New verification process helps LAO serve clients faster

Posted on: Monday, June 7, 2010

The time it takes to verify a client’s status will be reduced to less than ten minutes and taxpayers will save millions of dollars as a result of a new information sharing process between Legal Aid Ontario and the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS).

As of April 19, 2010, people on social assistance no longer need to provide paper proof that they receive social assistance as part of their application for legal aid. Instead, staff at LAO’s toll-free number, legal aid offices and court-based locations can now electronically validate whether clients receive social assistance. This applies to both Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program recipients. Once the LAO confirms the client’s status, no further documentation is necessary.

This new ability to verify client status electronically will allow LAO staff to expedite the application process. This will lead to more immediate decisions and fewer court delays, thereby supporting the province’s Justice on Target strategy. The new initiative will also significantly reduce the paperwork and administrative costs associated with waiting for validation from clients, which in turn will save taxpayers money.

Social assistance recipients receiving legal aid for longer intervals will also no longer need to undergo re-evaluation, as the new sharing process allows LAO to re-check status and update client files automatically every six months.


For questions or further information, please contact:

Kristian Justesen
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
Phone: 416-979-2352, ext. 4782
Email: and/or