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TCL > June 2006 Issue > Colorado’s Legal Assistance Program for Older People

The Colorado Lawyer
June 2006
Vol. 35, No. 6 [Page  71]

© 2006 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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Departments and More
Access to Justice

Colorado’s Legal Assistance Program for Older People
by Valerie L. Corzine, Steve Evans

The Access to Justice column provides information about poverty law and other areas of the law as they relate to low-income clients; reports on the Access to Justice Commission and local and national Access to Justice Committees; and testimonials from lawyers about their pro bono experience. Readers interested in contributing an article on legal services, pro bono, and Access to Justice topics should contact Kathleen Schoen at kschoen@cobar.org.


Valerie L. Corzine, Denver, is with The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People, Colorado Legal Assistance Developer for Older People, and staff attorney for The Legal Center—(303) 722-0300; toll free, (800) 288-1376; TDD for Hearing Impaired; www.thelegalcenter.org. The Legal Center is Colorado’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities. Ms.Corzine gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Anna French in the preparation of this article.

Steve Evans, Ph.D., is with the Adult Protective Services Unit of the Division of Aging and Adult Services, Colorado Department of Human Services—(303) 866-2800. As a part of his role as Program Specialist, Dr. Evans oversees the Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the Colorado Legal Assistance Program for Older People.


A 70-year-old woman ("Mrs. Smith"), a person of blindness and who has lived in institutions all her life, was told she no longer qualified for Medicaid long-term care benefits. These benefits had provided Mrs. Smith the support she needed to continue residing at an assisted living residence. One issue of concern was that Mrs. Smith did not know the names of the medications she was taking, what they were prescribed for, or precisely when she should take them. The Senior Law Center at the Denver Office of Colorado Legal Services intervened on her behalf and was successful in showing the court that Mrs. Smith continued to need the long-term care support being provided to her, including medication supervision. The Administrative Law Judge hearing Mrs. Smith’s case reversed the decision to terminate her Medicaid long-term care benefits.

The real-life situation described above represents how the legal needs of vulnerable older people sometimes are complex and often involve high-stakes public benefit matters requiring legal assistance. Public assistance programs are governed by a collection of federal and state laws and regulations that can be confusing to the lay person. Sometimes, where older people are concerned, attorney intervention is required to resolve consumer problems; housing and family matters; and issues dealing with basic rights of autonomy and end-of-life decision-making.

Issues involving older people as clients are complex. For example, additional time might be required to communicate with older clients who sometimes experience confusion. Also, some clients might reside at their own home, in an assisted living residence, or in a nursing home; others may be in the hospital. Attorneys must be prepared to encounter differing issues depending on where their older clients live.

This article will provide an overview of the Colorado Legal Assistance Program for Older People,1 as well as region-specific information that includes contact information for the legal assistance providers for older people in each of the regions, case priorities, community education activities, specific target sub-group populations, and significant legal issues of concern in the region.

Older Americans Act and Legal Assistance Programs

The federal Older Americans Act ("OAA" or "Act") provides, among many other things, a mechanism for funding legal services to persons aged 60 and older who are socially or economically needy, and encourages the expansion of pro bono programs to this growing population.2

The OAA states that funds made available under the Act are not intended to supplant legal assistance to older individuals furnished with funds from sources other than the OAA, and requires that reasonable efforts must be made to maintain existing legal assistance for older individuals.3 The Act also recognizes the special nature of legal services and provides that neither a state, a state agency, nor an area agency on aging can require any provider of legal assistance to reveal any information that is protected by the attorney-client privilege.4 To further address the legal needs of vulnerable older people, the OAA requires that Area Agencies on Aging (discussed below) attempt to involve the private Bar in legal assistance activities, including groups within the private Bar furnishing services to older individuals on a pro bono and reduced fee basis.5 Also in Colorado, the Older Coloradans Cash Fund provides, among many other things, much needed funding for these legal services to older people.6

Area Agencies on Aging

The OAA provides for Area Agencies on Aging ("AAAs") throughout each state to serve as locally driven focal points for a comprehensive and coordinated system of services for socially and economically needy older people.7 Colorado has sixteen regional AAAs.8 Among many other duties, these agencies contract with local legal providers, such as Colorado Legal Services, as well as with private attorneys, to provide legal services to vulnerable older people in their regions.

Federal law requires that AAAs give priority to legal assistance related to: (1) income; (2) healthcare; (3) long-term care; (4) nutrition; (5) housing; (6) utilities; (7) protective services; (8) defense of guardianship; (9) abuse; (10) neglect; and (11) age discrimination.9 Federal law identifies these eleven priority areas for legal assistance to older people, but no Colorado AAA has sufficient resources to fund services in all areas and must work with local legal assistance providers to develop strategic case priorities to make the best use of very limited resources. The region-specific information below provides the locally developed case priorities for each region of the state of Colorado.

