Legal Aid Ontario's Lawyer Services & Payments Department (LSP) is happy to bring you this monthly Better Billing Bulletin. It's meant to provide you and your staff with information regarding tariff and billing practices. We hope you'll find it useful.
Discretion Decisions Localized
Legal Aid Ontario is running a pilot with four area offices that localizes discretion decisions. Some requests for discretion that cumulatively exceed 20 hours on a certificate will be made by Toronto, London, Thunder Bay and Ottawa Area Directors or delegates. Requests for discretion less than 20 hours will continue to be made centrally by Provincial Office Lawyer Services & Payments staff.
There is no change to the way you submit requests for discretion or reviews of discretion decisions. Starting in May, discretion decisions made by pilot area offices will be captured on your Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payment slip with the note "discretion decision made by area director or delegate".
Having your local area director make discretion decisions ensures the area director can manage the certificate budget effectively and knowledge of local conditions and panel members are fully considered.
Lawyer Payments Staff Regionalized
We created three regional teams of lawyer payments staff: GTA, Southwest, and North, Central and Eastern Region. Each team will process only accounts from that region. If you practice in the GTA, your Lawyer Payments GTA Team will process all your accounts. The same team members will receive and return your communications. Knowledge of your team and the team's knowledge of you will help improve service and help us pay you faster. You'll receive information regarding your regional team in the near future.
Slow down in payment of discretion accounts
Some of you may experience a slow down in payment of discretion accounts. We are experiencing some staffing changes affecting our ability to keep our service level commitments. We are working hard to replace staff and hope to be able to provide the level of service you expect. We apologize for this inconvenience.
Tariff & Billing Handbook
Consult our Handbook regularly for billing information.
Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the