name of a principal or partner for verification of particulars.
  3. The Legal Aid NSW Registration form appears. To complete this form you will need the following information:
  4. When all required details are filled in, click the Submit button at the bottom of the form.
  5. A confirmation message will appear and an email will immediately be sent to you, confirming successful receipt of your registration application. In most circumstances your registration will be processed within 24 hours.
  6. Upon registering, your organisation's Grants Online admininstrator will receive a unique user name. Separately they will also receive a login password which they will use to log in to Grants Online at the login screen. The first time they do this they will be asked to change their password.
  7. Your administrator will also receive instructions for setting up additional user names for the organisation.

For additional assistance with registering, contact the Grants Support Desk at Legal Aid NSW on (02) 9219 5999 or grants.support@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.

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How can I get assistance with registering to use Grants Online?

Contact Legal Aid NSW's Grants Support Desk on (02) 9219 5999 or by email to grants.support@legalaid.nsw.gov.au

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Panel offers

How are panel offers made?

Grants Online has the ability to convey offers of work to panel practitioners, in accordance with the Grants Allocation Guidelines. The main features of this capability are:

  • For the purposes of making offers, panels use a "rolling list" concept.
  • Offers are made simultaneously to more than one practitioner at the top of a panel - typically three to five practitioners.
  • Offers remain open for acceptance for a period of time - generally 24 hours.
  • The first practitioner to accept an offer receives the work, then drops to the bottom of the list.
  • An offer made to a practitioner appears on the practitioner's Notice Board in Grants Online. The practitioner also receives an email alerting them to the offer, but must go to their Notice Board to view details and accept it.
  • If an offer has already been accepted by another practitioner when a practitioner opens their Notice Board, the offer no longer appears.  If the offer has already been accepted by another practitioner, the practitioner who was unable to accept the offer remains at the top of the list for the next offer.
  • If a practitioner does not wish to accept an offer appearing on their Notice Board, they can simply ignore it. There is no need to decline it.  

For assistance to accept an offer, see How do I accept a panel offer?

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How do I accept a panel offer?
  1. If your Notice Board is not displaying in Grants Online, click on Noticeboard below Home in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. Offers of work appear below Offers to Service Providers on the Notice Board. If more than one offer is displayed, each offer appears on a separate row. Summary information about each offer appears on the same row.
  3. To view further details of an offer and/or accept it, click on the blue, underlined word (either Unread or Read) associated with that offer in the Status column below Offers to Service Providers. The Accept Offer of Work screen appears. Here you can view further details of the offer to help you decide whether to accept it.
    1. To accept, click on the Accept Offer button at the top of the Accept Offer of Work screen.
    2. A green confirmation message at the top of the Accept Offer of Work screen lets you know that the offer has been successfully accepted.
  4. If you don't wish to accept the offer after viewing the details, exit from the Accept Offer of Work screen without entering the name of the accepting practitioner or clicking the Accept Offer button.

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Updating personal, office and client information

How do I update a client's details?

You can update your client's personal information in Grants Online, including their address and contact details, financial information and a range of other personal details.

To update your client's personal details, do this:

  1. Click on Update Client Details below Client in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Client Update screen appears. Enter the client number of your client in the Client ID box, if you know it. Otherwise search for your client by entering other indicated search criteria, such as the client's name, in the relevant boxes. Then click the Search button at the top of the Client Update screen.
  3. A list of client names matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Client Update screen, below Search Results. (Note: only the names of clients of your organisation appear.) If more than one name appears, check the personal information displaying beside each one to identify the client for whom you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of your selected client in the Client Name column.
  4. The Update Client Details screen appears. Here your client's details are displayed in five tabs: Personal Details, Additional Details, FAP/Dependants, Income and Assets.
  5. Click either on the tab headings or on the arrows at the foot of each tab to see the information on each tab and make changes as required. (Note: if you update a client's financial details, the system will automatically recalculate the client's eligibility for aid under the Legal Aid NSW means test in all current matters in which the client has a grant of aid.)
  6. When finished making changes, click the Save button at the top of the Update Client Details screen. A confirmation message at the top of the screen lets you know your changes have been saved.

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How do I update my personal details?

You can update your telephone and fax numbers and email address in Grants Online. You can also view details of your panel memberships.

In addition, if you are a Grants Online administrator for your organisation, you can update the details of the organisation itself (see How do I update my organisation's details?) and reset the passwords of other Grants Online users in your organisation (see How do I reset other users' passwords?).

To update your personal details, do this:

  1. Click on Update Personal Details below Update Your Details in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Search for a Person screen appears, with the name of your organisation displaying in the Organisation box. Enter your name in the First Name and Surname boxes, then click the Search button at the top of the Search for a Person screen.
  3. A list of person ID numbers matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Search for a Person screen, below Search Results. You may appear in multiple rows if you are a member of more than one Legal Aid NSW practitioner panel, since each panel membership will display on a separate row. Click the blue, underlined number in the Person ID column in any of the rows in which your name appears in the Person Name column.
  4. The Update a Person screen appears, displaying information recorded about you in Grants Online. Here you can update your telephone and fax numbers and email address. You can also view details of your panel memberships.
  5. When finished making changes, click the Save button at the top of the Update a Person screen. A confirmation message at the top of the screen lets you know your changes have been saved.

