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Who Qualifies for Legal Aid in Alberta?

Who Qualifies for Legal Aid in Alberta?

Lawyers are sometimes costly, especially when you have to resolve a complex case. Again, you may face difficulty in affording lawyers and court activities in Alberta.

Under these circumstances, legal aid can be beneficial for you. It’s an opportunity for eligible people to get legal assistance in Alberta.

But who is considered to be the eligible candidate to get legal aid in Alberta? In this following writing, we’ll try to give you a clear overview of who qualifies for legal aid in Alberta?

What is Legal Aid?

Legal aid in Alberta is a program or process of giving legal assistance to low-income people.

In Alberta, the private bar provides legal aid services. For this, they follow the judiciary model of service delivery.

Who Qualifies for Legal Aid in Alberta?

In Alberta, legal professionals provide legal help for anybody with criminal charges, a person involved in family matters, looking for child support, and so on.

Eligibility depends on:

  • Person’s limited income
  • Family income and assets

The eligible candidate might be:

  • Someone accused of criminal case
  • Parents looking for child support from ex-partners
  • Domestic violence victim
  • Parents looking for custody and support
  • Individuals with mental or addiction issues
  • Refugees looking for Canadian residency and in the threat of deportation

As an applicant, how to go through the process?

  • Need to provide financial and living arrangement information to the officer (during the submission of the case)
  • Provide parents or guardians information to determine the eligibility

Finally, the authority will consider the complexity of the case, nature of the services applied.

Eligibility Criteria in Alberta to Get the Legal Aid

There are some specific eligibility criteria to get legal aid in Alberta. You can apply for legal aid if you fall under the following eligibility criteria.

Financial Eligibility

The gross income of the applicant determines financial eligibility. The gross income follows a fixed scale of financial guidelines, considering the applicant’s family size and contribution.

There are two ranges of financial eligibility:

  • A monthly or yearly income range
  • Contribution range.

In both cases, Legal aid is not free.

Here is a  list of detailed income guidelines.

Income Guidelines­­­­

Gross Income

  Family size

Monthly eligibility Range ($)

Monthly -contribution Range ($)

Yearly income eligibility Range ($)

Yearly income -contribution Range ($)


0 – 1,158

1,158 – 1,792

0 – 13,900

13,900- 21,500


0 – 1,400

1,400 – 2,275

0 – 16,800

16,800- 27,300


0 – 1,883

1,883 – 2,450

0 – 22,600

22,600- 29,400


0 – 2,100

2,100 – 2,717

0 – 25,200

25,200- 32,600


0 – 2,408

2,408 – 2,867

0 – 28,900

28,900- 34,400


0 – 2,625

2,625 – 3,200

0 – 31,500

31,500- 38,400


0 – 2,892

2,892 – 3,500

0 – 34,700

34,700- 42,000

Source: Legal Services Society of Alberta.

Expanded Eligibility Through Contributions

A person in the borderline of financial eligibility can avail of legal aid under specific criteria. In that case, the client must agree to pay a monthly payment as a condition to avail of legal aid. This amount of contribution can be vary depending on the nature of the cases.

Income Definition

Gross family income is taken into account by Legal Aid Society of Alberta in its assessments. Gross family income refers to money received by the family before deduction.

Family Definition

Family size refers to family members consist of applicants, spouses, and dependents, including common-law partners.

Client Contributions

The contribution of the clients is applicable while determining the legal aid in Alberta. If clients can contribute, they will be asked to do so.

Final Thought

Knowing who qualifies for legal aid in Alberta will help you get the necessary legal assistance. If you don’t have financial capability or other arrangements to hire a lawyer or maintain courtroom activities, you can avail of legal aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any more inquiries, you can go through the following frequently asked questions.

Who administers legal aid in Canada?

The Federal Department of Justice administers legal aid in Canada. However, it falls within the provinces’ constitutional responsibility for the administration of justice. The department involves in the program with federal-provincial cost-sharing agreements for legal aid services.

Where does legal aid money come from?

The Canadian Government provides the money for maintaining the legal aid of the applicant. The money comes from the Community Legal Services (CLS) Fund, and the Legal Aid Agency administers it.

What if the application is rejected?

Your application can be rejected if you are unable to meet the criteria. In that case, you can appeal by writing a letter. The appeal process may take time of one month.

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