UMSU Legal Service
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Update on COVID-19
Like many services throughout the community, the UMSU Legal Service is implementing social distancing via alternative working arrangements to support staff and student health and wellbeing in accordance with official advice on the COVID-19 pandemic. As we experience disruptions from measures to prevent the spread of the virus, we’re working hard to continue to deliver legal services to students while ensuring the health and safety of the community and our staff.
We are still operating remotely to provide you with legal and financial counselling assistance.
Our phone advice line is closed until further notice, however we will be providing advice by email and arranging phone appointments as required.
We are also experiencing increased demand owing to legal issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask that you please be patient during this time, as it may take us longer than usual to respond to enquiries.
COVID-19 university resources
You can find updates on how COVID-19 may impact your studies, and the help which is available, on the following websites:
If you need help with a problem you are having at university because of COVID-19, please contact the UMSU Advocacy Service here.
COVID-19 legal and financial counselling resources
You can find answers to some common legal problems arising out of COVID-19 on the Victoria Legal Aid website here.
If you have a tenancy or housing problem because of COVID-19, you can find information to help you on the Tenants Victoria website here.
If you have a consumer problem because of COVID-19, you can find information to help you on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website here.
If you have an employment problem because of COVID-19, you can find information to help you on the following websites:
If you are having financial difficulties because of COVID-19, you can find information to help you on the following websites:
- National Debt Helpline
- Money Smart
- Australian Banking Association
- DHHS utility relief grant scheme
- Household Relief: interest free loans up to $3000 for rent and utilities (no interest, no fees, repaid over 24 months)
- There is a Victorian Government initiative whereby vulnerable people can get free reusable masks from their local council. Students can apply, including international students. For more information, you can find your local council here.
- Victorians receiving JobSeeker, Austudy, ABSTUDY, Youth Allowance, or who have a pension card can receive a one-off $250 payment to cover their electricity costs.
If you are experiencing family or domestic violence because of COVID-19, you can find information and services to help you on the Victoria Legal Aid website here.
If you are going to a tribunal or court and you need information about whether your court date has been postponed, you can find information about court and tribunal closures, and contact the relevant venue, on the Judicial College of Victoria website here (click on “Victoria,” then find the name of your court or tribunal and click on “latest announcement” to go to that venue’s website, where you can find contact details).
The UMSU Legal Service is a specialist community legal centre that provides free and confidential legal advice to all currently enrolled students of the University of Melbourne.
The UMSU Legal Service is staffed by qualified lawyers, and provides assistance on various legal matters, including:
- Infringements / fines
- Minor criminal law
- Family / personal intervention orders
- Sexual harassment
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Powers of attorney
- Consumer law
- Employment law including bullying
If you have a legal problem, please select “Get Legal Help” below to submit a form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.