Colorado Legal Assistance Developer for Older People

The Colorado Legal Assistance Developer for Older People provides statewide guidance and coordination to the Colorado Legal Assistance Program for Older People ("Program"), which comprises all of the local legal assistance providers across the state.10 The list of the regions below delineates counties served and other pertinent information.

Legal Assistance Providers

Federal regulations require that AAAs select legal providers for older people who most fully meet the following standards:

1) have staff with expertise in specific areas of law affecting older persons in economic or social need, such as public benefits, institutionalization, and alternatives to institutionalization;

2) demonstrate the capacity to provide effective administrative and judicial representation in the areas of law affecting older persons with economic or social need;

3) demonstrate the capacity to provide support to other advocacy efforts—for example, the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program;

4) demonstrate the capacity to effectively provide legal services to institutionalized, isolated, and homebound older individuals; and

5) demonstrate the capacity to provide legal assistance in the principal language spoken by clients in areas where a significant number of clients do not speak English as their principal language.11

Legally Mandated Coordination with the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program

The OAA envisions a thorough coordination of services between the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program and the Legal Assistance Program for Older People. Under federal law, the Colorado Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is required to seek administrative, legal, and other remedies to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.12 To fulfill those responsibilities, the Colorado Long-term Care Ombudsman Program is required to coordinate its activities with the Colorado Legal Assistance Program for Older People to the greatest extent possible.13 Legal providers are required to demonstrate the capacity to support the advocacy efforts of the Long-term Care Ombudsmen Program and have expertise in areas of law involving institutionalization and alternatives to institutionalization so that legal providers have both the mandate and the expertise to handle the legal needs of older people in long-term care facilities.14

General Target Populations

Under federal law and state rules and regulations, legal assistance providers using OAA or Older Coloradans Act funding are not permitted to employ a "means test" similar to what is used for programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation ("LSC").15 A partial explanation of congressional intent is that Congress did not want programs for older people—including legal assistance programs funded through OAA—to be "stigmatized by the ‘welfare’ label."16

In addition, there may be several situations in which an older person would not be able to meet a means test and would have the need for free legal assistance or other services provided under the OAA. For example, some frail or isolated older individuals with severe disabilities and without social or family support do not, as a practical matter, have access to nor can they afford private attorneys to handle complex and time-consuming legal matters regarding housing or access to healthcare.

In place of means testing, Congress has required that the states and AAAs target their services to those populations listed in the text of 42 U.S.C.A. § 3026(a)(4)(B) (requirements for area plans) and 42 U.S.C.A. § 3027(a)(16) (requirements for state plans). Under these provisions of the OAA, AAAs are required to identify older individuals eligible for assistance who fall within the following broad target populations:

1) older individuals residing in rural areas;

2) older individuals with greatest economic need (with particular attention given to low-income minority individuals);

3) older individuals with greatest social need (with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas);

4) older individuals with severe disabilities;

5) older individuals with limited English-speaking ability; and

6) older individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders, such as neurological and organic brain dysfunction, as well as the caretakers of such individuals.

Service priority is given to persons aged 60 or older who are frail, homebound by reason of illness or incapacitating disability, or otherwise isolated.17

In addition to these target populations, local regions develop strategic case priorities discussed above and sometimes further identify sub-groups within these target populations to make the most effective use of very limited resources. As mentioned above, the legal providers are required to coordinate their efforts with the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, which advocates on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living residences.18

However, due to limited resources, all cases cannot be accepted. Colorado’s AAAs go to great lengths to focus limited resources on the most vulnerable older people in the state.

Conclusion

Members of the Bar are encouraged to volunteer their services to Colorado’s Legal Assistance Program for Older People in the region of choice. Volunteers can contact the legal services providers listed below. Attorneys wishing to volunteer in Adams, Arapahoe, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Gilpin, and Jefferson Counties should contact Metro Volunteer Lawyers at (303) 830-8210.

NOTES

1. Historically, the program has been known as the Title III (or Title III-B) Legal Program, because it was funded with Title III funds under the federal Older Americans Act ("OAA" or "Act"). Because the Area Agencies on Aging ("AAAs") sometimes use state and local monies to fund this program, and because the name itself was less than descriptive, the name of the program has changed to the Colorado Legal Assistance Program for Older People.

2. 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 3001 et seq. The Older Americans Act funds many services for vulnerable older people including: nutrition services; in-home services for frail older individuals; disease prevention and health promotion services; supportive activities for caretakers who provide in-home services to frail older individuals; transportation services; community service employment for older Americans; and the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, as well as State Elder Rights and Legal Assistance.

