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3. Delegation Instrument

3.14. Implementing the Means Test under section 35

ItemDelegated Officer
CertificationDetermination
Implementing the Legal Aid NSW Means Test under s 35.Duty Solicitor
In-house solicitor with the carriage of the matterDetermining Officer
subject to the following discretions

14.1

Exercising discretion in applying the Means Test to grant legal aid when, after calculating the income, the net assessable income of the applicant exceeds the current maximum threshold by up to 10%.

Officers must consider the factors set out in the Means Test at 7.10.1 when exercising this discretion.

Duty Solicitor

In-house solicitor with the carriage of the matter

Determining Officer

14.2

Exercising discretion in applying the Means Test to grant legal aid to applicants whose net assessable income exceeds the income eligibility threshold by over 10% and/or does not satisfy the Means Test.

Officers must take into account the factors set out in the Means Test discretions at 7.10.2 when exercising this discretion.

Note: where an officer is exercising this discretion and the decision requires a reduction in the initial contribution amount, the officer should be aware that the amount by which the contribution is reduced must be in accordance with the officer’s delegation set out under clause 3.18 (varying s.36 contributions).

Solicitor Grade IV

Solicitor Grade IV Grants

14.3

Exercising discretion in applying the Means Test to disregard, for elderly applicants, the home equity in excess of the maximum ceiling to grant legal aid and calculate a contribution on assets.

See Means Test discretion at 7.10.5.

Solicitor Grade IV

Grants Officer Grade 5-6

Solicitor Grade I-III Grants

14.4
Determining to refuse legal aid to applicants whose income and assets fall within the Means Test.

Determining to refuse legal aid can be made in the following situations:

  • Where the applicant is able to afford the cost of legal proceedings having regard to his/her general assets.
  • Where the applicant has substantial fixed assets or an interest in a business assets that could be realisable, and against which the applicant could secure a loan to cover the costs of legal proceedings.
  • Where the applicant’s life style or standard of living appears to be supported by means beyond those disclosed in the legal aid application.

Solicitor Grade IV

Solicitor Grade IV Grants