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Legal assistance for people engaging with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has been established to consider the quality and safety of aged care services in Australia, to ensure services provided are effective and efficient.

For more information about the Royal Commission, including the terms of reference, visit the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety website.

Eligibility for legal financial assistance

Legal financial assistance may be provided to an entity, as defined below, for their reasonable legal representation and disbursement costs resulting from:

  • being called, or granted leave to appear, as a witness at a hearing of the Royal Commission, or
  • being requested to attend, or attending an interview of the Royal Commission, or
  • being requested to provide a written statement that will be used as evidence in the Royal Commission, and/or
  • complying with a notice to produce issued by the Royal Commission, and
  • where the entity, excluding an individual, would not able to meet these costs without incurring serious financial hardship.

An 'entity' includes a person who is an employee or former employee of any 'aged care service' defined in the Letters Patent issued on 8 October 2018 who is not representing that entity.

If your organisation has been called by the Royal Commission, the organisation will be subject to an assessment of whether it can meet the cost of its legal representation without incurring serious financial difficulty. If you have been called in your personal capacity, you will be exempt from an assessment of financial circumstances.

Further information is available below:

How to apply

Applications can be submitted by downloading the application form below, and emailing a completed copy to finass@ag.gov.au with the required attachments:

Is a criminal history check required?

A criminal history check is not required.

What financial information does the organisation need to provide?

The organisation must provide full details of the applicant's financial circumstances, including annual income from all sources, total value of assets and total balance of savings/shares. Supporting documentation, such as the last six months of bank statements, latest tax assessments, and/or annual financial statements should be attached to the application. All information provided to the department is treated in confidence.

What costs are covered?

The department will pay for reasonable legal representation and disbursement costs that you incur as a witness for the Royal Commission. These could include your solicitor's costs (such as attendance or preparation of documents) and disbursements (such as solicitor's travel, photocopying).

The assessment of costs document provides detailed information of what is payable and at what rate.

More information about financial assistance is set out below in the Commonwealth Guidelines for Legal Financial Assistance 2012: Addendum for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Sending your application

You can scan and email your completed application with supporting documents to finass@ag.gov.au.

If you cannot send your application by email, please telephone the Financial Assistance Section on 02 6141 4770 or 1800 117 995 between 8.30am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment contact us through the National Relay Service and give 02 6141 4770 as the number you would like to call.

Assessment timeframes

Completed applications will be assessed within 21 days. Incomplete applications will not be assessed. You will be notified if your application is incomplete.

In the event that you receive less than 21 days notice of appearing or attending an interview, the department will endeavour to assess your application prior to your date of appearance.

How are payments made

If a grant has been approved, payments are made by way of reimbursement to legal representatives after the work has been performed. The amounts that can be paid under grants is capped at maximum amounts, which are set out below:

Legal framework

The Commonwealth Guidelines for Legal Financial Assistance 2012 (the Guidelines) establish the Royal Commission and Inquiries scheme:

The operation of the Guidelines is modified by the Commonwealth Guidelines for Legal Financial Assistance 2012: Addendum for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety:

Further information

For further information, please refer to the Commonwealth Guidelines for Legal Financial Assistance 2012 and the Addendum for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The Financial Assistance Section is available on the telephone numbers 02 6141 4770 or 1800 117 995 (between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday) or by email at finass@ag.gov.au.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment contact us through the National Relay Service and give 02 6141 4770 as the number you would like to call.​

Downloads

Contact details

Financial Assistance Section
02 6141 4770 or 1800 117 995
finass@ag.gov.au