Legal Health Check – Video 3 – Issues covered by the LHC
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Legal Health Check – Video 3 – Issues covered by the LHC


We’re going to go through the different issues covered by the Legal Health Check in more detail now. The more familiar you are with the menu, the more flexible and useful it will be in your work. If you haven’t already done so, download the basic Legal Health Check and the Mini Legal Health Check Postcard now and follow along. There are different legal health checks for different types of clients. But for now, we will consider the basic version. Many clients will identify about three issues using the Legal Health Check. It includes the legal issues your clients are most likely to experience and which will cause the biggest problems if they’re not sorted out. All the sections are just an easy ticker box with a small space to write basic details where you think it’s relevant. We start with money troubles. We ask, “Is anyone chasing you for money?” and gives them examples. Most of your clients will have debts for loans from businesses like credit providers, mobile phones, electricity providers, government agencies like Centrelink and state housing providers. Lawyers consider their debts as a whole and also explore whether each debt is lawful or unfair, whether repayment should be reduced or waived. Lawyers can challenge black listings, harassment by debt collectors, and threats of court and bankruptcy. Unpaid fines In every state, vulnerable individuals have high levels of fines debts. Often they are tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Most states offer special considerations. Some offer full waivers, some offer flexible repayment rates. But many of these options are complicated to access or their response to the client is quiet automated. In some states, the consequences of unpaid fines are things like drivers license being revoked or even prison. It’s important to raise this issue with your vulnerable clients. As in our experience, client will not ask about it themselves. But if you ask using the Legal Health Check, over 60% of vulnerable clients owe fines debts and want them sorted out. Housing The questions around housing cover issues like return of bond, whether evictions have been lawful, goods that have been left behind, unpaid rent, decisions about public housing and black lists. Crime Under crime we ask, “Are you due in court?” And there is a question about outstanding warrants. It’s always better for a client to turn up and for the court to know something of their life story. Duty lawyers doesn’t always have time to learn this on the day. So seeing a lawyer early helps. We also ask clients about government decisions which impact them. Centrelink decisions, the public trustee handling their money, the adult guardian making decisions for them, and doctors administering treatment without consent. These decisions can all be reviewed to reflect the client’s current circumstances. Relationships There are questions which cover violence in relationships, who is making decisions about and living with any children divorce and any concerns clients might have about the way they were treated by adults in institutional settings. We have Legal Health Checks for specific clients groups too with extra questions. The Youth at Risk Check asks questions about work and training. The Housing Check adds questions about employment. The Mental Health Checks adds insurance and work claims and the Refugee Check asks about motor vehicle and these issues.

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