To have access to legal aid services, you must apply in the legal aid office nearest you. Please note that eligibility verification can only be done in person. It cannot be done by phone* or online.
Since December 29th, 2022, new measures modifying the Regulation of applicates to the Law of Legal Aid and on the benefit of certain other Legal services came into effect.
These modifications ensured that the applicant of Legal aid does not automatically and systematically need to provide the documents to their declaration in link to their income, assets and liquidity.
In fact, these documents will have to be provided upon request from the Legal aid office.
According to the regulation, the Centers may ask the financial documents of the applicant if the situation justifies that there are reasonable intentions to believe that he/she isn’t eligible.
Also, the applicant that has already declared admissible to Legal aid in the last 12 months, their new demand will be exempt to provide the documents in the measure where they were declared financially admissible without any changes in their or significant other situation to Legal aid since their last request, by providing a declaration to this effect.
* With the exception of Kuujjuaq, there is no permanent legal aid office in the North. Therefore, under certain circumstances, information considered vital for the processing of the legal aid application may be collected through telephone.
To apply for legal aid
1. Phone the office nearest you to make an appointment.
2. Once at the office, disclose your financial situation (income, property and liquidities), as well as that of your family.
3. The legal aid application form must be signed by the applicant, who undertakes to:
- Inform without delay the legal aid office of any changes in his financial situation, or that of his family’s, which could affect his eligibility for legal aid;
- Inform without delay the legal aid office of any property or pecuniary right he will acquire after having received for that purpose services rendered by an advocate or notary;
- Repay the costs of legal aid in accordance with the laws and regulations, where applicable;
- Pay the actual foreseeable costs including administrative expenses, where applicable;
- Inform without delay the legal aid office of any change in his place of residence.
4. Two other documents must be signed:
- A declaration indicating that the information and documents provided are accurate;
- An authorization allowing the legal aid office director to verify the information provided with the ministère du Revenu, another government department, agency, employer, or financial or educational institution.
Required documents and information
The applicant who receives benefits from a last-resort financial assistance program (social assistance) must provide:
- Recipient number;
- Amount of benefits;
- Social insurance number;
- Documents required for the case.
The other applicants must provide the following documents and information:
1. Personnal information:
- Social insurance number;
- Evidence of school attendance for a child at or over the age of majority–if applicable.
2. Evidence of annual income for the year preceding the application for legal aid or the estimated annual income of the current year, as the case may be:
- Name and address of sources of income (pay stub);
- Unemployment benefits pay stub, commission, tips, tax returns of the previous year and notice of assessment, financial statements (business income), rental income, interest income;
- Support payments received, etc.
3. Annualized deductions:
- Support payments paid, care expenses paid;
- Tuition fees, expenditures for a severe physical or mental disability.
- Property: tax bills of all properties, RRSP, etc.;
- Debts: loans, lines of credit, outstanding bills, etc.;
- Liquidities: bankbooks, term deposits, investments, shares, bonds, etc.
5. Documents required for the file:
Procedures, formal notice, summons, contracts, etc.
Application for review
If you are refused legal aid or if it is withdrawn, you may contest the decision within 30 days.
With the application for review, you can, for example, contest the request for reimbursement of costs or the amount of the contribution.
What does an application for review entail?
The application for review is a document, which details the reasons for contesting the decision to refuse or withdraw legal aid. It must be sent by certified or registered mail to:
Commission des services juridiques
C.P. 123, Station Desjardins
Montréal (Québec) H5B 1B3
The review committee allows you to present your arguments. After reviewing your application, the committee hands down a final written decision that cannot be appealed.
Appealing a legal aid decision
A person involved in a litigation may contest a recipient’s financial eligibility (and not service coverage). The request for an appeal must be written and set out the reasons for making an appeal, as well as include the supporting documents.
The request for an appeal must be made to the Centre communautaire juridique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue’s (CCJAT) executive director:
Me Nathalie Samson
Centre communautaire juridique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue
566, 1re Avenue Ouest
Amos (Québec) J9T 1V3
The executive director’s decision can be subject to a review if request is made within 15 days following the decision.