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Does legal aid affect your health?

When you are waiting in line for a doctor, you probably don’t think about legal aid. Dr. Gary Bloch identifies the ways that access to justice is a social determinant of health.

For people seeking ODSP Access to a legal clinic and advocacy help are absolutely vital for many people getting ODSP.

Cuts to legal aid mean worse health for vulnerable people

Legal aid clinics are particularly well positioned to see the patterns of impact on their clients. They hold the expert knowledge to advocate for change and are essential to ensuring those who are most vulnerable are treated fairly under the law.

Access to justice has been recognized in the scientific literature as a social determinant of health. When people are denied the ability to advocate for their legal rights, they are left with high levels of stress, in worse poverty, and in increasingly vulnerable situations. This leaves them in poorer health and puts a higher demand on the health system.

… And our social fabric frays, as it has with each of this government’s cuts to essential social services and supports. Some have called this death by a thousand cuts. I call this a thousand deaths by a thousand cuts. [emphasis added]

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