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Providing information

Legal aid clients must advise their solicitor or Legal Aid Queensland immediately of any change of financial circumstances or any change of circumstances that may affect their grant of legal assistance.

It is an offence to make a false or misleading statement or fail to give information about an application for legal aid. An applicant may be fined or imprisoned for making a false or misleading statement and/or failing to give information.

The assessing officer will bring concerns relating to possible false or misleading information to the attention of a grants manager prior to making a determination in relation to a request for aid.

Change of financial circumstances

It is a condition of the grant of aid that the client informs Legal Aid Queensland of any change of financial circumstances. The client must make and keep making full disclosure of his or her financial situation and that of any person who helps them financially.

Changes in the client's financial circumstances or any person who helps them financially include such things as:

  • getting or losing a job
  • inheritances or gifts of exceptionally valuable
  • marrying or forming a de facto relationship
  • separating from a spouse or de facto partner
  • a change in the number of dependants for whom the client is responsible
  • becoming entitled or disentitled to a pension or benefit
  • receiving a payment from a redundancy, superannuation fund or insurance policy
  • lottery or other windfalls
  • travelling overseas, however funded
  • becoming self-employed
  • becoming entitled to a payment of compensation or damages
  • becoming a beneficiary of a trust or director of a company

Legal aid clients must provide an updated statement of financial circumstances form as well as relevant proof of income and assets (refer to means test) within 14 days of the change in financial circumstances.

Once Legal Aid Queensland is advised of the change in financial circumstances, the clients continued financial eligibility for aid will be reviewed.

Where a legally aided client resumes employment, aid is not terminated immediately. A reasonable period up to six months is allowed before aid is terminated depending on the applicants income and the approximate cost of proceedings for which aid is granted. However, consideration will be given to imposing an initial contribution during this period, if appropriate.

Other changes of circumstances

Legal aid clients must advise their practitioner or Legal Aid Queensland if they become aware of information which is likely to affect their eligibility to get legal aid or the conditions on which legal aid is granted.

Change of contact details

Legal aid clients must advise their solicitor or Legal Aid Queensland if they change their contact details (ie address or telephone number) whilst they are receiving legal aid assistance. If Legal Aid Queensland and/or the allocated practitioner cannot contact a client, the grant of legal assistance may be terminated.

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