Means test: special circumstances guidelines

Legal Aid Queensland has developed guidelines to help identify applicants who would not usually meet the means test, but deserve special consideration because they experience multiple disadvantages.

Applications which possibly meet these guidelines and where the applicants experience multiple disadvantages, will be forwarded to a senior officer for discretionary consideration.

Applicants who have aid approved under these guidelines may have to:

  • pay a contribution towards their legal costs (this could be all or part of the legal costs incurred) and/or
  • provide their property as security for payment to Legal Aid Queensland.


  1. The applicant's assets exceed the limit set in the means test, but because of their special circumstances, they are unable to access their assets.
  2. The applicant has access to a modest amount of money in the bank, but because of their special circumstances, taking this money into consideration when assessing financial eligibility for aid is not justified.
  3. The applicant owns substantial assets (other than cash) that exceed the means test limit but they have no prospect of being employed in the future because of their special circumstances.

Last updated 6 July 2016