Eligibility for Legal Aid coverage is defined by the Rules of the Legal Aid Society. Financial eligibility is determined by gross family income together with a valuation of accumulated assets. The gross income figures are compared to a fixed scale of financial guidelines which takes family size into account.
“Family” consists of the applicant, spouse and any dependents.
The term “Gross Family Income” means all
monies received by the family before deductions. and their dependents are considered family. In the
In the case of case of youths,
common law relationships, common law spouses unless the young person lives independently, it is
the income of his parents or guardians which determines eligibility.
The chart below illustrates the current gross annual and monthly guidelines effective April 1, 2001
whose family income exceeds the relevant cut off for financial eligibility may be extended coverage on a contributing basis. This means that coverage may be granted on condition that the applicant makes a down payment and/or monthly payments. The Society frequently exercises discretion in favour of applicants when income and/or assets are slightly over the guidelines if the applicants are unable to retain counsel privately.
$ 1,158 - 1,792
1,400 – 2,275
1,883 - 2,450
2,100 - 2,717
2,408 - 2,867
2,625 - 3,200
2,892 - 3,500
NUMBER OF PERSONS
There is a significant need for legal aid in criminal matters. Of the certificates issued for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2002, 53% or 19,467 were for adult criminal cases. See page 23 for a breakdown of adult criminal cases completed.
The Legal Aid Society is able to provide assistance for many different types of legal problems, both criminal and civil. Applicants are advised to contact their local Legal Aid office to inquire whether their specific legal problem qualifies for coverage.