SACAT can reduce or waive fees in a particular case or a particular class of applicant, based on financial hardship or where it is in the interests of justice to do so.
Where there are multiple applicants or multiple persons who will receive benefit of the order sought, each of them may have to satisfy SACAT of the entitlement to a reduction or waiver.
Partial waivers (concession reduction)
On application, SACAT may reduce fees if an applicant provides one of the following valid concession cards:
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Health Care Card
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
- Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card
- Student identification card (full-time students only)
- Asylum seekers receiving SRSS payments from the Department of Home Affairs.
Where there are multiple applicants, each applicant must provide evidence they are the holder of a concession card to be entitled to a reduction in the fee.
For example, in a tenancy-relating proceeding, each co-tenant may be required to provide evidence.
Usually, a 25% reduction is made of level 1 fees for initiating applications and applications for review for non-attendance. That means ¾ of the fee is payable (rounded down to the nearest whole dollar).
Land valuation fee concession
Usually, a 25% reduction is made of fees for land valuation initiating applications. That means ¾ of the fee is payable (rounded down to the nearest whole dollar).
Usually, a 75% reduction is made to level 2 fees for some initiating applications and internal reviews. That means ¼ of the full fee is payable (rounded down to the nearest whole dollar).
Different reductions may be applied at the discretion of SACAT in particular cases.
Financial hardship or special circumstances
SACAT may completely waive a fee if you can provide evidence that:
- you are under 18 years of age
- you are in prison or detention
- you have been granted legal aid within the last 3 months and were not required to make more than the minimum contribution of $30
- in the opinion of a financial counsellor who has considered your financial situation, you cannot afford to pay the fee without experiencing financial hardship
- you are making an application to terminate a residential tenancy based on domestic abuse pursuant to section 89A of the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA).
The decision to waive a fee (in full or in part) is based on the information and supporting documentation provided. Applications for fee waiver due to financial hardship or special circumstances must be supported by copies of bank statements and evidence of income.
The last four weeks of bank statements, either hard copy or electronic, relating to all of your bank accounts in sole or joint names, must be provided.
Evidence of income may include:
- for individuals receiving Centrelink benefits – Centrelink income and assets statement
- for employees – payslips for the last four weeks or a letter from your employer
- for self-employed – tax return for the previous financial year or, if one was not filed, a statutory declaration estimating returns for the previous financial year.
Any other relevant financial information such as outstanding bills will be considered.
SACAT may also seek information and evidence of assets and liabilities in appropriate circumstances. Ownership of one or more rental properties may be relevant to any assessment of financial hardship.
If an application is not approved, the fee must be paid in full (or such concession fee as is approved) prior to the application or internal review being listed for conference or hearing.
Requests for transcripts and or documentation, and other requests for special services, also attract fees. Fees must be paid in full before the service request is fulfilled by SACAT.
Service fees may be reduced or waived at the discretion of a Presidential member or registrar.
No service fees apply to guardianship and mental health matters, unless the request is for transcript.
False or misleading statements
It is an offence to make a false or misleading statement to the Tribunal in connection with making an application to waive or remit or in relation to the payment of fees.
The maximum penalty is $1,250 or imprisonment for 3 months.
If these circumstances arise, you may be referred to SAPOL or other appropriate prosecuting authority.
Any information you provide about your financial circumstances in support of an application to waive or reduce fees will be available to the member hearing the substantive application. If any information given at the time of the hearing is false, it may render you liable to a penalty.
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