For the purposes of the funding criteria
Applicant means the person seeking a grant of legal assistance or the executor, trustee or representative of that person.
If an applicant seeks a grant of legal assistance for a matter as the executor, trustee or representative of another person or of a group, the Means Test is applied to all persons who stand to benefit from the legal services sought.
If an applicant seeks a grant of legal assistance for a test case or common interest claim, the Means Test is applied to the applicant and includes any other source of support. Also assessed is whether the individuals who stand to benefit could afford to collectively fund a test case and would be likely to do so if legal assistance were not available.
Aid is not available to corporations or incorporated associations. If a grant of legal assistance is being sought for a group of people that is not a corporation or an incorporated association, all possible sources of funding are considered, including
- the means of the group
- the means of the individuals in the group, and
- the potential financial support of community members who support the aims of the group.
- a spouse, de facto partner or same sex partner residing with the applicant, whether or not the person has an independent income
- a child or step-child living with the applicant and substantially supported by the applicant or his or her spouse and who does not have an independent income.
Financially associated person means a person or entity
- providing financial support to the applicant
- receiving financial support from the applicant; or
- it would be reasonable to expect to financially assist the applicant,
including a trust, company, partnership, corporation or group.
Trusts will be means tested if
- the applicant or financially associated person has or had effective control of the trust, or
- the trustee provides, has provided or probably would on request provide, financial support to the applicant or financially associated person.
To determine this, the Commission will look at
- the legal structure of the trust;
- who has the power to appoint and remove trustees and beneficiaries;
- the history of transactions, such as previous distributions;
- any changes of trustee;
- any changes of beneficiaries; and
- the source of trust income.
If the applicant or a financially associated person has a higher standard of living than the disclosed means would permit, support from the trust may be inferred.