The Taylor Street Community Legal Service was approached by Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia to assist Helen*, a young woman living with autism and complex mental health issues to appeal a finding by Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) that she did not have capacity to manage her financial affairs and the appointment of her mother as her Administrator.
Whilst gathering information for this purpose, Helen's mother lodged an application with QCAT to withdraw as Administrator and have the Public Trustee appointed.
Taylor Street was instructed to oppose the appointment of the Public Trustee and to seek an order which would give Helen an opportunity to prove to QCAT that she could manage her own financial affairs.
Taylor Street gathered evidence from Helen's treating medical specialists and organisations with whom Helen volunteered as to her planning and management capacity. Taylor Street assisted Helen to prepare a statement to the Tribunal setting out her position and demonstrating her practical financial planning ability.
Taylor Street also lodged an appeal against the original Order. Taylor Street represented Helen at the hearing and was able to obtain a finding that Helen had capacity to manage her day-to-day financial affairs. Taylor Street undertook to the Tribunal to assess the how Helen was managing her affairs after a 6 month period and, if necessary, have the Tribunal’s order reviewed. Given this variation to the original Tribunal Order, the appeal was withdrawn.
This finding has enabled Helen to maintain her right to financial independence over day-to-day matters, the loss of which would have impacted on her mental health, dignity and self-esteem.