3. 42 U.S.C.A. § 3027(a)(11)(D).

4. 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 3026(d) and 3027(f).

5. 42 U.S.C.A. § 3027(a)(11)(A). See also 45 C.F.R. § 1321.71 (federal regulations governing the legal assistance providers under the OAA.

6. The Older Coloradans Program provides state monies to fund services to assist older persons to live in their own homes and communities as long as possible. Services include, but are not limited to: congregate nutrition or home-delivered meals; transportation, homemaker services, long-term care ombudsman, and legal services; elder abuse prevention; and outreach, information, and referral services. CRS § 26-11-205.5. The Older Coloradans Program is referenced in the Colorado State Legislature’s Long Bill for Appropriations as State Funding for Senior Services and provides additional funding for services of the same type as those provided for under the OAA.

7. 42 U.S.C.A. § 3026 (requirements for AAA Area Plans)

8. A list of the sixteen AAAs also is available at the Colorado Department of Human Services website: http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/ ADRS/AAS/aaas.htm.

9. 42 U.S.C.A. § 3027(a)(11)(E).

10. 42 U.S.C.A. § 3058j (describes functions of the State Legal Assistance Developer). In addition to coordinating the Colorado Legal Assistance Program for Older People, the Colorado Legal Assistance Developer for Older People provides legal technical assistance to the Colorado Long-term Care Ombudsman, known in other states as the State Long-term Care Ombudsman (see 42 U.S.C.A. § 3058g—establishment of the Office of State Long-term Care Ombudsman).

11. 45 C.F.R. 1371(c). The Colorado Department of Human Services regulations specifically governing the Legal Assistance Program for Older People can be found at 12 C.C.R. 2510-1 (vol. 10), Rules 10.260.5 and 10.414; online at http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/ADRS/AAS/Volume%20X%20for%20the%20website-final.pdf.

12. 42 U.S.C.A. § 3058g(a)(3)(E) ("functions of the Office of Long-term Care Ombudsman include representing the interests of the residents before governmental agencies and seeking administrative, legal, and other remedies to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of the residents"); 42 U.S.C.A. § 3058g(a)(5)(B)(iv) ("local long-term care ombudsmen shall represent the interests of residents before government agencies and seek administrative, legal, and other remedies to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of the residents"); 42 U.S.C.A. § 3058g(g)(2) ("the state agency shall ensure that the Office of Long-term Care Ombudsman pursues administrative, legal, and other appropriate remedies on behalf of residents").

13. 42 U.S.C.A. § 3058g(h)(7).

14. 45 C.F.R. § 1321.71(c).

15. 45 C.F.R. § 1321.17(f)(3). "Means testing" is defined as "the use of an older person’s income or resource to deny or limit that person’s receipt of services." 45 C.F.R. § 1321.3. Specifically, a legal assistance provider may not require an older person to disclose information about income or resources as a condition for providing legal assistance. 45 C.F.R. § 1321.71(d).

16. Joint Hearing before the U.S. Senate, Special Committee on Aging, and the Subcommittee on Aging of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Part 1—Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 1979; "Regulations to Implement the Comprehensive Older Americans Act Amendments of 1978" at p.2 (Opening statement by Senator Thomas Eagleton).

17. 45 C.F.R. § 1321.69. In addition, state regulations also provide some further guidance on targeting services; all individuals aged 60 and older are eligible for services, but all targeting factors must be considered to prioritize access to services, 12 C.C.R. 2510-1 (Vol. 10), Rule 10.121 (eligibility requirements); online at http://www.cdhs.state.co.us:8008/CDHS/rule_display$.TOC?p_vol_num=10. Colorado state regulations further provide that:

Preference and priority in the delivery of services shall be given to older persons with the greatest social or economic need with particular attention to low income minority individuals and individuals who are frail, homebound by reason of illness or incapacitating disability or otherwise isolated as defined below:

A. The need caused by non-economic factors which include physical and mental disabilities, language barriers, and cultural, social, or geographical (rural) isolation including that caused by racial or ethnic status which restricts an individual’s ability to perform normal daily tasks or which threatens such individual’s capacity to live independently.

B. The need resulting from an income level at or below the Federal poverty levels.

12 C.C.R. 2510-1 (vol. 10), Rules 10.130 (Targeting of Services); online at http://www.cdhs.state.co.us:8008/CDHS/rule_display$.TOC?p_vol_num=10.

18. 45 C.F.R. § 1321.71(c)(3).


