WHAT IS A GUARDIANSHIP ORDER?
A Guardianship Order is made to provide another person or party with the power to make some decisions on your behalf. These decisions can include healthcare, lifestyle and medical related decisions.
Your treatment team taking care of you at the mental health unit can apply for a Guardianship Order if they believe you need more support in making decisions about different aspects of your everyday life. This can happen regardless of whether you have been voluntarily or involuntarily admitted to a mental health unit.
Note: A Guardianship Order can only be approved if the NSW Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) is satisfied that you do not have capacity to manage your everyday life and need the support of a guardian. For more information about guardianship orders, please see the NCAT webpage ‘Guardianship Orders’.
WHAT IS A FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ORDER?
A Financial Management Order gives another person the power to manage your finances on your behalf. You may receive a Financial Management Order if it is decided that you are not able to manage your everyday life admin tasks, including your finances.
WHO CAN MAKE A FINANCIAL MANGEMENT ORDER?
A Financial Management Order can be made by either the Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), the Supreme Court or by the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
The Mental Health Review Tribunal can only make a Financial Management Order if you are admitted to a mental health facility.
The Guardianship Division of NCAT and the Supreme Court can make a Financial Management Order either when you are admitted to a mental health facility or are living in the community.
CAN THE MENTAL HEALTH REVIEW TRIBUNAL CANCEL MY GUARDIANSHIP ORDER?
No, the Mental Health Review Tribunal does not have the power to cancel your guardianship order. This is the responsibility of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) Guardianship Division to review.
CAN THE MENTAL HEALTH REVIEW TRIBUNAL CANCEL MY FINANCIAL MANGEMENT ORDER?
Yes, the Mental Health Review Tribunal can review and cancel a Financial Management Order as long as the original decision was made by the Mental Health Review Tribunal and not NCAT. The Mental Health Tribunal can cancel the order if it decides:
- You can manage your own everyday life admin tasks and finances
- Cancelling the order is in the best interest of your welfare
Only the person under the Financial Management Order can apply to the Mental Health Review Tribunal to have it cancelled. It is possible to apply for this either before or after discharge from a mental health unit. You will need seek advice from Legal Aid or the Mental Health Advocacy Service before making this decision.
WHAT OTHER WAYS CAN I APPEAL MY FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ORDER?
If you want the Guardianship Division of NCAT to cancel or change a Financial Management Order that it has made, you need to request a review of the Financial Management Order. Click here for more information on how to request a review or to cancel a Financial Management Order.
If your Financial Management Order has been made by the Supreme Court, you must apply to the Supreme Court if you want this Order revoked or changed. You will need seek advice from Legal Aid or the Mental Health Advocacy Service before making this decision.
EXERCISE YOUR RIGHTS
APPEALS AND REVIEWS – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
A review only looks at your current situation in deciding whether to continue the order or not.
An appeal is when the original decision is re-assessed. You can appeal at any time but that does not mean that it will necessarily be approved.
For more information on how and when an original decision can be re-assessed seek legal advice.
HOW CAN I HAVE MY GUARDIANSHIP OR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ORDER REVIEWED?
You can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) Guardianship Division to have your Guardianship Order or Financial Management Order reviewed.
The NCAT may review the order if:
- There is additional information provided that could not be provided at the hearing.
- The order is not working in your best interest.
- Your circumstances have significantly changed since the order was made.
- There is no longer a need for a Guardian or Financial Management Order.
HOW CAN I APPEAL MY GUARDIANSHIP OR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ORDER?
Guardianship Orders and Financial Management Orders can also be appealed through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) Appeal Panel OR the NSW Supreme Court.
Before making an appeal or applying for a review of a guardianship or financial management order, please contact the Mental Health Advocacy Service for legal advice.
WANT TO LODGE A COMPLAINT?
Consider first providing feedback or making a complaint directly to the health service or staff. Click the link here for more information on how to do this.
If you would like to escalate the matter further, you can click here to make an inquiry or lodge a complaint online to the Health Care Complaints Commission or call 1800 043 159.
NEED ADVOCACY SUPPORT?
Visit the Official Visitors website or call 1800 208 218
NEED LEGAL SUPPORT?
Contact Mental Health Advocacy Service, Legal Aid on 1300 888 529. You can also visit the Legal Aid website.
NEED MORE INFORMATION ON GUARDIANSHIP OR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ORDERS?
To speak with the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal call 1300 006 228 and Press 2 for Guardianship Division.
Or visit the NCAT NSW Civial & Administrative Tribunal website