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Policy Online

Criteria for vulnerable clients and law

Civil law

Legal Aid NSW will determine whether the client is vulnerable having regard to whether they are

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • under 25 years of age
  • over 65 years of age
  • living in a remote or regional area and have difficulty accessing legal services
  • in custody or detention
  • experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence or have legal issues arising out of their experience of family violence
  • living with a mental illness or cognitive impairment or other disability impacting on their ability to understand the legal problem and represent their interests
  • living with a significant physical disability affecting their access to legal and other services
  • a refugee who arrived on an offshore humanitarian visa or who holds a protection visa, or
  • experiencing a threat to their prospects of stable and ongoing employment and are 'financially vulnerable' (see Guideline 3.3.1). Note: this vulnerability only applies to claims to the Fair Work Commission and complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

AND they:

  • have tried and failed to resolve the legal issue
  • have low literacy and are unable to read letters/understand conversations with agencies
  • are unable to identify and understand the details of the legal issues they have, or
  • are unable to navigate the systems and processes to resolve the legal issues.