General Legal Aid FAQs
How do I know if I'm eligible for Legal Aid?
Legal Aid Saskatchewan provides legal advice and representation in court to people who cannot afford to pay for such services if:
- you are financially eligible
- your legal problem is covered by Legal Aid Saskatchewan guidelines
- your legal problem has professional merit, in the opinion of Legal Aid Saskatchewan
About Legal Aid Saskatchewan (brochure)
Who provides Legal Aid?
Legal Aid Saskatchewan employs more than 170 lawyers, legal assistants and support staff in offices located throughout the province.
How do you decide if I am financially eligible?
The financial test has two parts — the asset test and the income test. Legal Aid staff determines if you have enough money/assets available to pay your lawyer without Legal Aid's help.
If you are on social assistance, disability assistance (SAP/SAID) or band assistance, you are usually eligible for legal aid, depending on your available assets.
What kinds of cases are covered?
If you financially qualify and your matter has professional merit, Legal Aid may be able to provide assistance in the following areas:
- Criminal Charges (Adult): An offence that would likely result in jail time or loss of employment if you are found guilty (for example, assault, theft, break and enter, fraud, impaired driving causing bodily harm).
- For Criminal Charges (Youth): As of April 7, 2008 Legal Aid Saskatchewan provides legal services to all youths charged under the YCJA.
- Family Matters: Child custody, child or spousal support payments, divorce, access to see your children, or help if your children have been taken away from you or there are threats that they will be taken away.
This is not a complete list — talk to your local Legal Aid office about your specific case.
How do I apply for Legal Aid?
Phone the Application Centre at 1.800.667.3764. The phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. You can also fill out the online application form at any time of the day.
You will need paperwork to support your application for Legal Aid.
- Some form of identification (social insurance card, Treaty card, driver's licence, etc.).
- Any documents relating to your case, such as court orders, separation agreements, papers related to your criminal charge.
- Proof of your current income (pay stubs, social assistance/disability assistance cheque stubs, etc.).
- Up to date bank books or statements.
- Income tax returns (if you are self employed or seasonally employed).
- Proof of the value of your assets, such as your car or RRSPs.
How long does it take?
The staff may be able to tell you right away if you are eligible. They may ask you to complete some papers before you fill out an application. Make sure to tell Legal Aid staff if your situation is an emergency or if a court date has been set.
I need help with a family matter but I have been denied Legal Aid Services. What do I do?
We have a complaint process in place for applicants to family law services. You can file a complaint to the CEO within 20 days of being denied. The complaint form is attached to the denial.
Chief Executive Officer
Legal Aid Saskatchewan - Head Office
400-201 21st Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0B8
What if I can't get Legal Aid?
If you cannot get Legal Aid, you can still get legal information.
- Phone PLEA (Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan) in Saskatoon at 306.653.1868
- Get printed information from the Legal Aid office, Government offices, Court houses, libraries or online.
- Phone CLASSIC (Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City) in Saskatoon at 306.657.6100
- Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan runs free legal clinics across the province where lawyers provide clients who cannot afford a lawyer or have been found ineligible by Legal Aid up to an hour of free summary legal advice. Call 1.855.833.7257 or 306.569.3098 (Regina) to book an appointment. NOTE: income testing does apply.