June 5, 2023 | Legal Fees

Am I eligible for free legal aid?

Eligibility for free legal aid is determined based on eligibility scales. Your income, assets and liquidity are all taken into account for calculation purposes.

In terms of your income, the following sources of revenue are included in the calculation:

  • Employment
  • Business
  • Real Estate
  • Employment insurance benefits
  • CNESST income replacement benefits
  • SAAQ income replacement benefits
  • Salary insurance benefits
  • Support payments
  • Scholarships and other benefits

The income you earned in the year before your application for legal aid is the one considered in the calculation.

If you have a spouse and live together your combined income is taken into account for eligibility unless your spouses opposed to your legal aid request, in that case only your financial situation will be taken into account. This would be the case for a divorce file for example.

Expenses can be deducted from your income such as support payments or expenses related to childcare, physical or mental disabilities.

In terms of your assets, the following are considered in the calculation:

  • Real estate
  • Non-locked-in pension funds
  • Debts

In terms of liquidity, the following are considered in the calculation:

  • Cash
  • Savings
  • Bonds
  • Stocks

The following table outlines the eligibility scale for free legal aid:

Annual income schedule (gross) *

 Single person

Family composed of one adult and one child

Family composed of one adult and two or more children

Family composed of spouses with no children

Family composed of spouses with one child

Family composed of spouses with two or more children

25,935 $

31,733 $

33,875 $

36,095 $

40,385 $

42,530 $

Exceptions to Legal aid:

  • Any matter relating to an election, a popular consultation or a referendum;
  • Application for Alienation of affection;
  • Application for Breach of promise of marriage;
  • Application for Defamation or libel;
  • Application for Spoofing attacks;
  • Violations of the Highway Safety Code and municipal parking by-laws.

Am I eligible for contributory legal aid?

Although your income, assets or liquid assets exceed the amount set out in the free eligibility schedule you may still be eligible to receive contributory legal aid.
The amount of the contribution you can receive for legal aid varies between $100 and $800 depending on the size of your family and your income.
Eligibility scales for contributory legal aid can be found at: https://www.aidejuridiquedemontreal.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/servicesrequiringcontribution2022-05-31.pdf