Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania

National Means Test
Guideline: State
Number: 29 (Part)
Effective Date: 6/96
29.1 Introduction
29.1.1 The means test sets out general principles and indicators for income testing and asset-testing applicants for legal assistance. The test sets a standard for determining how much a person with any given income and assets can afford to pay for necessary legal services. It thereby assists in determining:
  • Whether a person can afford the full cost of obtaining the required legal services from a private practitioner ("private legal costs") and should therefore be refused legal assistance, or
  • If assistance is granted (the person being unable to pay full private legal costs), the amount that the person can afford to pay by way of a contribution.
29.1.2 This test does not provide a system for assessment of costs recovered, which are assessed at the conclusion of an assisted matter. These are levied where the person's financial position has improved in the course of or as a result of the proceedings.
See: Guideline 11 Costs
Guideline 30 Contributions
Guideline 30.5.1 Assessment of Final Contributions
29.1.3 In addition to the Means Test, an application for assistance is also assessed as to the reasonableness of providing assistance (the Merits-Test) and as to whether it meets the Commission's guidelines as to the types of matter for which assistance may be granted. The Commission adopts the test at all times that the applicant should act in the manner of the ordinarily prudent self-funding litigant.
See: Guideline 39 Merits Test



Page Last Revised :Friday, November 14, 2003