Key to Important Terms in
Colorado’s Legal Assistance Program for Older People

AAA: 
AFC: 
AND: 

CLS:
DRCOG: 

HCA: 
HCBS: 

OAA: 
OAP:
 

Area Agency/Agencies on Aging
Adult Foster Care
Aid to Needy, Blind, and
Disabled
Colorado Legal Services
Denver Regional Council of Governments
Home Care Allowance Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services
Older Americans Act
Old Age Pension



LEAP:

LAVAA:

LSC:
MVL:
NCLSP:

SSI/SSDI:


TANF:

UVLA:

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program
Lower Arkansas Valley Area Agency on Aging
Legal Services Corporation
Metro Volunteer Lawyers
Northwest Colorado Legal Services Project
Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Income
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
Uncompahgre Volunteer Legal Aid

Legal Assistance Program for Older People, by Region

Region 1

Counties Served:
Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma

Legal Provider:
Mark Earnhart, Esq.

Address:
316 Poplar Street, Suite 100
Sterling, CO 80751

Telephone:
(970) 522-4135

AAA Director:
Sandra K. Baker, Director
Northeastern Colorado Association of Local Governments

Address:
231 Main Street, Suite 211
Fort Morgan, CO 80701

Telephone:
(970) 867-9409

Case Priorities:
Medicaid and Medicare assistance; Social Security issues; housing matters (including landlord/tenant issues); advance medical directives

Pro Bono Projects:
Accept pro bono matters each year within the case priorities referenced above.

Community Education Activities:
Two public education seminars are sponsored every year in various locations throughout the six-county area. Topics covered at these seminars include Medicaid regulations, advance medical directives, and probate and estate matters.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Advance medical directives remain the most frequently requested service, as well as elders needing assistance regarding Medicaid regulations, especially relating to long-term care.


Region 2-A

County Served:
Larimer

Legal Provider:
Nancy L. Wallace

Address:
Wallace & Kling PC
412 S. Howes Street, Suite B
Fort Collins, CO 80521

Telephone:
(970) 221-5602

AAA Director:
Margaret Long
Larimer County Office on Aging
Larimer County Human Services

Address:
1501 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Telephone:
(970) 498-6807

Case Priorities:
Legal services for persons aged 60 and older in the following areas: governmental entitlement and benefit problems, including Medicaid, Medicare, social services programs; other Social Security problems; employment and consumer problems; housing and property issues, including landlord/tenant matters and evictions; family problems; advice concerning defense of guardianships; medical powers of attorney and other advance directives; and other social and financial legal services.

Specific Target Sub-Group Populations:
Priority for legal assistance is given to persons with problems in these areas: income, shelter (housing and utility), medical (long-term care and health), and protective services (elder abuse, exploitation, and neglect).

Community Education Activities:
Speaking engagements with larger groups and/or outreach services as time and demand permits. Visits are scheduled in Loveland, Estes Park, Berthoud, Fort Collins, and the surrounding areas. Speak to seniors concerning advance directives, Medicaid, eligibility for long-term care, and other matters, whenever requested, which is approximately eight times each year.

Try to meet the legal needs of seniors through the provision of direct legal services, as well as indirect services such as information and referral and speaking engagements. Able to provide extensive assistance in the area of public benefits, and frequently help seniors with nursing home Medicaid questions. Seniors ask questions about how to address issues with their landlords, how to pay for their medicine, or what to do about consumer fraud. Unable to represent seniors in court because of a lack of funds, but are able to advise them as to how to proceed. Maintain contact with the nursing homes and various assisted living residences in the county.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Medicaid and Medicare and other healthcare issues, including medical powers of attorney and advance directives, housing issues, and financial exploitation.


Region 2-B

County Served:
Weld

Legal Providers:
Pete Archuleta, Paralegal
Weld County AAA
Greeley, CO

Telephone:
(970) 353-3800, ext. 3330
Charles (Chuck) Connell, Esq.

Address:
Gallery Green Office Building
2308 West 29th Street, Suite 200
Greeley, CO 80631

Telephone:
(970) 353-2507

AAA Director:
Eva Jewell
Weld County AAA

Address:
P.O. Box 1805
1551 North 18th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80632

Telephone:
(970) 353-3800, ext. 3331

Case Priorities:
Situations where the person is in a life-threatening situation, in imminent physical danger, or in a situation that suggests financial exploitation. Specifically, these matters include:

  • Elder abuse not handled by the Weld County Department of Social Services
  • Any denial, reduction, and/or termination of public assistance benefits
  • Tenant Evictions
  • Utility Shut-offs
  • Preparation of emergency wills, living wills, and power of attorney documents for individuals who are hospitalized, institutionalized in nursing homes, residing in assisted living residence, patients of hospice, or homebound individuals in the greatest social and economic need who otherwise could not access such services
  • Assistance and advice in applying for public assistance benefits, including but not limited to: Medicaid, Medicare, Old Age Pension, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program ("LEAP"), and Social Security Administration programs
  • Personal rights issues to include: collections, garnishments, consumer matters, personal residence matters for landlords who rent a portion of their residence because they find it necessary to supplement their income, subsidized housing issues, and other personal rights issues following review by the legal program staff found to be with merit

