Main Content Anchor

Appeal a decision of Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

Assessment criteria

For legal aid to be granted to appeal a decision of SSAT to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia the following tests must be satisfied:

  • The applicant meets the means test, and
  • The applicant meets guideline 14 – appeals, and
  • The applicant can demonstrate that the SSAT has made an error of law, and
    • The applicant is within the 28 day appeal period, or
    • The applicant is outside the 28 day appeal period and there is a reasonable explanation for the delay in seeking a review, and
  • The applicant meets the merits test.

Documentary requirements

Application received from client

Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance should forward all of the following documents for assessment:

  • a completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form
  • proof of income and assets (refer to the means test)
  • a copy of SSAT judgement and any other relevant documentation.

Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner

Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system attaching:

  • proof of income and assets (refer to the means test)
  • a copy of SSAT judgement and any other relevant documentation.

The following documents are retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:

  • a completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.

Interpretation

The applicant can demonstrate that the SSAT has made an error of law

The court does not have power to appeal an error of fact (unless the error of fact is so manifestly wrong that it amounts to an error of law [Wednesbury unreasonable]).

Examples of errors of law include:

  • decision maker has applied the wrong legal principles
  • decision maker has taken into account irrelevant matters
  • decision maker has failed to take into account relevant matters
  • the decision is so unreasonable that no reasonable decision maker would have reached it
  • the decision is too uncertain to be meaningful
  • applicant was not given a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

The applicant cannot adequately represent themselves

Legal Aid Queensland will only consider that an applicant cannot adequately represent themselves if the applicant meets the commonwealth legal aid service priorities - special circumstances of the applicant priorities.

Allocation of a solicitor

Applications to appeal a decision of SSAT to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will be referred to the in-house family law team unless there is a conflict of interest.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid to prepare and conduct reading is CS12.

Extension(s) of aid

The grant of aid to appeal to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia is CS13.

The grant of aid to engage a private investigator is CS6.

Review of decisions

A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).

Related links and information

Last updated 12 May 2022

Back to top