How do I apply for legal aid?
Some of our services have temporarily changed due to the COVID‑19 crisis. The information provided on this page may no longer be accurate. Please visit our COVID‑19 client page to learn how this may impact you.
If you qualify financially and have a legal issue that we cover, Legal Aid Ontario will help pay for a lawyer to represent you.
You can apply for legal aid in three ways.
- Apply online
The online application process is currently only available to people who do not own any property and either:
- receive income assistance such as Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program payments,
- do not have any income,
- are new to Canada,
- are living in a shelter,
- are completing the application on behalf of someone who is incarcerated.
To submit your application online, go to the Legal Aid Ontario Client Portal. An interactive interview will walk you through a series of questions to determine if you are eligible.
If you are experiencing difficulties logging into the Client Portal, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions
- By phone
To apply by phone, call us using one of the numbers below Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST).
- 416-979-1446 (Greater Toronto Area)
- 1-800-668-8258 (toll-free)
- In person
In-person help is available from:
- A legal aid worker if you are in a correctional facility, including jail or a detention centre.
- A patient advocate or rights’ advisor, if you are in hospital.
- A lawyer, if you are out of custody and applying for legal aid in a criminal matter
Available via YouTube | 3:05
Do I need anything before I apply?
- any documents about your legal case
- proof of your income, if you have any. For example, recent pay stubs, social assistance cheque stubs, or employment insurance statements.
If you have an income or own property, you may qualify for a certificate with a contribution agreement. This means you will be required to repay LAO some or all of your legal fees, based on your income level.
A contribution agreement outlines how much you will repay LAO. Learn more about contribution agreements.
Do you live outside of Ontario?
If you have a legal issue in Ontario but live outside of the province or country refer to our page on non resident services.
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