Specific Target Sub-Group Populations:
Older persons who are in a life-threatening situation, in imminent physical danger, or in a situation that suggests financial exploitation

Pro Bono Projects:
Provide individuals with a list of attorneys who participate in a will and power of attorney referral program for senior citizens

Community Education Activities:
Provide education and information to senior citizens through the approximately twenty senior locations throughout the county in matters that include: education on the importance of wills, powers of attorney, living wills, and the small claims court process

Coordinate appropriate topics for presentation through the Weld County Bar Association Speaker’s Forum Program

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
The three most important legal issues facing vulnerable elders in Weld County are debt issues, advance directives, and Medicaid and Medicare issues.


Region 3-A

Counties Served:
Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Gilpin, Jefferson

Legal Provider:
Senior Citizens Law Center
A project of Colorado Legal Services
Manuel Ramos, Director
Peter Komlos-Hrobsky, Esq.; Ellen Alires Trujillo, Esq.; Jim Dean, Esq.; Irma Stinnett (paralegal); and staff of Colorado Legal Services

Address:
1905 Sherman Street, 4th Floor
Denver, CO 80203

Telephone:
(303) 837-1313

AAA Director:
Sue Bozinovski, Ph.D.
DRCOG AAA

Address:
4500 Cherry Creek Drive South, 8th Floor
Denver, CO 80246

Telephone:
(303) 455-1000

Case Priorities:

  • Any person 60 years or older
  • SSI, Social Security Retirement, and Survivors benefits
  • OAP
  • HCA
  • HCBS
  • TANF
  • AND
  • Food stamps
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • Public and subsidized housing issues, including eviction defense, Section 8 terminations, landlord damage claims, low-income housing application denials
  • Private landlord/tenant issues, including landlord lockouts, utility shut-offs, landlord liens, conditions cases
  • Defense of foreclosures
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcies to prevent foreclosure
  • Civil restraining orders in CRS § 13-14-101 actions
  • Family law cases involving domestic abuse/violence
  • Bankruptcy in cases involving home foreclosure

Pro Bono Projects:
Metro Volunteer Lawyers ("MVL") in Denver provides free and low-fee legal services to low-income seniors on matters outside traditional priorities of the Denver office of Colorado Legal Services. Examples include wills, guardianships, and real estate transfers. MVL also administers a panel of private attorneys who provide representation in many Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability cases. Representation is free in cases in which the client cannot pay a fee. To volunteer for this region, contact MVL at (303) 830-8210.

Community Education Activities:
The Senior Citizens Law Center presents regular community legal education events in the eight-county DRCOG region to seniors at senior centers, senior events, and senior housing locations. Past topics have included advance directives, Medicaid and long-term care, public benefits for seniors, and grandparents’ rights.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Access to home care, general medical care, and medications


Region 3-B

County Served:
Boulder

Legal Provider:
Boulder Office of Colorado Legal Services
Joel Hayes, Esq., Managing Attorney

Address:
1790 30th Street, Suite 301
Boulder, CO 80301

Telephone:
(303) 449-7575

AAA Director:
Rosemary Williams
Boulder County Aging Services Division

Address:
P.O. Box 4713482 North Broadway
Boulder, CO 80306

Telephone:
(303) 441-3570

Case Priorities:
All seniors 60 years and older having the following issues qualify for legal assistance from Boulder County Legal Services—regardless of income; funded by Boulder County Aging Services Division

  • SSI/SSDI (not disability denials)
  • OAP
  • HCA
  • HCBS
  • TANF
  • AND
  • Food stamps
  • Medicaid (information and advice regarding eligibility and Medicaid denials—not Medicaid estate planning)
  • Medicare Part D
  • Public housing
  • Loss of primary residence
  • Repossessions
  • Obtaining county court civil protection orders for victims of violence
  • Recipients of services under Boulder County Aging Services Division’s Project HOPE, funded by Boulder County Aging Services Division
  • Assistance with wills, living wills, and advance directives
  • Low-income seniors who fit Boulder County Legal Services guidelines for case acceptance may receive assistance with other civil legal problems, including family, housing, public benefits, consumer, health, and elder law

Specific Target Sub-Group Populations:
Recipients of services of Boulder County Aging Services’ Proj-ect HOPE, designed to prevent institutionalization of at-risk seniors