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How do I update my organisation's details?

If you are a Grants Online administrator for your organisation, you can update information recorded about the organisation in Grants Online, in particular telephone and fax numbers, addresses and bank account details.

To update your organisation's details, do this:

  1. Click on Update Office below Administration in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Search for an Office screen appears. Enter your organisation's name in the Office Name box, and select a service type from the drop-down list in the Service Type box. Then click the Search button at the top of the Search for an Office screen.
  3. A list of offices matching your search criteria appears at the bottom of the Search for an Office screen, below Search Results. If more than one office appears, check the information displaying beside each one to identify the office for which you are searching. Then click on the blue, underlined name of your selected office in the Office column.
  4. The Update an Office screen appears, displaying information recorded about your organisation in Grants Online. Here you can update your organisation's telephone and fax numbers, addresses (postal, street, email and web) and bank account details.
  5. When finished making changes, click the Save button at the top of the Update an Office screen. A confirmation message at the top of the screen lets you know your changes have been saved.

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How do I reset other users' passwords?

If you are a Grants Online administrator for your organisation, you can reset Grants Online passwords for other users in the organisation.

To reset other users' passwords, do this:

  1. Click on Update Users below Administration in the menu on the left side of the Grants Online screen.
  2. The Maintain Users screen appears, displaying a list of other Grants Online users in your organisation. Click on the blue, underlined Reset Password link beside the name of the user whose password you are resetting.
  3. The Reset Password screen appears. Enter and confirm the new password where requested, then click the Save button at the top of the Reset Password screen.
  4. You are returned to the Maintain Users screen, and a confirmation message lets you know the password has been changed.

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Correspondence

My client is  concerned about his/her legal aid correspondence going to his/her address. How do I arrange for my client’s legal aid correspondence to be sent to my office?

When you submit an application or an extension, you can tick the box in the form labelled Send all correspondence to my lawyer only. If this box is ticked, you will receive your client’s grant, refusal and other letters via Grants Online.
 
You can also use the File Client Correspondence function in Grants Online. If you want correspondence to be sent to your office, locate the client’s file in the File Client Correspondence function, tick the box labelled Correspondence to practitioner and click Save.  Note that the Correspondence to practitioner box operates only for the selected file. If your office acts for the client in more than one file, you will need to select each file separately in the File Client Correspondence function.

You must not use your own email address as the client’s email address, as this email address will then be recorded on Legal Aid NSW records for the client even after your office no longer acts for the client.
 
Note that independently represented child clients in family law and care and protection matters do not receive any letters from Legal Aid NSW.

How do I stop my client’s legal aid correspondence being sent to my office?

When you submit an application or an extension, you can untick the box in the form labelled Send all correspondence to my lawyer only. If this box is not ticked, your client’s correspondence will be sent to their email, postal or home address, as indicated in the application or extension.

You can also use the File Client Correspondence function in Grants Online. If you want to stop correspondence being sent to your office, locate the client’s file in the File Client Correspondence function, untick the box labelled Correspondence to practitioner and click Save. Note that the Correspondence to practitioner box operates only for the selected file. If your office acts for the client in more than one file, you will need to select each file separately in the File Client Correspondence function.

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Support

What assistance is available for practitioners using Grants Online?

Support is available from the Legal Aid NSW Service Desk on (02) 9219 5999 or servicedesk@legalaid.nsw.gov.au).

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Mobile devices

How do I use Grants Online on my iPad?
  1. Your iPad needs to allow pop-ups and JavaScript. To do this:
    •    Go to Settings > Safari > Block Pop-upsOff, JavaScriptOn 
  2. You can’t attach documents to applications submitted on your iPad, and similarly you can’t submit documents via Submit Correspondence.  These functions need to be used via a desktop PC.
  3. The Search and Go buttons on the iPad screen keyboard are disabled. You need to use the buttons on the Grants Online screen.
  4. Enter forward slashes in date fields DD/MM/YYYY.
  5. The Update Office function can’t be used on your iPad. Office updates such as changes of phone number or address will need to be made via a desktop PC.

System requirements

How should my computer be set up to best use Grants Online?

Grants Online works best with the most recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE 11).  Legal Aid NSW strongly recommends that you use the most recent version available of any web browser you use.

Grants Online may operate satisfactorily with the following older web browser versions although we don’t specifically test all these:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 8 or later)
  • Mozilla Firefox (version 24 or later)
  • Google Chrome (version 33 or later)
  • Apple Safari for desktop (version 7 or later)
  • Apple Safari for iOS (iOS 7 or later)
  • Google Android OS Browser (version 4.1 or later)

Grants Online will not operate at all with web browser versions prior those listed above.

Grants Online requires your web browser to support TLS 1.2 security. The following older web browser versions require TLS 1.2 support to be manually activated in your web browser settings as it is disabled by default:

  • Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10 (In your browser settings/Tools select Internet Options then Advanced and ensure “Use TLS 1.2” is selected)
  • Mozilla Firefox 24, 25, 26
  • Google Android OS Browser 4.1 to 4.4

To use Grants Online satisfactorily, you should have a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768.
In your browser's settings for managing Temporary Internet Files, the option to check for newer versions of stored pages should be set to "Automatically" or equivalent value. In Internet Explorer this is the default value.

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