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Research Report: The legal needs of people with chronic illness or disability, Justice issues paper 11
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The legal needs of people with chronic illness or disability, Justice issues paper 11  ( 2009 )  Cite this report



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Resolution status


Participants with a disability

Coumarelos et al. (2006) asked participants to provide the resolution status of their three most recent legal events. These events comprised 751 events for participants with a disability and 2263 events for participants without a disability. Participants with a disability were reported to have lower odds (0.6) of resolution when compared with other participants. As shown by Figures 3a and 3b, whereas 37.9 per cent of legal events experienced by participants with a disability remained unresolved, only 25.2 per cent of events experienced by other participants remained unresolved. Figures 3a and 3b also show that participants without a disability reported resolving 47.1 per cent of legal events on their own, while those with a disability reported resolving only 36.1 per cent of events on their own.

Figure 3a: Resolution status and method of resolution of legal events
Participants with a disability, 2003

Notes: N=710 events for participants with a disablity. Resolution status was
missing for 41 events reported by participants with a disability.



Figure 3b: Resolution status and method of resolution of legal events
Participants without a disability, 2003

Notes: N=2154 events for participants without a disability. Resolution status
was missing for 109 events reported by participants without a disability.



Disability type sub-groups

Given the reduced resolution rates for the group of participants with a disability, a logistic regression analysis using the data for this group was conducted to examine whether all five disability type sub-groups had similarly low resolution rates.

The regression revealed that the resolution rates for the five disability type sub-groups were not significantly different (see Tables 11 and 12).29 Thus, while the resolution rates of participants with a disability were significantly lower than those of other participants (as reported by Coumarelos et al. 2006), it was not found that participants with certain types of disability have further reduced rates.

However, the type of legal event, the recency of the legal event and the action taken in response to the event were significant predictors of resolution among participants with a disability. As reported by Coumarelos et al. (2006), all of these variables were also significant predictors of resolution in the overall sample (which included participants without a disability). The significance of type of legal event is consistent with the notion that some types of events are genuinely more difficult to resolve than others. Both the present regression for participants with a disability, and the regression for the overall sample suggested that higher resolution rates were achieved for events that were handled alone compared with events where help was sought. This finding is consistent with the idea that people are more likely to take on easier legal issues they think they can solve themselves, but tend to seek help for more difficult legal problems. Finally, both the present results for participants with a disability and the results for the overall sample revealed that, as would be expected, events that occurred some time ago were more likely to be resolved.



  


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Coumarelos, C & Wei, Z 2009, The legal needs of people with different types of chronic illness or disability, Justice issues paper 11, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney