Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has announced significant changes to its Mental Health Appeals Program. Specifically, LAO has re-introduced the requirement of merit in order to qualify for funding of an appeal from the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB).
When the Mental Health Appeals Program was introduced in 2014, LAO removed the requirement for merit consideration in funding CCB appeals. This was done in an effort to increase access to appeals for vulnerable persons.
LAO has found that since removing the merit consideration, the number of appeals has spiked. While successes in appeals have increased, LAO states, so has the rate of abandoned appeals.
LAO has advised that the threshold to establish merit for funding “will be relatively relaxed” and that they will be exploring alternative options for clients looking to appeal an unsuccessful CCB decision, but whose appeal lacks merit.
While the new protocols to assess merit are implemented, LAO will continue to follow its usual process to fund all CCB appeals.
For more information on the Mental Health Appeals Program, visit: http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/publications/mentalhealth_appealsprogram.asp