Pro Bono Projects:
Much of this program is made possible through the donated efforts of volunteer attorneys. Approximately forty volunteer attorneys have been qualified to handle Title III Legal Services for seniors.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
The dwindling supply of subsidized housing and the increased cost of unsubsidized housing


Region 4

Counties Served:
El Paso, Park, Teller

Legal Provider:
Rob Hunt, Esq. (Managing Attorney)
Colorado Legal Services

Address:
617 South Nevada Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Telephone:
(719) 471-0380

AAA Director:
Mike Decker
Pikes Peak AAA

Address:
15 South 7th Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Telephone:
(719) 471-2096

Case Priorities:
Public benefits cases, housing cases, consumer cases, long-term care issues, and advance directives


Region 5

Counties Served:
Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln

Legal Provider:
Contracted on a case-by-case basis

AAA Director:
Terry Baylie
East Central Council of Governments

Address:
P.O. Box 28
128 Colorado Avenue
Stratton, CO 80836

Telephone:
(719) 348-5562

Case Priorities:
Simple wills/estates, powers of attorney, public benefits

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Wills, advance directives


Region 6

Counties Served:
Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, Prowers

Legal Provider:
Randa Davis-Tice, Attorney-at-Law

Address:
207 South Main
P.O. Box 225
Lamar, CO 81052

Telephone:
(719) 336-8286

AAA Director:
Celestino Santistevan, Acting Director
Lower Arkansas Valley AAA

Address:
P.O. Box 494
13 West Third Street, Room 110
La Junta, CO 81050

Telephone:
(719) 383-3166

Case Priorities:
This includes helping individuals work with Social Services to obtain services or public assistance; appeals of denials of Social Security widow’s benefits, disability, or SSI; and assistance with collection agencies, preparation of wills, powers of attorney, deeds, contracts, and leases

  • Disputes with nursing homes
  • Financial exploitation from relatives or others
  • Civil disputes
  • Divorces
  • Helping grandparents get custody orders for grandchildren

Pro Bono Projects:
The number of people seen is not limited to the budget of the Lower Arkansas Valley Area Agency on Aging ("LAVAAA"). When LAVAAA money and donations are exhausted, this legal provider’s services are donated.

Community Education Activities:
The attorney provides legal education days throughout our six-county region every other year and when requested. LAVAAA also provides brochures about the legal program and legal-related information at health fairs.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
A growing problem facing elders is identity theft. The majority of clients served by the legal program are requesting assistance with powers of attorney, both durable and medical durable, other advance directives, financial exploitation, credit card debt issues, and wills.


Region 7

County Served:
Pueblo

Legal Providers:
Roberto Silva, Esq.
Bob Keating, Esq.
Colorado Legal Services

Address:
1000 West 6th Street, Suite 1
Pueblo, CO 81003

Telephone:
(719) 545-6708

AAA Director:
Virginia Jimenez
Pueblo AAA
Southern Region

Address:
2631 East 4th Street
Pueblo, CO 81001

Telephone:
(719) 583-6110

Case Priorities:

  • Protection of at-risk adults; public benefits appeals; evictions/ housing/home ownership
  • Guardianship/conservatorship
  • Temporary/Permanent restraining orders
  • Medicare/insurance problems
  • Consumer/collection/debtor relief
  • Garnishment
  • Contracts
  • Divorce
  • Public utilities problems; supplemental medical insurance problems
  • Medical directives
  • Powers of attorney
  • Wills

Specific Target Sub-group Populations:
To a greater extent: senior citizens who are physically/mentally/financially challenged; who have high medical expenses; who live alone; who are less able to avail themselves of other resources in the community; who are abused or are victims of domestic violence; who have language barriers; who are at-risk adults

To a lesser extent: senior citizens who have a moderately stable support group (including friends and relatives); who are ambulatory; who have no language or other socio-economic barriers; who have few limits on their ability to avail themselves of other resources in the community; who have strong social support systems (friends, relatives, and other support groups); who demonstrate ability to competently handle their affairs; who demonstrate a strong ability to avail themselves of other resources in the community

Pro Bono Projects:
Ad hoc basis

Community Education Activities:
Television and public information presentations; grandparent custody roundtables; Medicaid outreach

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Foreclosure, bankruptcy, income maintenance, Medicaid, financial exploitation


Region 8

Counties Served:
Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, Saguache

Legal Provider:
Doug George, Esq.

Address:
1115 Main Street
Alamosa, CO 81101

Telephone:
(719) 589-6767

AAA Director:
Frances Valdez
South-Central Colorado Seniors, Inc.

