The information below is only an overview. For detailed information about practitioner payments, refer to the Legal Aid WA Guide to Claiming Payment.
What does Legal Aid WA pay for under a grant of aid?
Legal Aid WA will only pay for the cost of legal services that were actually performed (including disbursements and expenses actually incurred), and only if they fall within the scope of work that was approved in the grant or extension of aid.
You should only claim for the work done under the grant, even if that is less than the payment limits allowed. We will not pay more than the payment limits unless we have previously agreed to an extension of aid.
What are the current pay rates and allowances?
The work covered by a grant is based on the items included in the terms of the grant of aid, as noted in the grant letter. These items dictate how much may be claimed under the grant of aid.
You can read more about the items that may be included in a grant of aid and the applicable rates and allowances under Resources below.
No, if you are allocated a grant of aid, you can only accept payment from Legal Aid WA. The Legal Aid Commission Act and the Legal Profession Conduct Rules stop practitioners who provide legal services under a grant of aid from taking money from clients instead of, or in addition to, being paid for those services by Legal Aid WA.
However, if the grant of aid requires your client to make a contribution towards their legal costs, you must collect the contribution directly from them on our behalf. The amount of the contribution is automatically deducted from what we pay when you submit a claim for payment.
There are other rules about what practitioners can do if they receive money on behalf of a client as part of a court judgment, settlement or award of legal costs.
The Guide to Claiming Payment provides detailed guidance about how to submit a claim for payment.
Practitioners who are assigned grants of aid for matters under one of our panels or the ICL/Child Representative list must submit a claim for payment through Grants Online.
Practitioners who are providing DR Chairperson services must submit a tax invoice for payment by email or by post.
Practitioners should submit a claim for payment, along with a final report on the matter, as soon as practicable within 6 months after a grant of aid finishes. If a final report and claim for payment is submitted late, Legal Aid WA can reduce the approved payment by up to 30% of the payment limit of the grant.
Practitioners providing DR Chairperson services must provide a final report immediately after the conference finishes. They can submit a claim for payment separately without needing to resubmit the final report.
A claim for payment must be within the terms of the grant of aid. A claim must be submitted with a final report that properly justifies the amount of the claim. (Claims for DR Chairperson services can be lodged separately, as explained above.)
The Private Practitioner Manual details the information required for your final report, for example, who performed the work.
You should keep records and information to support your claim, including records of:
- court appearances or conferences attendances
- the legal services provided under the grant
- disbursements and expenses
- receipt(s) given to the client if you collected their contribution on our behalf.
What if my client is awarded costs by the court?
If a client with a grant of aid is awarded costs by a court, you may be able to receive those costs as full or part payment towards what you could otherwise claim from Legal Aid WA. The Guide to Claiming Payment explains the process for dealing with costs orders where there is a grant of aid.
In order to be paid by Legal Aid WA, you (or your firm) must have submitted a Legal Creditor Registration Form. This should have been done when you applied for membership of a panel or list, unless your firm was already registered for payment. You need to resubmit the form if any of your details change. It takes up to two weeks for us to process any changes.
Once a claim for payment is approved, you will be paid the approved amount by Electronic Funds Transfer into your nominated bank account. We do not pay claims by any other method.
Legal Aid WA will pay most accounts using automated payments. This means that tax invoices submitted for payment which meet the business rules of Legal Aid WA will be paid automatically within five business days.
- For firms registered for GST, please refer to the Automated Payments User Guide for information about submitting your accounts.
- If your firm is not registered for GST, please refer to Tax Invoices for Non-GST Registered Firms for more information about submitting your accounts.
If you have questions about the scope of a grant of aid, requests for extensions, pay rates or allowances, you should contact the Assessor using the details provided in the grant letter.
If you have any general compliance questions about your claims, please email our Professional Standards and Compliance Unit.
- Legal Creditor Registration Form (GST)
- Legal Creditor Registration Form (non-GST)
- Criminal Law Rates and Allowances
- Family Law Rates and Allowances
- Guide to Claiming Payment
- Guide to Submitting Final Claims on Grants Online
- Automated Payments User Guide
- Tax Invoices for Non-GST Registered Firms
Reviewed: 27 May 2020