Indexation of the Legal Aid Eligibility Thresholds by 2.48% on January 1, 2013

MONTREAL, Dec. 28, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The January 1, 2013 indexation will increase the eligibility threshold for gratuitous legal aid to $13,910 and the maximum eligibility threshold for the contributory scheme to $21,547 for single individuals. It bears reminding that single individuals represent more than 70 % of the legal aid clientele. A family composed of two spouses and two children, whose annual income is $35,332, will now be eligible for legal aid under the contributory scheme.

Me Denis Roy, Chairman of the Commission des services juridiques, reminds the public that it is to the advantage of persons who require legal assistance and may be eligible for legal aid to contact the legal aid office closest to their residence in order to confirm such eligibility. "Given the terms and conditions prescribed by the act and the regulations, only legal aid staff can determine your eligibility; it is therefore important to make an appointment with a legal aid lawyer," stated Me Roy.

The new eligibility scale for services at no cost is as follows:

Class of Applicant   Maximum Annual Income
     
For a single person   $13,910
For an applicant whose family is comprised of:    
  one adult and one child   $17,017
  one adult and 2 children or +   $18,167
  spouses without children   $19,357
  spouses with 1 child   $21,658
  spouses with 2 children or +   $22,808

According to Me Roy, the contributory scheme offers a unique formula that allows individuals to be represented by a lawyer before the courts while knowing, in advance, the maximum amount of the legal fees and costs. The contributory scheme allows an individual to receive legal services if his or her income, assets and liquidities match the eligibility scales in effect and if the individual pays a contribution ranging from $100 to $800, depending on the person's situation. The eligibility scale for legal aid under the contributory scheme is as follows:

Class of Applicant   Maximum Annual Income
     
For a single person   $21,547
For an applicant whose family is comprised of:     
  one adult and one child   $26,359
  one adult and 2 children or +   $28,140
  spouses without children   $29,988
  spouses with 1 child   $33,550
  spouses with 2 children or +   $35,332

About the Commission des services juridiques
The Commission des services juridiques is the agency charged with applying the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services in Québec. Legal aid may be granted to anyone who is financially eligible, in order to cover various legal services involving civil, family, administrative, criminal, mental health, immigration or youth law matters. The Commission des services juridiques will also be the agency charged with overseeing the services offered as of 2013 under the Act to promote access to justice in family matters, including the Service administratif de rajustement des pensions alimentaires pour enfants (SARPA).

For more information, please visit the Web site of the Commission des services juridiques at: http://www.csj.qc.ca/.

SOURCE: Commission des services juridiques

For further information:

Me Richard La Charité, rlacharite@csj.qc.ca
Director, Communications Department
(514) 873-3562, extension 261