6.67% Indexation of the Legal Aid Eligibility Thresholds as of May 31, 2018

MONTREAL, May 31, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - As of today, the legal aid eligibility thresholds increased by 6.67%, which is equal to the percentage by which the minimum wage increased on May 1, 2018.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec, Stéphanie Vallée, and the Chairman of the Commission des services juridiques, Me Yvan Niquette, made the announcement today.

Me Niquette recalled that, on January 1, 2016, the eligibility thresholds for no-cost legal aid were increased, with the minimum wage as a reference point. The current indexation therefore maintains the eligibility thresholds at this level.

As a result, a person who is single and works a 35-hour week at minimum wage, which is $21,840 per year, has access to a lawyer, at no cost, within the framework of the legal aid system. Moreover, legal aid services are free to a family of two adults and two children whose income is less than $35,814.

The Québec legal aid plan includes a component for individuals whose income falls between the eligibility thresholds for free legal aid and the maximum thresholds requiring a contribution (contributory legal aid). According to Me Niquette, the contributory scheme offers a unique formula that allows individuals to be represented in court by a lawyer while knowing, in advance, the maximum amount of their legal fees and the costs that may be claimed from them. The contributory scheme allows an individual to receive legal services if his or her income, assets and liquidities match the eligibility scale in effect and if the individual pays a contribution ranging from $100 to $800, depending on the composition of the person's family and the person's financial situation. The eligibility scale for legal aid under the contributory scheme also increased by 6.67%.

"The increase in the legal aid eligibility thresholds will benefit thousands of low-income individuals in Québec. In addition, through this indexation, we ensure that citizens earning the minimum wage continue to be eligible for the services offered by the Commission. This increase in the eligibility thresholds unequivocally demonstrates the government's desire to promote better access to justice for Quebeckers", stated Minister Vallée.

The new eligibility scale for services at no cost is as follows:

 

Class of Applicant

Maximum
Annual Income



For a single person

$21,840

For an applicant whose family is comprised of: 



one adult and one child

$26,720


one adult and 2 children or +

$28,525


spouses without children  

$30,394


spouses with 1 child

$34,007


spouses with 2 children or +

$35,813

 

The new eligibility scale for legal aid under the contributory scheme is as follows:

 

Class of Applicant

Maximum
Annual Income



For a single person

$30,506

For an applicant whose family is comprised of: 



one adult and one child

$37,317


one adult and 2 children or +

$39,838


spouses without children  

$42,455


spouses with 1 child

$47,498


spouses with 2 children or +

$50,021

 

About the Commission des services juridiques

The Commission des services juridiques is the agency charged with applying the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services in Québec. Legal aid may be granted to anyone who is financially eligible, in order to cover various legal services involving civil, family, administrative, criminal, health, immigration or youth law matters. It is also the agency charged with offering the Homologation Assistance Service (HAS) and the Service administratif de rajustement des pensions alimentaires pour enfants (SARPA), a child support recalculation service.

For more information, please visit the website of the Commission des services juridiques at: http://www.csj.qc.ca.

 

Sources:

Me Richard La Charité, rlacharite@csj.qc.ca 
Director, Communications Department
Commission des services juridiques
(514) 873-3562, extension 232




Isabelle Marier St-Onge
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec
(418) 643-4210

 

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2018/31/c3691.html

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