Address:
P.O. Box 639
1116 3rd Street
Alamosa, CO 81101

Telephone:
(719) 589-4511

Case Priorities:
Medicaid advice, advance directives, wills, Medicare advice, financial exploitation, advice regarding other public benefits

Pro Bono Projects:
Referral to "Thursday Night Bar" for cases outside of program priorities

Community Education Activities:
Educational programs in senior centers regarding Medicaid and advance directives

Most Important Legal Issues Facing " Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Potential loss of Medicaid—HCBS/nursing home benefits resulting from the federal "Deficit Reduction Act of 2005"


Region 9

Counties Served:
Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan, Montezuma, and Dolores

Legal Providers:
(Serving Archuleta, La Plata, and San Juan Counties)
Arthur Jacobs, Esq., Managing Attorney
Colorado Legal Services, Inc.

Address:
1474 Main Avenue, Suite 200
Durango, CO 81301

Telephone:
(970) 385-7378
(See below for Legal Provider for Dolores and Montezuma Counties)

AAA Director:
Sally Johnson
San Juan Basin AAA

Address:
701 Camino Del Rio, #208
Durango, CO 81301

Telephone:
(970) 259-1967

Case Priorities:
Public benefits and utilities shut-off; landlord-tenant problems, such as persons being evicted; simple wills; consumer issues, such as advocating for persons harassed by debt collectors; limited long-term care, guardianship, and domestic problems, such as abuse; elder abuse education presentation at senior sites

Specific Target Sub-Group Populations:
Applicants aged 60 and over facing elder abuse

Pro Bono Projects:
All applications are jointly screened for eligibility of Colorado Legal Services, Inc. and Southwest Bar Volunteer Legal Aid, Inc., the pro bono arm of the Southwestern Colorado Bar Association. In recent years, Health Care My Way, a joint program of the Southwestern Colorado Bar Association and La Plata Medical Society, has been well attended. Health Care My Way involves attorney assistance in filling out Living Wills or Durable Medical Powers of Attorney.

Community Education Projects:
In December 2005, a CLE was presented in Durango for attorneys on the topic of pro bono, Medicare Part D and Medicare Part D Drug Coverage Appeals. In the past, a variety of topics have been presented at the Durango and Pagosa Springs Senior Centers.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Access to affordable healthcare including but not limited to: physician visits, hospital services, drugs, home nursing services and long-term care

Legal Provider:
(Serving Montezuma and Dolores Counties)
Michael Green, Esq.
Hatter & Green

Address:
925 South Boulevard, Suite 286
P.O. Box 1466
Cortez, CO 81321

Telephone:
(970) 565-6362


Region 10

Counties Served:
Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel

Legal Provider:
Patty Bennett, Pro Bono Coordinator
Uncompahgre Volunteer Legal Aid ("UVLA")

Address:
307 E. Main #11
Montrose, CO 81401

Telephone:
(970) 249-7202

AAA Director:
Lee Bartlett
Region 10 AAA

Address:
Drawer 849
300 North Cascade Avenue
Montrose, CO 81402

Telephone:
(970) 249-2436

Case Priorities:
There are two ways to qualify for senior legal services at UVLA:

1) if one is low income and fit under UVLA guidelines for case acceptance; and

2) if one fits under the following senior priorities funded by Region 10 AAA

  • Any elder 60 years and older
  • SSI/SSDI
  • OAP
  • HCA
  • HCBS
  • TANF
  • AND
  • Food stamps
  • Medicaid eligibility
  • Public housing
  • Loss of primary residence
  • Civil restraining orders in CRS § 13-14-101 actions
  • Repossessions

Specific Target Sub-Group Populations:

  • Residents of subsidized senior housing and homeless elders
  • Persons receiving in-home care through HCBS and HCA
  • Residents of long-term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living residents)

Pro Bono Projects:
This Legal Assistance Program for Older People is itself a pro bono program.

Community Education Activities:
Community education projects are ongoing by request, and program indicated, throughout the region.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Directives of all kinds, as well as financial exploitation or abuse


Region 11

Counties Served:
Garfield, Routt, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco

Legal Providers:
(Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Routt Counties)
Patricia Craig, Administrator
Sherri Ferree, Pro Bono Coordinator
Northwest Colorado Legal Services Project ("NCLSP")

Address:
150 Jackson #2A
P.O. Box 1555
Hayden, CO 81639

Telephone:
(970) 276-2161
Toll Free: (800) 521-6968

(Mesa County)
Kathy Boelte, Esq., Managing Attorney
Marilyn Richardson (Paralegal/Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman)
Colorado Legal Services—Grand Junction Office

Address:
200 North 6th Street, Suite 203
Grand Junction, CO 81501

Telephone:
(970) 243-7940
Toll-Free: (866) 243-7941

(Garfield County)
Jonathan Shamis, Executive Director
Jennie Quevedo, (Paralegal/Local Long-term Care Ombudsman)
Michelle Lefebvre (Local Long-term Care Ombudsman)
Alpine Legal Services, Inc.

