Legal System

Legal Aid: Do I Qualify?

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In Quebec, low-income people and families can get legal aid at little or no cost. Legal aid is the services of a lawyer. They must follow certain steps and meet certain conditions to qualify.

How to apply for legal aid

To begin, call the legal aid office nearest you to make an appointment. Next, prepare all the documents you need to bring to the appointment.

You must bring proof of your income, property, debts and savings, and sometimes proof of your family’s as well. You must also bring all documents concerning your legal problem (court documents, letters, bills, etc.).

Eligibility for legal aid depends on many factors. At the first appointment, a lawyer or technician analyzes your documents to determine whether you qualify.

Conditions to qualify for legal aid

Only low-income people and families can receive legal aid. Also, legal aid doesn’t cover all legal services.

To receive legal aid

  1. you must be financially eligible, and
  2. the legal services you are asking for must be covered by legal aid.

Your financial situation

Your financial situation will be evaluated taking into account your:

  • annual income
  • property and assets
  • liquidities

The income limits are based on your family situation. For example, a single parent with an annual income of up to $47,308 who has custody of two children is eligible. A couple with two or more children and a combined annual income of up to $59,403 is eligible.

Usually, your income from the previous year is taken into consideration. For example, if you apply for legal aid in 2022, your 2021 income will be considered.

However, if your income changes during the year you apply for legal aid, an estimate of your income for the current year will be used instead.

You can fill out a questionnaire to find out whether you qualify for legal aid.

Legal aid does not take into account the financial situation of people under 18. They are eligible for all services covered by legal aid, free of charge, regardless of their financial situation.

Legal services covered

To get legal aid, you must apply for services covered by the law. . For example, being represented by a lawyer to ask for child custody or being defended if you are accused of a crime are services that are usually covered. To learn more about the services covered, see our Web Guide on legal aid.

Who will be my lawyer?

The lawyer from the legal aid office who determined that you qualify for legal aid can take on your case and represent you.

Any lawyer in private practice can also represent you if they accept legal aid cases. When making an appointment in this situation, it’s important to mention that you qualify for legal aid.

For more information, see our article Legal Aid: Who Will Represent Me?

Partnership with the Commission des services juridiques

The Commission des services juridiques (legal aid)

Our partner, the Commission des services juridiques (legal aid), is responsible for applying Québec's Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services. The Commission ensures that legal aid is available to every eligible person who applies for it.

Visit their website.