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Grants tracker – reducing stress for clients

10 Jul 2019

A new online tool will help clients track their grant application from the time they lodge it to when a decision is made.

Legal Aid NSW is piloting an online tool for clients to track the status of their grant application – a ‘grants tracker’.

We will send clients SMS messages at key times in the application process to update them on their application’s progress. The aim is to improve our clients’ experience of the grant application process and reduce client stress around not knowing what is happening with their application.

It was our clients who told us they would like a legal aid ‘grants tracker’ (similar to Australia Post or Dominos Pizza apps) so they could see where their application is up to in real time.

We worked with digital design company, Portable, to develop a prototype of the tracker before testing it with clients to see if: clients easily understood the content in the tracker; the tracker process corresponds to the steps in the application process as they experience it; the tracker included answers to the most common questions people ask during the application process.

Clients were enthusiastic about the tracker:

“It would reduce stress to receive an SMS.  I had to send a few emails to the grants team before I heard back. The timeline would be helpful.” 

“If I see the timeline, I won’t start stressing out until a decision has been made.” 

“The FAQ in the grants tracker is invaluable. It would have helped a lot.” 

The pilot of the new online tool is planned to go live later this month. In order to participate in the pilot and track their application, clients will need to expressly ‘opt in’ to use the tracker when they (or their lawyer) apply for a grant of aid.  

Client will be able to track an application from the time it is submitted to when a decision is first made. The pilot will not track extensions and terminations of legal aid at this stage. 

We hope that the pilot will provide further insights about how we can refine and improve our clients’ experience of the grant application process.