Improved access to legal aid helps more low income Albertans
Promoting access to justice is an essential part of ensuring all Albertans can participate fairly in the justice system.
Legal Aid Alberta helps make this happen for low income and vulnerable Albertans by getting them the help they need in court proceedings across the province. The Government of Alberta recognizes the invaluable contribution Legal Aid Alberta makes to ensuring access to justice for Albertans.
As part of the government’s commitment to support for legal aid, the province is providing a funding increase of $5.5 million to Legal Aid Alberta for 2014-2015.
Legal Aid Alberta has confirmed the increase will help those receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), to ensure they will not be denied representation solely on the basis of income.
The provincial government plays a pivotal role in ensuring access to justice for Albertans, which is why addressing legal aid funding was specifically included in Premier Prentice’s mandate letter to Minister Jonathan Denis.
Under current Legal Aid Alberta guidelines, the maximum monthly income for full representation is $1,348 for a single individual and slightly higher for multi-person households. This new funding can increase the income level for qualifying by 18 per cent to $1,588, which means all AISH recipients will be eligible for legal aid assistance.
Since 2005, Alberta has more than doubled its funding for legal aid, and currently provides more than 80 per cent of annual government funding to Legal Aid Alberta.
Justice and Solicitor General will continue to work with Legal Aid Alberta to assess their needs and the appropriate level of funding for 2015-16.