Disagree with a grants decision?
If you are unhappy with a decision Legal Aid WA makes about a grant of aid, you can ask for the decision to be reconsidered. If you disagree with the reconsidered decision, you can ask for an independent review.
This information will help you to understand what you can do if you disagree with a grants decision. Find out:
- what decisions can be reconsidered
- what you can do if you are still unhappy after reconsideration
- what else you can do.
What decisions can be reconsidered?
You can ask for Legal Aid WA to reconsider any decision:
- refusing to give you a grant of aid
- refusing to extend a grant of aid to cover more hours or a different stage of work
- refusing to approve a disbursement or out-of-pocket expense (for example, the cost of an expert report)
- requiring you pay a contribution to cover some or all of the grant of aid, or increasing the amount of your contribution
- about the conditions on your grant of aid
- assigning you a private lawyer who was not your nominated lawyer of choice
- terminating your grant of aid
- requiring you pay to Legal Aid WA any of the money you receive from your case (for example, costs awarded to you by the court).
Decisions to transfer (or not transfer) your grant of aid to another lawyer cannot be reconsidered.
How do I ask for a decision to be reconsidered?
If you are unhappy with any of the above decisions, you have 28 days to request a reconsideration. The request must be in writing and should be addressed to the Director of Legal Aid WA. If a private lawyer submitted your application for a grant of aid, you can ask them to lodge your request for reconsideration through Grants Online.
As part of your request for reconsideration, you should provide any extra information that we have asked for. For example, information about your income and assets, or proof of a medical condition. You can also include any other information that you think we should know when deciding on your application.
We will take all the information from your original application, along with the new information you have given us, and take another look at the decision.
What if I am still unhappy after reconsideration?
If we reconsider a decision and you are still unhappy, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed by an independent Review Committee. The Review Committee is made up of two lawyers and a member of the public, none of whom is employed by Legal Aid WA.
How do I ask for a decision to be reviewed?
You have 28 days from the date of the reconsidered decision to ask us to send your matter to the Review Committee. The request for review must be in writing and should be addressed to the Director of Legal Aid WA. If a private lawyer submitted your application for a grant of aid, you can ask them to lodge your request for review through Grants Online.
As part of your request for review, you should provide any extra information that we have asked for, along with anything else you think is relevant to the decision. Your initial application, the reasons for the decision, and all other correspondence or information you have provided to us will be given to the Review Committee.
You can appear before the Review Committee, or arrange for a lawyer to speak for you. If you are in custody or unable to attend in person, you can ask for a telephone linkup with the Review Committee. You should ask for this as soon as possible.
The Review Committee can confirm, vary or reverse the decision that is being reviewed. It usually takes at least eight weeks for a decision to be made by the Review Committee. Legal Aid WA will write to tell you the outcome of the Review Committee within 14 days after the decision is made.
The decision of the Review Committee is final.
What if I want to make a complaint?
If you are unhappy with how you have been treated by Legal Aid WA, or with the services provided under a grant of aid, you can submit a complaint to the Director of Legal Aid WA. Please note, we do not investigate complaints about decisions that are covered by the rights of reconsideration and review.
Reviewed: 20 April 2018