fee exemptions and waivers

fee waiver and reduction

The Government sets the amount of each fee. SACAT has a discretion to 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.

Applications under most legislation, and reviews for non-attendance, are level 1 fees.

However, applications under some legislation, and internal review applications, attract higher fees that are different depending on whether the applicant is an individual or a ‘prescribed corporation’.  These are referred to as level 2 fees.

A prescribed corporation is a corporation that is not a small business (that has less than 20 full-time equivalent employees and is not subsidiary of a corporation that has 20 or more full-time employees) or a not-for-profit organisation. Prescribed corporations are not entitled to a fee reduction or fee waiver.

Partial Waiver (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 that 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.

Level 1 fee concession

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).

Level 2 fee concession

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).

See the Fee Schedule for examples of the concession fees.

Different reductions may be applied at the discretion of SACAT in particular cases.

Fee Waiver for Financial Hardship or Special Circumstances

SACAT may completely waive a fee if an applicant can provide evidence that:

(a)   they are under 18 years of age,

(b)   they are in prison or detention,

(c)   they have been granted legal aid within the last 3 months and were not required to make more than the minimum contribution of $30,

(d)   in the opinion of a financial counsellor who has considered the applicant’s financial situation, that they cannot afford to pay the fee without experiencing financial hardship, or

(e)   they are making an application to terminate a residential tenancy based on domestic abuse pursuant to section 89A of the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA).

SACAT will also consider applications for a full or partial fee waiver for individuals due to financial hardship or special circumstances. 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 (other than those categories listed above) 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 by SACAT.  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.

Service Fees

Requests for transcripts and or documentation, and other requests for special services, also attract fees. Fees must 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.

Enquiries can be directed via email to sacat@sacat.sa.gov.au