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New means test with raised thresholds

15 Aug 2014

A new Legal Aid NSW means test came into effect on 4 August 2014 – the first increase since 2007.

Legal Aid NSW has made changes to some of the thresholds in its Means Test in line with cost of living increases.

We have raised the upper income threshold (the threshold above which legal aid is not usually available), as well as the housing allowance, dependant allowance, maintenance allowance and childcare cost thresholds.

This means that a greater amount of an applicant's real expenditure in these areas will be taken into account before they are refused legal aid.  
Threshold Old rate ($) New rate ($)

Net assessable income    - minimum contribution

- upper threshold 

213

318 

318

385 

Housing costs                  - Metropolitan

- Non Metropolitan 

320

220

455

320 

Dependant allowance (per dependant) 100 120
Maintenance allowance (maximum per child) 100 120
Childcare costs 169 250

The minimum contribution threshold and contribution rates have not been adjusted. Applicants will still be required to make a contribution if their income is over $213 per week after allowable deductions. 

More information

Legal Aid NSW means test policies

Means test indicator – a guide to financial eligibility for legal aid