Legal support

Some benefits issues require the support of a trained legal professional such as appealing a denial of benefits or dealing with issues regarding debts to the Canada Revenue Agency. People with precarious status in Canada, such as those with temporary or no status, should seek legal advice before applying for any benefits. If you do not have this type of legal expertise in your organization, it is important to build a referral relationship with a legal clinic.

There are free legal clinics across Canada that can help through the Legal Aid Program. Some law clinics specialize in assisting certain populations, such as the Disability Law Clinic in BC.

Legal Aid clinics can:

  • Answer a client’s legal questions about key federal and provincial/territorial income assistance programs (e.g., Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan)
  • Represent clients in appealing decisions made by these benefits
  • Help with some of the documentation requirements for benefits, including income verification affidavits