My legal aid

What to expect after you apply for legal aid

Once your application for legal aid has been submitted, it will be processed by the Grants Division.

The time it takes to process your application can vary, depending on what kind of help you need. If we need further information to make a decision about your application, you and/or your lawyer will receive a letter from us with the information required.

The Grants Division cannot provide legal advice about your matter.

How to find out the status of your application

If you provided your mobile number and agreed to be contacted by SMS in your application, this will register you for the Grants Tracker. The Grants Tracker will send SMS messages to your mobile number at key times in the application process to update you on the progress of your application.

If you have not received a decision on your application after four weeks or your court date is approaching, you can contact the Grants Division on (02) 9219 5880.

What work will your lawyer do

Your lawyer will be advised of the approved work when your legal aid is granted.

The amount of time your lawyer can spend on your matter will be limited to the approved work. This means your lawyer will have a set amount of funds to conduct conferences with you, prepare necessary court documents and attend court with you. Your lawyer may not be available to answer every phone call. It is important that you gather all relevant documentation, information and prepare any questions prior to each conference or phone call.

If your lawyer needs to do more work or pay for more expenses for your matter, they will need to apply for further funding.

How you can help us

You can help us to provide you with high quality service by:

  • co-operating with Legal Aid NSW and your lawyer,
  • acting in a fair and reasonable way,
  • comply with the conditions of the grant as set out in the grant letter, and
  • treating us with courtesy.

You must tell us immediately if:

  • you change your contact details,
  • your financial or other details change, or
  • you become aware of information that may affect your eligibility for legal aid.

Any violence or threats of violence against the lawyer who is representing you in your matter may result in your grant of legal aid being terminated.

When to contact the Grants Division

All questions about your matter should be discussed with your lawyer in the first instance.

If you have a problem with your lawyer, you should try to resolve the issues directly with your lawyer first. This gives them a chance to understand your issues and to resolve them with you. If the issues cannot be resolved, you should contact the Grants Division.

If there is any change in your circumstances, you should contact the Grants Division.