B3: Better Billing Bulletin

Vol. 16
Mar. 2009

Legal Aid Ontario's Lawyer Services & Payments Department (LSP) is happy to bring you this monthly Better Billing Bulletin. It's meant to provide you and your staff with information regarding tariff and billing practices. We hope you'll find it useful.

B3 Regular Disbursements do not require authorization

There is no need to contact disbursement staff before you bill for regular disbursements. Being able to bill regular disbursements without authorization saves you time and speeds up payment. Regular disbursements include courier charges, photocopies, a report from a client’s family doctor or general practitioner up to a maximum of $150.00, and many, many more. A complete list of regular disbursements can be found in the Tariff and Billing Handbook. Please consult the Handbook before submitting a disbursement for payment to determine whether it is a regular disbursement, or a disbursement which requires authorization before being incurred.

B3 For Speedy Payment, Attach Your Dockets!

Attaching your dockets will speed up your payment. Always attach your dockets to your Online accounts. A detailed account and a discretion letter must be attached when you request a discretionary increase. To attach a document, click on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the Online account page; then click on “browse” to find the document you want to attach (e.g. word document, excel file, etc.) and select the document; click upload and the document is attached. A similar process to attach dockets is possible if you use PC Law or other file management applications. Please call the Lawyer Service Centre for help.

B3 Junior Counsel Authorization

Legal Aid Online is unable to adjust hourly rates automatically to reflect the reduced junior counsel attendance rate. Please remember to tick the discretion box on the second page of your Online account and write in the comment box "junior counsel rates apply". You must also provide your detailed dockets, by fax, mail or Online, so that we can verify the applicable hourly rates. Failure to follow these steps will result in delays in payment and Lawyer Service and Payments having to recover overpayments.

B3 Tariff & Billing Handbook

Consult our Handbook regularly for billing information.

B3 Website Launch of interest to lawyers, clients

Legal Aid Ontario will soon launch a newly redesigned website that makes it easier for you and your clients to access information about legal aid services.

The “Quick Help Centre” guides visitors through the types of cases covered, offers a simplified test for gauging likely financial eligibility and includes resources on everything from domestic violence to government assistance.

The redesigned site also provides more prominent and easier to access information about the main types of help Legal Aid Ontario offers: duty counsel, community clinics and certificate services, as well as additional resources and referrals.

Search tools help clients locate the closest Legal Aid Ontario area office or community legal clinic by postal code, and the site includes maps and transit directions, languages spoken, accessibility and office hours.

Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the
Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934