The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is if a group of lawyers with vast experience and training on a range of legal issues that affect aging Americans and those with disabilities. Several New York elder law attorneys at our firm, including founder Attorney Michael Ettinger, are long-time NAELA members. Part of the NAELA mission is to help those in need of these services find a list of the premier elder law attorneys to handle their needs. In addition, the group seeks to raise awareness of important advocacy efforts that affect the lives of seniors and those with special needs. More information on the group can be found HERE.
Recently, NAELA released a statement on new action by a U.S. Senate Committee. The group praised the committee’s efforts on a project to help seniors targeted by those seeking to take advantage of their financial resources. Our New York City elder law attorneys appreciate that continued challenge of rooting out senior financial exploitation and abuse.
U.S. Senate Action
Earlier this month the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing entitled, “‘Pension Poachers’ Preventing Fraud and Protecting America’s Veterans.” The hearing was focused specifically on a form of senior financial abuse affecting seniors applying for pension plans from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
One key resource discussed in the hearing was a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the issue. The full report can be found HERE. Entitled, “Improvements Needed to Ensure Only Qualified Veterans and Survivors Receive Benefits,” The report lays out the current situation, where some unqualified applicants are receiving benefits while seniors most in need are denied. Rooting out these problems are of vital importance to many local residents who rightly depend on these services to maintain their well-being as they age.
The problems are varied. For example, some organizations market services to senior veterans who have Alzheimer’s and are unable to make decisions about their finances. These individuals are incredibly vulnerable to being convinced to purchase products that they do not need. At other times, unqualified representatives will provide inaccurate advice that results in delays or denials of needed-support.
In addition to the veterans and survivors benefits issue, the committee discussed other programs and services aimed at curbing senior financial exploitation. NAELA members assisted with the investigation into those issues, providing summary information about nationwide efforts that have been successful in ending the theft and mistreatment.
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