Programs that provide assistance for people who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining grants, payments, services or other benefits for which they are eligible. The programs may help people understand the eligibility criteria for benefits, the benefits provided by the program, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counselling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.
Programs that administer the laws in Canada which govern the conditions under which immigrants, refugees and visitors can legally enter and/or remain in the country or become citizens; and/or which provide assistance for people who need legal advice about how to proceed. Included are organizations that review and make administrative decisions regarding immigration, refugee and citizenship applications as well as those that help people complete and file application forms and/or appeal decisions.
Programs that help people obtain, complete and/or file official forms, certificates, documents, applications or other paperwork that is required to apply for benefits or services, initiate or respond to legal action or to officially handle or document the occurrence of a transaction; that help people acquire copies of official documents on file elsewhere; or that review legal documentation an individual has received to help explain its meaning.
A public official in Canada who is authorized to administer oaths, affirmations and solemn declarations for people making affidavits or statutory declarations.
The branch of the public law in a nation or state that deals with the fundamental principles by which the government exercises its authority. In some instances, the principles grant specific powers to the government, such as the power to tax and spend for the welfare of the population while in others, they act to place limits on what the government can do, such as prohibiting the arrest of an individual without sufficient cause. Most constitutional legal issues in Canada are defined by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which protects every Canadian's right to be treated equally under the law, and guarantees other fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and language and minority language education rights.
Programs that provide assistance for people who have cases involving violations of federal and provincial statutes governing sales and credit practices involving consumer goods, in situations where appeals to consumer complaints organizations have not resolved the issue. Consumer law cases involve deceptive or unconscionable advertising and sales practices, product quality, credit financing and reporting, debt collection, leases, and other aspects of consumer transactions.
Programs that provide assistance for people who believe that they have been treated unfairly or denied normal privileges based on their age, gender, race or ethnocultural origin, nationality, religion, disability, source of income, sexual orientation, same-sex partner status, criminal convictions, political beliefs, marital status or family status. Discrimination protections may be covered by provisions of the Charter of Rights, but are more frequently addressed by statutory law at the federal, provincial or municipal level.
Programs that provide information and guidance for individuals who need assistance in the area of law which relates to the rights and needs of older adults, especially in the areas of age discrimination, consumer fraud, estate planning and management, living trusts, trust administration, probate, property law, retirement planning, pension benefits, income security programs, health care and medication needs, disability planning, long-term care alternatives, health care decisions, elder abuse, guardianships and conservatorships.
Programs that offer a review of options and assistance to people who want to provide for the administration and/or protection of their assets during their lifetime, develop a plan for managing their finances in the event of a disabling illness, prepare binding instructions for the health care they wish to receive or avoid should they become terminally ill, make arrangements for the disposition of their assets with a minimum amount of taxation upon their death and provide for the administration of their estate should their spouse or other beneficiaries be incapable of managing their affairs. Estate planning provides an opportunity for individuals to make their wishes known and to name the person(s) who will be responsible for carrying out those directives. Tools available during the estate planning process include a Last Will and Testament, durable power of attorney for health care, durable financial power of attorney and a directive to physicians such as a living will, natural death directive or other document recognized by the province. A revocable living trust may also be appropriate in some circumstances.
Programs that provide legal assistance for people with a history of incarceration and need advice related to their status as ex-offenders.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in disputes or legal actions which affect their domestic relationships.
Programs that provide legal counselling and/or representation for low-income individuals who need assistance in routine legal matters, usually in the area of bankruptcy, housing, public benefits, family law, elder law or immigration/naturalization.
Programs that provide assistance for people who have legal issues that relate to federal and provincial legislation that outlines the statutory obligations of government for indigenous peoples including First Nations, Inuit and Métis people of Canada. Specific issues may include treaty rights including land and property compensation claims; claims to renewable and non-renewable natural resources; hunting, fishing and trapping rights; self-government; the fiduciary relationship between governments and indigenous peoples; government relations; economic development; taxation; and a variety of public policy issues such as education and health.
Programs that provide assistance for people who need to settle a dispute or resolve a problem associated with obtaining a copyright, patent, trademark, domain name or other type of intellectual property protection; or protecting their exclusive right to publish, reproduce, use and/or sell material covered by these protections. These programs provide advice regarding the selection of a trademark; help with the copyright, patent or trademark registration process; develop licensing agreements for proprietary products; manage the organization's intellectual property enforcement program; and/or initiate or respond to litigation to settle disputes involving copyright, patent, trademark or licensing agreement infringements.
Programs that provide assistance, information and support for tenants and/or landlords who are involved in rental housing disputes; or which administer provincial laws or local ordinances which govern rent control and other aspects of tenant/landlord relations.
Programs that maintain lists of lawyers, paralegals, mediators and other legal professionals and services, and link people who need legal assistance with those who specialize in the required area of law.
Programs that provide assistance for people who need to settle a dispute or initiate or respond to litigation regarding a situation in which an individual provider of professional services is accused of unreasonable lack of skill, gross negligence or professional misconduct in handling a particular case which resulted in injury, loss or damage to the recipient of those services.
Programs that provide assistance for people who have suffered bodily harm or damage to their health as a result of an accident or other occurrence in which negligence was involved; or who have been injured through an invasion of personal rights such as libel, slander, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment or mental suffering. Also included are programs that assist people who have been accused of inflicting any of the above forms of personal injury. Some programs limit their services to personal injury defence.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in proceedings that deal with the establishment of decedents' wills, the settlement of decedents' estates or the appointment of a guardian or conservator for adults or children who are unable to manage their own affairs.
Programs that provide assistance for people who need to obtain legal protection to prevent harassment, stalking or violence in situations involving child abuse, domestic abuse, elder abuse, abduction, sexual assault, stalking or other forms of harassment or the threat of workplace violence. Depending on the situation, a person may have more than one type of order. Restraining and personal protection order laws vary from one jurisdiction to another but all establish who can file for an order, what protection or relief a person can get from such an order and how the order will be enforced. The court will order the adverse party to refrain from certain actions and/or require compliance with certain provisions. Failure to comply is a violation of the order which can result in the arrest and prosecution of the offender. Violations in some jurisdictions may also constitute criminal or civil contempt of court.
Programs that provide information and guidance for people who will be representing themselves in small claims court and need to understand the court procedures and develop a plan for the presentation of their case. Small claims advisors help litigants with issues such as finding the right court, serving court documents, case preparation, paying and collecting judgments, and appeals.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.