Go to content
 

Guidelines

3. Civil law matters

3.3. Employment law matters

3.3 The ‘At Social Disadvantage’ Guidelines

What is the At Social Disadvantage Test?

An applicant is ‘at social disadvantage’ if Legal Aid NSW is satisfied they are a person who is at significant risk of suffering social or financial detriment as a result of matters relating to their current or recent employment.

In assessing whether an applicant is at social disadvantage Legal aid NSW will consider factors including:

  • the applicant’s level of financial vulnerability, and
  • the applicant’s level of personal vulnerability, or
  • whether the applicant is an Aboriginal person, a child or a victim of domestic violence or at risk of domestic violence.

For Legal Aid NSW to be satisfied the applicant meets the 'At Social Disadvantage’ Test, the applicant must satisfy the financial and personal vulnerability criteria set out in the ‘at social disadvantage' guidelines.

3.3.1 Financial vulnerability

In determining whether an applicant meets this aspect of the test, Legal Aid NSW must be satisfied that the applicant satisfies three financial vulnerability criteria, which include the applicant:

  1. is in debt and they are unable to repay
  2. has to rely on a welfare agency for support (eg. Mission Australia, Anglicare or Centrelink)
  3. has no savings that can be called upon
  4. has no access to credit from a bank, building society or credit union
  5. is behind or at risk of falling behind in rent or mortgage payments
  6. is in difficulty meeting utility payments such as electricity, water, phone or gas
  7. could not raise $2000 in a week for an emergency (eg. to fix a broken appliance).

3.3.2 Personal vulnerability

In determining whether an applicant meets this aspect of the test, Legal Aid NSW must be satisfied that the applicant satisfies three personal vulnerability criteria, including:

  1. has an ongoing health condition or disability
  2. has unstable/temporary housing
  3. has very poor ability to communicate in English
  4. has a low level of education, literacy, training or skills
  5. is at risk of long term unemployment
  6. has a criminal record
  7. lives in a suburb that has high levels of disadvantage and unemployment
  8. is fifty five (55) years of age or over
  9. is under twenty five (25) years of age.

3.3.3 Or Other disadvantage

The applicant will satisfy this aspect of the guidelines where the applicant is:

  • an Aboriginal person
  • a child, or
  • a victim of domestic violence or at risk of domestic violence.

Date last published: 14/01/2019