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If you’re a senior looking for legal advice about anything from wills to your rights to care, then understanding what you’re entitled to is important. Here are some tips from Senior Care Center to help you on your way.
- Legal Aid
The nonprofit organization Legal Services Corporation (LSC) provides low-income Americans with free legal services. The organization funds 133 nonprofit independent legal aid organizations across the United States.
LSC-funded programs typically assist individuals who live in households that have yearly incomes below or at 125% of the federal government’s poverty guidelines.
However, depending on the location, available legal services and income qualifications do vary.
- Community legal services available for seniors
The Area Agency on Aging in your country provides seniors and caregivers with community resources, such as senior care articles, and programs available in your area. They can connect you with local organizations that provide low-cost and free legal assistance for seniors.
To search for local area community legal resources online:
- Go to the Eldercare Locator
- Enter in your zip code and then click on “Search”
- Choose “Legal Services” from the drop-down menu
- Call 1-800-677-1116 to talk to someone at Eldercare Locator
- Pro Bono programs
There are pro bono programs where low-income individuals are matched with volunteer attorneys who agree to handle their cases free of charge.
There are two major ways to locate local area Pro Bono programs – through LawHelp.org or the directory map provided by the American Bar Association.
Seniors are able to ask legal questions by phone on this legal hotline. If your question cannot be answered by phone, the hotline also can assist you with finding the legal aid services that you need within your local area.
- National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
Legal advocacy services are provided by this nonprofit organization to individuals in the United States who have disabilities.
There is a page on the NDRN website that lists various problems that a person with a disability might be facing. Many of the issues that are commonly faced by seniors are covered by the list.
If you or another older adult is experiencing one of those problems, you can get legal help by contacting the Protection and Advocacy Agency in your state. Click on your state on the list on the right-hand side of the page to find your local agency.
- Employer-sponsored legal services
Discounted or free legal services are offered by many companies, particularly large corporations through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
- Other low-cost legal services available to seniors
If there is no timely assistance available from organizations that provide free legal services or you or another older adult is not eligible for these services, you might want to find discounted or low-cost legal assistance. The following are a couple of options:
Public-service lawyer referral programs are offered by the American Bar Association that will discuss your issues with you and provide you with a referral to a community organization or lawyer who can help you.