The first step is to contact your local legal aid office to schedule an appointment.
Generally, people with low income or those on social assistance qualify for covered services. Legal Aid determines who is eligible for legal representation based on scope of service and financial eligibility.
Scope of Service
Not all legal proceedings are covered by legal aid. Criminal matters NOT covered include:
- Default hearings;
- Bail reviews;
- Firearms applications;
- Provincial offences, except where a mandatory jail sentence is called for (e.g. certain offences under the Fish & Wildlife Act).
Financial eligibility is determined based on the following three factors:
Your income includes salary, wages, commissions, boarder income, other income, pension, allowances, and any other benefits received. Income earned by your spouse/common-law partner who resides in your household and dependants included under paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” below) is also included in the calculation.
Sources of income NOT included are:
- Child Tax Benefit or Canada Child Benefit (previously called Universal Child Care Benefit);
- GST Rebates;
- Income Tax Refunds;
- Bursaries or grants received from an educational institution or student loans;
- The gross income of your dependants included under paragraph (a) (see “Household Size” below).
2. Allowable Deductions:
The following expenses paid by yourself, your spouse/common-law partner, or dependants included under paragraph (b) (see “Household Size” below) are deducted from your income.
Allowable deductions include:
- Child care payments (Daycare, Babysitter, etc.);
- Child and spousal support payments;
- Medical or dental expenses that are not covered by an insurance plan, if the annual expenses are $1,500 or more.
3. Household Size:
Includes the following people:
- Your current spouse/common-law partner;
- Children under 18 years of age who live with you at least 40% of the time;
a) between the ages of 18 and 25 years (inclusive) who are registered at an
educational institution and who reside with you at least 40% of the
b) 18 years of age or over, who suffers absence or reduction of functional
competence because of physical or mental impairment which
substantially limits their ability to carry out normal daily activities and
who resides with you at least 40% of the time.