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3. Civil law matters

3.18. National Disability Insurance Scheme

Legal Aid may be available for an NDIS matter in the AAT where a Grants Officer decides that:

  • there is a significant likelihood that legal representation will lead to wider community benefit; or
  • the applicant is experiencing disadvantage and would likely realise a substantial benefit from legal representation; and
  • the matter meets Merit Test A

3.18.1 Wider community benefit

The factors to which a Grants Officer may have regard in making a decision that a matter will lead to wider community benefit, may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Factors relating to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) and rules

(a) Whether interpretation or application of a provision under NDIS Act, or rules made under the NDIS Act (rules):

  • has been considered and fully addressed by the AAT or a court;
  • is not comparable to another provision that has been considered and fully addressed by the AAT or a court;
  • is not well understood or does not have an obvious meaning, including where there is ambiguity.

(b) The evidence base (including where there is limited or no evidence base) in relation to a disability, therapy or support.

Factors relating to the administration of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

(c) Whether a decision in relation to the matter:

  • will clarify an uncertain or contentious area of law in relation to the NDIS Act or rules or the application of policy;
  • will resolve an important question of law arising under the NDIS Act or rules;
  • may result in improvements or beneficial changes to the administration of the NDIS;
  • is likely to affect a significant number of participants in the NDIS.

3.18.2 Whether a person experiencing disadvantage would likely realise a substantial benefit from legal representation

In deciding whether a person experiencing disadvantage would likely realise a substantial benefit from legal representation, the LAC may consider:

  • the applicant’s capacity to self-represent;
  • the applicant or family/carer’s ability to access support to self-represent;
  • the availability of other sources of legal assistance.

The Grants Officer may determine the weight to be given to relevant factors.

Date last published: 20/08/2019