1. Find out if your income is low enough

How do I apply for a legal aid certificate?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
1
2
3
4
5

1. Find out if your income is low enough

You must show Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) that you meet their financial eligibility rules. This means you have to show them that you have a low income.

LAO will ask you how much money your whole household makes. They will ask how many family members live in your house and how much money each person makes. They combine all the incomes of your family members to get your gross family income.

To prove your gross family income, you will have to mail or fax proof of your current income to LAO. This could be:

  • income tax returns
  • bank statements
  • information about property you own

If your gross family income is higher than the amount in this chart, you may not get a legal aid certificate:

Number of family members in your house

Gross family income

1

$17,731

2

$31,917

3

$37,194

4

$42,726

5 or more

$48,173

Contribution agreements

If your gross family income is too high for a legal aid certificate, you may still get help paying for a lawyer. LAO may give you money and ask you to pay some or all of it back later in monthly payments. The amount you must pay each month depends on your gross family income. This is called a contribution agreement.

For example:

Number of family members in your house

Gross family income

Monthly contribution

1

$15,320 to $17,731

$50

2

$26,504 to $31,917

$50

3

$30,213 to $37,194

$75

4

$34,139 to $42,726

$75

5 or more

$37,894 to $48,173

$115

Lien on your property

If you own property, you may still get help paying for a lawyer. LAO may ask you to put a lien on your property. This means when you sell that property LAO will take some of the money to cover the cost of your certificate.

If you are experiencing family violence

The gross family income limits are higher for people experiencing domestic violence. To get a legal aid certificate if you're experiencing domestic violence, your gross family income must be below the amount shown in this chart:

Number of family members in your house

Gross family income

1

$22,720

2

$32,131

3

$39,352

4

$45,440

5 or more

$50,803

You May Also Need

Reviewed: August 23, 2019

Parlez Français