Online verification for government-assisted client a success

Posted on: Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thousands of Ontarians on social assistance are benefiting from a recent partnership between Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) and the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS). The information-sharing agreement between the two organizations means that legal aid applications from people who receive support from Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program no longer need to provide paper proof that they receive social assistance. This accounts for about 60,000 applications each year–30% to 40% of all applications LAO receives.

Since the partnership began in April 2010, over 10,000 requests have been successfully processed through the shared interface, which allows people to have their social assistance status electronically verified by legal aid staff in ten minutes or less. This is a substantial improvement from the previous, more time-consuming manual process, which used to take between one and three weeks to complete. The verification expedites the application process, helping to resolve clients’ legal matters more quickly. It’s also anticipated that this initiative will create savings of $2 million a year.

The MCSS-LAO interface is an excellent example of how Legal Aid Ontario is integrating technology into its business practices to serve clients more efficiently and effectively.

This forward-thinking initiative has also been nominated for a Showcase Ontario Award of Excellence.

For further information

For questions or further information, please contact:

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