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. This volume focuses on Disbursements.
Disbursements - Back to Basics!
There are 4 types of disbursements
- Regular disbursements that do not require authorization (e.g., charges for long distance or collect calls from incarcerated clients, photocopies).
- Regular disbursements that do not require authorization but need to be added to the certificate (e.g., appeal transcripts, travel expenses other than mileage for ordinary witnesses).
- Regular disbursements that do not require authorization up to specific limits (e.g. pathologists in murder cases, family assessment in FLA/CLRA custody disputes).
- Special disbursements that always require authorization (e.g., accident reconstruction, DNA testing).
Please review the Legal Aid Tariff Handbook - C. 6 Disbursements
Disbursement Rates for Services
Before retaining a service provider, please ensure the provider is willing to accept LAO's rate. If you are unable to locate a provider at LAO's rate, you must request special authorization by providing us with details of your efforts to locate a provider, and the names, CV and rates of 3 providers.
Request for Authorization
When requesting disbursement authorization, please provide the reasons the disbursement is required, the qualifications of the provider, and an estimate and breakdown of the cost (e.g., hours required & hourly rate, pages and rate per page).
If a matter is urgent, clearly indicate in your letter the date set for trial and date the expert's report must be submitted. Do not indicate the matter is urgent if a response is not required within 10 business days.
Billing Disbursements OnlineDisbursements improperly billed Online will delay payment of your whole account (fees & disbursements). If unsure how to bill disbursements Online, prior to submitting your account, contact the Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934
If you are unsure if a disbursement requires authorization, or if you have not received a response to a disbursement request and time is becoming an issue, please contact the Disbursement Team Admin at 416-979-2352 ex5000 or 1-800-668-8258 ex5000
Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the