Assets test

Assets test

Whether a person qualifies for a grant of legal assistance under the assets test depends on:

  • whether they have a financially associated person (FAP) or dependant
    and
  • if so, the total value of their and their FAP/dependant’s combined assets
  • if not, the value of the person’s assessable assets.

If the person has no financially associated person or dependant

Value of assessable assets is less than or equal to $1095

If the person applying for a grant of legal assistance has no FAP or dependant and the value of the person’s assessable assets is less than or equal to $1095:

  • Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of legal assistance
  • VLA will not require the person to make an initial contribution from their assets towards the cost of the grant of legal assistance.

Value of assessable assets is more than $1095

If the value of the person’s assets is more than $1095, VLA will use Table 3 to calculate the amount of any initial contribution by the person towards the cost of a grant of legal assistance.

If the amount of the initial contribution is more than the estimated total legal costs, VLA may refuse to make a grant of legal assistance. This is because the person should be able to afford the cost of legal services themselves.

If the person has a financially associated person or dependant

Total value of combined assets is less than or equal to $2190

If the person applying for a grant of assistance has an FAP or dependant and the total value of their combined assets is less than or equal to $2190:

  • VLA may make a grant of legal assistance
    VLA will not require the person to make an initial contribution from their assets towards the cost of the grant of legal assistance.

Total value of combined assets is more than $2190

If the total value of the combined assets is more than $2190, VLA will use Table 3 to calculate the amount of any initial contribution the person will be required to pay towards their legal costs.

If the amount of the initial contribution is more than the estimated total legal costs, then VLA may refuse to make a grant of legal assistance. This is because the person should be able to afford the cost of legal services themselves. See: Estimated legal costs.