Province Increases Legal Aid Eligibility Threshold Another Six Per Cent
April 5, 2018 - Ontario is making it possible for more people to access affordable
legal services by increasing the financial eligibility threshold for legal aid.
Effective April 1, 2018, the province will increase the threshold another six per
cent. This means approximately 153,000 more low-income, vulnerable people will be
eligible to receive legal services from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO).
This year's investment of over $86 million marks the fifth increase since Ontario's
2014 budget commitment to expand access to legal services to an additional one million
people in 10 years. As part of this expansion, community legal clinics and student
legal aid services societies in Ontario will receive $7.2 million in funding in
As a result of the combined threshold increases, Ontario is much closer to reaching
its goal, with about 700,000 more people having access to legal aid today than in
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable
during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better
working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access
to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and
65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
"Boosting the legal aid threshold is one of the most important ways we can put justice
within reach of low-income and vulnerable people, regardless of their ability to
pay. I'm proud to say that with this latest increase, Ontario is more than two thirds
of the way towards meeting our goal of a making legal aid available to a million
more people." — Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General
"We appreciate Ontario's continued support for legal aid. The annual boost in the
eligibility threshold positively impacts the services provided by LAO and improves
access to justice across the province for marginalized and vulnerable Ontarians.
We're proud of the provincial government's commitment to create a more accessible
justice system." — John McCamus, Chair of Legal Aid Ontario
- Legal Aid Ontario provides low-income, vulnerable Ontarians with access to legal
services in areas including criminal, family, immigration, mental health and poverty
- An eligibility threshold is the income level at which people can qualify for legal