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Am I Financially Eligible for Legal Aid?

The Legal Aid Act requires Legal Aid Saskatchewan to determine the financial eligibility of people who apply for our services. The Board of Commissioners for Legal Aid Saskatchewan sets the financial guidelines. 

To determine whether you qualify financially, Legal Aid staff will ask you about your and your family income, including social assistance. This means Legal Aid does a financial assessment of you, your spouse by marriage, common-law spouse or same-sex partner and any dependent children.

Information about your family assets may also be required, as to which see below.

Social Assistance Program or Band Funding

If you are currently in receipt of Saskatchewan social assistance, you are financially eligible for Legal Aid services (although your problem must still fall within our range of service). Legal Aid defines social assistance and disability assistance as funding received through the Government of Saskatchewan’s Social Assistance Program (SAP), Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID), Saskatchewan Income Plan for Seniors or funding received through your Band from the Indian & Northern Affairs Canada Income Assistance program.

Financial Income Guidelines

The family income of an applicant who is not receiving social assistance is compared against Legal Aid's financial income guidelines, which are based on two factors: family income and family size.

When applying for Legal Aid, you will be asked to provide information about all sources of family income. Family includes you, your spouse by marriage, your common-law spouse, same-sex partner and any dependent children.

You may be asked to provide proof of all income. Applicants who do not provide Legal Aid with proof of income when asked may have their applications denied.

For Legal Aid eligibility purposes, income includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Employment income [** Gross **]
  • Self-employment income
  • Employment Insurance benefits (EI)
  • Workers’ Compensation benefits
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • Old Age Security payments
  • Pensions
  • Canada Pension Plan payments
  • Rental income – from renters, boarders or farm rental
  • Child maintenance / support payments
  • Spousal maintenance / support or alimony payments
  • Training allowances (NOTE:  the Provincial Training Allowance administered by Saskatchewan Advanced Education & Employment is exempt/not counted as income)

Other allowances, payments and benefits which will be considered equivalent to income and will be added to calculate your and your family’s income include, but are not limited to:

The amount that will be added to your and your family’s income to account for subsidized and free housing and subsidized and free room and board is based on the costs determined by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services.

Legal Aid Saskatchewan uses an income ONLY to determine eligibility, meaning that your and your family’s living expenses are not taken into account when determining financial eligibility.  However, regularly paid child care expenses or child maintenance/support payments, will be deducted from income and proof of their having been made may be required.

You may be eligible for service if, for your family size, your family income is at or below the level displayed in our income guidelines.

Eligibility Guidelines as of 2015

Fully Eligible Financial Guidelines

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$985

$11,820

Single Senior (65 years)

$1525

$18,300

Couple w/o Children

$1,150

$13,800

Family with 1 Child

$1,540

$18,480

Family with 2 Children

$1,690

$20,280

Family with 3 Children

$1,785

$21,420

Family with 4 Children

$1,900

$22,800

Family with 5 Children

$2,125

$25,500

Family with 6 Children

$2,350

$28,200

Family with 7 Children

$2,525

$30,300

Family with 8 Children

$2,735

$32,820

Asset Test

In addition to your family income, Legal Aid is also required to check your family assets, such as cash, funds in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, RRSPs and other personal property, such as cars, snowmobiles, boats, coin, stamp and other collections, antiques, etc., which you could sell to convert to money to retain a lawyer. We assess whether these assets are above the statutory exempted amount and then must be taken into account.

Depending on your financial situation due to liquid assets, you may be determined to be ineligible or expected to use some of your assets to contribute to the cost of legal fees.

Youth Exemption

All individuals charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) are eligible for Legal Aid services regardless of their financial situations. For administrative reasons you may still be required to provide information about your income, but no one charged under the YCJA will be denied legal services for financial reasons.

Contribution

Legal Aid may be offered to an applicant whose family income exceeds the relevant Guideline by 10%, if the applicant makes a contribution to the cost of providing legal services. This allows someone whose income is slightly above the guidelines to acquire legal representation, provided payment of the contribution is made before meeting with the lawyer appointed.

The guidelines relating to financial eligibility with a contribution are set out below.

Financial Guidelines - Eligible on a Contribution Basis Only

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$1,085

$13,020

Single Senior (65 years)

$1,680

$20,160

Couple w/o Children

$1,265

$15,180

Family with 1 Child

$1,695

$20,340

Family with 2 Children

$1,860

$22,320

Family with 3 Children

$1,965

$23,580

Family with 4 Children

$2,090

$25,080

Family with 5 Children

$2,340

$28,080

Family with 6 Children

$2,585

$31,020

Family with 7 Children

$2,780

$33,360

Family with 8 Children

$3,010

$36,120

Those applicants required to pay a contribution shall pay $40 for legal services. The full amount is due at the first meeting with the Lawyer or Legal Assistant.

