COVID-19 FAQs: legal aid services

I have a legal problem and also experiencing domestic abuse. How can I get legal aid help during this COVID‑19 crisis?

You can call us at 1‑800-668‑8258 from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and we will ensure your application is processed quickly to get you the legal help you need.

During this time, you do not have to qualify for summary legal advice. Legal eligibility requirements remain in place.

I need help with my legal problem and legal aid in-person services are suspended during the COVID‑19 crisis. Can I still get help?

You can call us at 1‑800-668‑8258 from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and we will ensure your application is processed quickly to get you the legal help you need.

During this time, you do not have to qualify for summary legal advice. Legal eligibility requirements remain in place.

I want to request information from Legal Aid Ontario for a Freedom of Information request. What do I do?

We are temporarily accepting Freedom of Information requests by email during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Send your request to fippa@lao.on.ca. There is no cost at this time. We will do our best to process your request quickly, however there may be delays or service interruptions. We appreciate your patience.

I was told I do not qualify for legal aid. What can I do?

If you applied for legal aid and you do not qualify for a certificate, you can:

  • Appeal if you do not agree with our decision to deny you legal aid. Email your appeal to appeals@lao.on.ca. We will do our best to process appeals within 30 to 45 days, however there may be delays or service interruptions.

  • Call us at 1‑800-668‑8258 to discuss how we can help you or visit Other ways we can help page to learn about other options available to you.

  • Call the Law Society of Ontario at 1‑800‑268‑7568 for half an hour of free advice from a volunteer lawyer. They will be able to help you determine whether your matter is urgent.

I have an urgent criminal matter and need legal help. Is Legal Aid still providing duty counsel services?

Yes. For urgent family matters, and for in‑custody clients who have a court appearance in four days but no lawyer, you can speak directly to duty counsel for legal advice. For non‑urgent matters, our duty counsel can call you back to talk to you more about your family or criminal matter.

Call us at 1‑800-668‑8258 to speak to our lawyers.

All in person service has stopped and there is no advice duty counsel at the courthouse.

I have a legal problem and want to visit a community legal clinic. Are they still open?

Community legal clinics across the province continue to provide services. Please call your local clinic directly for specific details.