MoneyMatters

Free financial & legal services
There are free services available to assist seniors to understand their finances, taxation, managing your debts and paying your bills, and investments, and help you to untangle the jargon and to understand your options.
Also listed are places where you can get legal advice on financial and other matters.
Your local council’s community services officer, or the librarian at your local library can help you to find a similar service in your area.
Centrelink Financial Information Service Ph: 132 300
Free and independent service providing expert information about social security entitlements, financial options, taxation, investments, financial planning, general financial affairs, and may even be able to help if you do not have funeral funds. FIS runs regular seminars and workshops covering a broad range of financial topics.
Community Aid Financial Counselling Service Ph: 9858 1377
Free and confidential financial counselling services including assistance on credit and debt, paralegal and bankruptcy issues. Financial counsellors can act as a mediator, negotiator or advocate on behalf of clients. Outreach services available.
Sniff around with FIDO before you decide Ph: 1300 300 630
www.fido.gov.au Finding information about financial products and services that is produced independently from commercial providers can be difficult. Now it is much easier with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) unbiased and independent financial tips and safety check on its FIDO website at FIDO is free, independent, updated regularly, and is a one-stop shop where you can find information about a huge range of financial services from credit cards, mortgages, reverse mortgages and other loans through to superannuation, insurance and investing.
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Ph: 1300 780 808
Assists with disputes about financial services including banking, insurance, investment, credit, loans, superannuation and broking.
G-Line (NSW) Ph: 1800 633 635
Confidential support to people experiencing gambling related problems. Provides personal counselling for gamblers, their families and friends. Also can assist to assess your financial and legal situation. Multi-lingual crisis counselling is available.
Investing in debentures? Ph: 1300 300 630
To make reading debenture prospectuses easier, ASIC has released a free guide called Investing in debentures? This guide will help you make sense of the prospectus and use the eight benchmarks to get a better idea of the risks involved. This investor guide is available at no cost from ASIC via its dedicated consumer website, FIDO at www.fido.gov.au. In the wake of the collapses of Westpoint, ACR and Fincorp this new free investor guide is essential reading for anyone considering investing in debentures.
Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre Ph: 9922 4428
By appointment only. Financial counselling and tax help services.
Women understanding money
www.understandingmoney.gov.au This website was developed by the Financial Literacy Foundation’s Advisory Board in association with the Office for Women. It features a range of financial issues affecting women at different stages of life, from starting out in their first job to getting ready for retirement
Legal Services
The Aged-care Rights Service [TARS]
Ph: 9281 3600 or 1800 424079
Free advocacy service for older people who live in nursing homes, hostels, retirement villages, serviced apartments throughout NSW as well as people at home receiving Community Aged Care Packages.
Aged Care Complaints Resolution Scheme Ph: 1800 550 552
Handles complaints regarding Commonwealth-government funded aged care facilities and services.
Women’s Legal Services NSW Ph: 9749 7700
Free legal assistance for women. Community legal education sessions, publications and advocacy.
Anti Discrimination Board of NSW
Ph: 9268 5555 TTY: 1800 670 812
Investigates complaints of discrimination in relation to race, sex, sexuality, age, marital status, disability and carer’s rights and responsibilities.
Chamber Magistrate Legal Aid
At your local court. Information about court procedures and legal options. Assistance with applying for legal aid and your legal rights.
Chatswood Legal Service Ph: 9777 7800
Preliminary advice, guidance and referrals for people who cannot afford a solicitor. Solicitors on duty can give advice on most issues, or can refer.
Horizons Community Legal Centre (Ryde/Hunters Hill)
Ph: 9809 0819
For residents of Ryde and Hunters Hill. For people who do not qualify for legal aid and can’t afford a solicitor.
Public Trustee NSW Ph: 1300 364 103
Provides free information seminars so you can find out more about your legal life planning options.
Welfare Rights Centre Ph: 9211 5300 or 1800 226 028
TTY: 9211 0238
Independent community legal centre specialising in Social Security and Centrelink law, policy & administration. Free information, advice and advocacy.
Inner City Legal Centre Ph: 9332 1966
For people who live and/or work in the inner city and surrounding areas.
Intellectual Disability Rights Service Ph: 9318 0144
Telephone advice Mon-Fri 2.00-5.00
Criminal Justice Support Network: 24 hour service
1300 665 908

Works to advance the rights of people with an intellectual disability. Free legal advice, advocacy, referral and education on rights issues.
Kingsford Legal Centre Ph: 9385 9566 TTY (02) 9385 9572
Free legal service for people who live, work or study in the Randwick/ Botany area. Areas include: consumer debt, criminal law, discrimination, employment, motor traffic matters, social security problems, tenancy and victims compensation. Specialist legal service for discrimination matters open to anyone in NSW.
Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre Ph: (02) 9922 4428
Book for a 20-minute appointment with a solicitor for free legal advice on a range of matters including credit/debt, family law, criminal matters, motor vehicles, wills and small business.
The Law Society of NSW Ph: 9926 0364
Work done by the legal profession on a pro bono basis means work done “for the public good”. A referral to a Pro bono solicitor may be provided free or for a reduced cost to those who qualify.
LawAccess NSW Ph: 1300 888 529
Legal information and referral, and legal advice in some cases.
Macarthur Legal Centre (Campbelltown) Ph: (02) 4628 2042
Free legal advice to people living in the Macarthur area. Telephone advice is also given to community workers on behalf of their clients. Outreach services.
Macquarie Legal Centre (Merrylands) Ph: 9760 0111
TTY (02) 9760 1190
Manly Community Centre Ph: 9977 1066
Legal advice and assistance to residents of the Manly area.
Marrickville Legal Centre and Children’s Legal Service
Ph: 9559 2899
Free legal advice to individuals and community organisations.
Mt Druitt and Area Community Legal Centre Ph: 9675 2009
Free legal advice, casework and referral to people who live in the Blacktown local government area and the East Ward of the Penrith local government area.
NRMA Member Legal Service Ph: 8741 6280 or 1800 427 426
Free service to members of NRMA Motoring and Services. Legal advice in relation to motor vehicle matters.
Public Interest Advocacy Centre Ph: 8898 6500
An independent, non-profit litigation policy and research centre located in Sydney. Its charter is to promote the public interest through challenging laws, policies and practices that are unjust or deficient.
Redfern Legal Centre Ph: 9698 7277 TTY (02) 9699 8037
Free advice on any legal or welfare matter to individuals and community organisations in the Sydney, Botany and Leichhardt Council areas. Assistance to people who cannot afford a lawyer, do not qualify for legal aid and live in the catchment area listed above, or are approved by the Centre.
South West Sydney Legal Centre Ph: 9601 7777
For people who live in the Bankstown, Cabramatta and Liverpool areas.
Warringah Legal Referral Service Ph: 9982 3044
Legal referral and assistance to residents of the Manly Warringah and Pittwater local government areas.