When you go to your first legal aid appointment, you must bring documents to show your financial situation and, in some cases, your spouse’s financial situation too. It’s your responsibility to show you are financially eligible for legal aid. Your application can be refused if you’re missing any documents.
Proof of income
You must bring documents to show your income and your spouse’s income from the year before you apply for legal aid. For example, if you are applying in 2020, you must bring proof of your revenue from 2019. Some examples of proof of income are:
- provincial and federal notices of assessment
- tax returns with supporting documents (for example, T4 and Relevé 5 slips, financial statements)
You must also bring documents to show your income for the current year.
- last pay stub for all jobs held since January 1 of the year of the application
Person receiving Employment Insurance benefits
- detailed statement showing the amount of the benefits and the number of weeks paid
Person receiving last-resort financial assistance (social assistance)
- copy of the claim booklet for the month you apply for legal aid (This is the only document needed to prove financial eligibility.)
- copy of updated financial statements with supporting documents
Person receiving benefits from the SAAQ, CNESST, IVAC or other programs
- proof of amounts received
- statement of loans and bursaries
- proof of tuition fees
- copy of agreement with Emploi Québec showing the amount paid (if applicable)
Person receiving support payments (alimony)
- proof of amounts received
Certain amounts can be deducted from your income in calculating whether you qualify for legal aid. For example, support payments, childcare and expenses you pay because of a serious physical or mental disability can be deducted. You must bring all these documents to your appointment to show proof of your expenses. For example, to prove your support payments, you can bring the “Form 24s” that you received in the year prior to your request.
Proof of savings and property
In addition to proving your income, you must also bring documents to show how much money you have saved and the property you and your spouse own.
You must bring recent statements for all your accounts, including:
- chequing account
- Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
If you own a home, you must bring a copy of the municipal tax bill showing its value. You must also bring the most recent statement available showing the balance owing on your mortgage.
You must bring proof of your debts, such as your credit card statements.
Documents concerning your legal problem
You must also bring documents concerning your legal problem.
For example, if you received a document telling you to appear in court on a certain date, you should bring this.
The documents you need to bring depend on the type of legal problem.
If you have questions about which documents to bring to your appointment, you can call the legal aid office closest to you.