Increase in the Legal Aid Eligibility Scale as of June 1, 2012

MONTREAL, June 1, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As of June 1, 2012, the legal aid eligibility thresholds will increase progressively over a period of three years. The thresholds will continue to be indexed on January 1st of each year. At the end of the three-year period, the eligibility threshold increase for the contributory scheme will be in the order of 43%, taking indexation into account. This increase will make legal aid accessible to a greater number of people.

The June 1, 2012 increase will bring the eligibility threshold for gratuitous legal aid to $13,573 and the maximum eligibility threshold for the contributory scheme to $21,026 for single individuals. It bears reminding that single individuals represent 73% of the legal aid clientele.

"Under the contributory scheme, for example, the increase will give a family composed of two spouses and two children, whose annual income is $34,477, the possibility of availing itself of legal services at a reasonable cost determined in advance. I therefore invite all those who have a need for legal assistance and who may be affected by the increase to have their eligibility checked by contacting the legal aid office nearest their place of residence," stated Me Denis Roy, Chairman of the Commission des services juridiques.

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

Class of Applicant   Maximum
Annual Income
     
For a single person   $13,573
For an applicant whose family is comprised of:     
  one adult and one child   $16,605
  one adult and 2 children or +   $17,727
  spouses without children     $18,889
  spouses with 1 child   $21,134
  spouses with 2 children or +   $22,256

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 scale 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   $21,026
For an applicant whose family is comprised of:    
  one adult and one child   $25,721
  one adult and 2 children or +   $27,459
  spouses without children     $29,262
  spouses with 1 child   $32,738
  spouses with 2 children or +   $34,477

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 matters and matters relating to mental health law or youth law.

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


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