The Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples Legal Clinic is staffed by two lawyers, one community legal worker (CLW), and an office manager. During the academic year, law students from Osgoode Hall work at the legal clinic. Paralegal students work here as well.
The clinic provides legal services in the areas of immigration and refugee law, social assistance (OW and ODSP), landlord/tenant law, human rights and employment law, Employment Insurance (EI) and Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security and GIS.
Who Do We Serve?
The CSSP Legal Clinic serves members of the Spanish-speaking community from across Ontario. Although we do not have a geographical catchment area, we are based in Toronto and provide legal services for those who meet our case selection and financial eligibility requirements. We accept clients regardless of their current immigration and citizenship status. Spanish-language interpreters are available.
Our clinic provides services to low-income individuals in a variety of areas of law. To apply for legal assistance, individuals must contact our Legal Intake Line at 416-533-0680. Our services are free to individuals who meet our financial and case selection eligibility criteria. Any individuals recieving social assistance benefits are automatically eligible.
Unfortunatley, our clinic has limited resources, and not all applicants will be offered legal assistance.
Areas of Law
We are able to provide legal services in the areas of employment rights, social assistance (OW & ODSP), immigration/refugee law, landlord/tenant, EI, CPP and human rights. We may also assist with preparation of documents, such as statutory declarations.
We may assist with issues such as:
- Refusal, suspension, or cancellation of OW or ODSP benefits
- Denial of disability benefits under OOSP, CPP-D
- Sponsorship from within Canada or overseas
- Appeals of refused sponsorship applications
- Representation before the Immigration and Refugee Board
- Issues relating to Employment Standards and Employment Insurance
- Human Rights complaints
- Disputing Evictions (on behalf of tenants only)
- Problems with retirement benefits- OAS, GIS
If we cannot assist you, we will provide you with a referral to your local legal aid clinic, or any other resource that may be helpful.
When can I call the Legal Intake Line?
* The number for the legal intake line is 416-533-0680. Intake is provided as follows:
Mondays – 1 to 4:00pm – Worker’s Rights, EI, CPP
Wednesdays – 10 to 1:00pm – Ontario Works, ODSP, Landlord & Tenant
Thursdays – 10 to 1:00pm -Immigration and Refugee
* Note: Hours may be subject to change.
I called the Legal Intake Line but I can’t get through!
The need for legal services for low-income individuals is great. The legal clinic is comprised of a staff of four people – 2 lawyers, a community legal worker and an office manager, all of whom work together to provide much needed and high demand services. Unlike other legal clinics that provide legal services only to those living within its geographical boundaries, our clinic does not have any such boundaries. We take calls from clients living anywhere from Toronto to North Bay, Ontario. Unfortunately everyone will not be able to get through to our line, but we are working hard to answer as many calls as possible. Your call is important to us. Please be patient and keep trying.
I can’t get through to the Legal Intake Line so now what do I do?
Please contact your closest legal clinic. There are approximately 79 legal aid clinics in Ontario, each providing a variety of legal services. To find the phone number and addresses of the legal clinic closest to you, consult the white or yellow pages of your phonebook and look under “Legal Aid”. You can also visit Legal Aid Ontario’s website at www.legalaid.on.ca or call 416-979-1446.
Why can’t you take my case?
While we try to represent as many people as possible, we are not able to take on every case for a number of reasons. Firstly, we have limited funding and limited staff and unfortunately can only take on so many cases at any given time. Secondly, while we recognize that all legal matters are important to our clients, because of limited funding, we have to prioritize which types of cases we can take on. Thirdly, the clinic does not provide legal services in all areas of the law. Currently we provide legal services in the areas of Immigration and Refugee, Landlord and Tenant, Workers Rights, Social Assistance, Employment Insurance and CPP. We do not provide legal services in the areas of Family Law*, Criminal Law, Small Claims Court matters, Wills and Estates, or Corporate Law.
The clinic has taken on my case. How do I contact my caseworker?
Once we have taken on your case, your caseworker will provide you with his/her name and telephone number. If you would like to speak with your caseworker, please call him/her to set up an appointment. Unfortunately we are not always able to accommodate clients who drop in without an appointment. It is best to call first. Please make a note of any appointments you have with your caseworker.
For links relating to the Legal Clinic, please go to the Links page.