Northern Financial Guidelines

Because there are extra costs associated with living in the northern part of the province, financial eligibility for applicants living north of the 54th latitude is based on the following guidelines.

For the communities of LaRonge, Stanley Mission, Creighton, La Loche, Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, Ile a le Cross:

LaRonge, Stanley Mission, Creighton, La Loche, Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, Ile a le Cross

Fully Eligible Financial Guidelines

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$1,085

$13,020

Single Senior (65 years)

$1,625

$19,500

Couple w/o Children

$1,250

$15,000

Family with 1 Child

$1,640

$19,680

Family with 2 Children

$1,790

$21,480

Family with 3 Children

$1,885

$22,620

Family with 4 Children

$2,000

$24,000

Family with 5 Children

$2,225

$26,700

Family with 6 Children

$2,450

$29,400

Family with 7 Children

$2,625

$31,500

Family with 8 Children

$2,835

$34,020

LaRonge, Stanley Mission, Creighton, La Loche, Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, Ile a le Cross

Financial Guidelines - Eligible on a Contribution Basis Only

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$1,195

$14,340

Single Senior (65 years)

$1,790

$21,480

Couple w/o Children

$1,375

$16,500

Family with 1 Child

$1,805

$21,660

Family with 2 Children

$1,970

$23,640

Family with 3 Children

$2,075

$24,900

Family with 4 Children

$2,200

$26,400

Family with 5 Children

$2,450

$29,400

Family with 6 Children

$2,695

$32,340

Family with 7 Children

$2,900

$34,800

Family with 8 Children

$3,120

$37,440

For the communities of Southend, Pinehouse Lake, Cumberland House, Deschambault Lake, Dillion, Patuanak, Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay, Turnor Lake:

 Southend, Pinehouse Lake, Cumberland House, Deschambault Lake, Dillion, Patuanak, Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay, Turnor Lake

Fully Eligible Financial Guidelines

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$1,265

$15,180

Single Senior (65 years)

$1,790

$21,480

Couple w/o Children

$1,445

$17,340

Family with 1 Child

$1,805

$21,660

Family with 2 Children

$1,970

$23,640

Family with 3 Children

$2,075

$24,900

Family with 4 Children

$2,270

$27,240

Family with 5 Children

$2,520

$30,240

Family with 6 Children

$2,765

$33,180

Family with 7 Children

$2,960

$35,520

Family with 8 Children

$3,190

$38,280

 Southend, Pinehouse Lake, Cumberland House, Deschambault Lake, Dillion, Patuanak, Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay, Turnor Lake

Financial Guidelines - Eligible on a Contribution Basis Only

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$1,395

$16,740

Single Senior (65 years)

$1,970

$23,640

Couple w/o Children

$1,590

$19,080

Family with 1 Child

$1,985

$23,820

Family with 2 Children

$2,167

$26,004

Family with 3 Children

$2,285

$27,420

Family with 4 Children

$2,500

$30,000

Family with 5 Children

$2,775

$33,300

Family with 6 Children

$3,045

$36,540

Family with 7 Children

$3,260

$39,120

Family with 8 Children

$3,510

$42,120

For the communities of Stoney Rapids, Black Lake, Fond Du Lac, Wollaston Lake, Uranium City:

Stoney Rapids, Black Lake, Fond Du Lac, Wollaston Lake, Uranium City

Fully Eligible Financial Guidelines

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$1,445

$17,340

Single Senior (65 years)

$1,950

$23,400

Couple w/o Children

$1,640

$19,680

Family with 1 Child

$1,970

$23,640

Family with 2 Children

$2,150

$25,800

Family with 3 Children

$2,265

$27,180

Family with 4 Children

$2,540

$30,480

Family with 5 Children

$2,810

$33,720

Family with 6 Children

$3,080

$36,960

Family with 7 Children

$3,290

$39,480

Family with 8 Children

$3,545

$42,540

Stoney Rapids, Black Lake, Fond Du Lac, Wollaston Lake, Uranium City

Financial Guidelines - Eligible on a Contribution Basis Only

Family Size

Monthly Income

Yearly Income

Single Person

$1,590

$19,080

Single Senior (65 years)

$2,145

$25,740

Couple w/o Children

$1,805

$21,660

Family with 1 Child

$2,170

$26,040

Family with 2 Children

$2,365

$28,380

Family with 3 Children

$2,495

$29,940

Family with 4 Children

$2,795

$33,540

Family with 5 Children

$3,095

$37,140

Family with 6 Children

$3,390

$40,680

Family with 7 Children

$3,620

$43,440

Family with 8 Children

$3,900

$46,800

Please Note

Legal Aid Saskatchewan may exercise discretion in favour of applicants when their income and/or assets are slightly over the guidelines and they are unable to hire a lawyer privately. If you feel your situation might qualify, we encourage you to contact us to discuss the matter. Please check our list of offices for the office nearest to you.