COVID-19: Emergency legal aid services set to change

Published: May 3, 2021

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is setting new temporary financial eligibility thresholds for domestic violence and child protection matters that will come into effect May 3, 2021 until September 30, 2021 for non‑Indigenous applicants.

Financial eligibility criteria for these matters reflects an increase over the pre-pandemic threshold. The new eligibility threshold replaces the emergency waiver of financial eligibility requirements introduced during the early stages of the COVID‑19 crisis.

Temporarily increased eligibility thresholds effective May 3, 2021-September 30, 2021

Number of family members The amount of money your family makes in a year
1 $32,131
2 $39,352
3 $45,440
4 $50,803
5 $59,440

Continued support for Indigenous people and communities

The waiver of financial eligibility requirements will continue for Indigenous people experiencing domestic violence or facing a child protection issue until September 30, 2021.

LAO is committed to ensuring First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people and communities have access to justice given Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and the overrepresentation of Indigenous families within the child protection system.

Continued special supports for domestic violence survivors

LAO continues to offer two‑hour authorizations that do not require financial eligibility testing for anyone impacted by domestic violence. (Up to five two‑hour authorizations in a year and one certificate per legal issue.)

As part of its COVID‑19 emergency response, LAO continues to waive eligibility requirements for up to 20 minutes of free legal advice over the phone for people who have a family legal matter, including issues involving a Children’s Aid Society. This program can be accessed by calling 1-800-668-8258.

More information about legal aid services