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Applying for Legal Aid

When services beyond simple legal advice are needed, you must apply for legal aid. A grant of legal aid means we will pay a lawyer to act for you. However, we will require you to make a contribution towards your legal costs depending on how much you can reasonably afford to pay. We will also require you to comply with some conditions of legal aid.

You can apply for legal aid directly to us, or if you wish to be represented by a particular private lawyer, through that person's office. Where possible, we will grant that request. If you have no particular lawyer in mind, we will arrange someone.

There are different arrangements in place for funding for a lawyer to act for you in relation to some matters, see below.


Applications for legal aid are to be submitted using our Online Legal Services (OLS) Portal. To use the OLS Portal, you will be required to register as a user and create an account.

The OLS Portal will also allow you to apply for legal aid, update your contact and financial details, submit documents and, if necessary, request a transfer to a new solicitor.

If you need assistance completing the online application, please telephone our Legal Helpline on 1300 366 424. If you experience any technical issues with the OLS, please email

For those unable to use our OLS Portal, an Application for Legal Aid Form (PDF, 1.9 MB) is available to download and complete. This form and supporting documentation should be emailed to


If legal aid is granted, you will have to pay a contribution towards your legal costs. All successful applicants must pay a contribution to their legal aid.  The minimum contribution for a grant of aid is $70 for family law matters and $50 for all other matters, but it can be more depending on your finances.

Refusals of Aid

If legal aid is refused, you will be told why in a letter. Where aid is refused there is normally a right of appeal.

There are some cases for which we do not generally give legal aid. Often, this is because some other avenue of help is available. Also, we will not pay for cases where we think you can afford your own representation, or where the chances of success are poor.

Legal aid application forms are available from all our offices, community legal centres and most law firms.