Address:
Garfield County Courthouse
P.O. Box 1890
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602

Telephone:
(970) 945-8858

AAA Director:
Dave Norman
Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado
P.O. Box 20000-5035
510 29-1/2 Road
Grand Junction, CO 81502

Telephone:
(970) 248-8480

Case Priorities:

  • Public benefits
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • HCA
  • AFC
  • Housing issues, including foreclosures and evictions
  • Public utilities problems
  • Guardianship defenses
  • Abuse or neglect cases
  • Age discrimination
  • Consumer problems
  • Advance directives

Pro Bono Projects:
NCLSP is a pro bono project. Almost all legal work is performed by volunteer attorneys. (Grand Junction Colorado Legal Services office works with Mesa County Bar Pro Bono Project to provide services to seniors.)

Community Education Activities:
Community education workshops are presented by both NCLSP and Grand Junction Colorado Legal Services. Alpine Legal Services, Inc. is available for educational activities.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Public benefits; Medicaid; Medicare; HCA; AFC; housing issues, including foreclosures and evictions; public utilities problems; guardianship defenses; abuse or neglect cases; age discrimination; consumer problems; advance directives


Region 12

Counties Served:
Eagle, Grand, Jackson, Pitkin, Summit

Legal Provider:
Patricia Craig, Administrator
NCLSP covering all of Region 12

(Eagle County)
Barbara Williams, NCLSP Pro Bono Coordinator

Address:
P.O. Box 1904
Leadville, CO 80461

Telephone:
(719) 486-3238
Toll Free: (800) 521-6968

(Grand and Jackson Counties)
Sherri Ferree, NCLSP Pro Bono Coordinator

Address:
150 Jackson #2A
Hayden, CO 81639

Telephone:
(970) 276-2185
Toll Free: (800) 521-6968

(Pitkin and Summit Counties)
Patricia Craig, NCLSP Project Administrator and Pro Bono Coordinator

Address:
P.O. Box 2694
Frisco, CO 80443

Telephone:
(970) 668-9612
Toll Free: (800) 521-6968

AAA Director:
Jean Hammes
Northwest Colorado Council of Governments
Alpine AAA

Address:
P.O. Box 2308
249 Warren Avenue
Silverthorne, CO 80498

Telephone:
(970) 468-0295

Case Priorities:
Public benefits cases, housing cases, consumer cases, long-term care issues, and advance directives

Pro Bono Projects:
NCLSP is a pro bono project. Almost all legal work is performed by volunteer attorneys. In 2005, attorneys donated 38.6 hours, valued at $7,720.

Community Education Activities:
"Ask-A-Lawyer" clinics are conducted at various senior meal sites. Attorneys provide brief advice sessions to seniors on all civil legal topics.

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Abuse/exploitation, identity fraud, health care, and availability of senior housing and care facilities


Region 13

Counties Served:
Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Lake

Legal Providers:
(Chaffee, Custer, and Lake Counties)
Jeanna Baitlon, Esq.
Colorado Legal Services

Address:
1604 H Street, Suite 201
Salida, CO 81201

Telephone:
719-539-4251

(Fremont County)
Rob Hunt, Esq. (Managing Attorney)
Colorado Springs Office of Colorado Legal Services

Address:
617 South Nevada Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Telephone:
(719) 471-0380
Toll Free: (800) 395-2465

AAA Director:
Stephen Holland
Upper Arkansas AAA—Southern Region

Address:
139 East 3rd Street
Salida, CO 81201

Telephone:
(719) 539-3341

Case Priorities:
Public benefits cases, housing cases, consumer cases, long-term care issues, and advance directives

Community Education Activities:

  • Public service announcements
  • Outreach
  • Information and assistance

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:

  • Advance directives
  • Powers of attorney
  • Landlord/tenant
  • Exploitation

Region 14

Counties Served:
Las Animas, Huerfano

Legal Provider:
Devon McFarland, Esq.

Address:
116 South Walnut Street
Trinidad, CO 81082

Telephone:
(719) 846-4480

AAA Director:
Michael Espinosa
South Central Council of Governments AAA

Address:
300 Bonaventure Avenue
Trinidad, CO 81082

Telephone:
(719) 845-1133

Case Priorities:
Preparation of powers of attorney, wills, restraining orders; two recent cases involved bank account overcharges and an inability to receive telephone bills

Most Important Legal Issues Facing Vulnerable Elders in the Region:
Attendance at Adult Protection Team meetings reveals that the biggest problems are elder abuse and exploitation relating to financial areas. One senior in assisted living was spirited out of the home and a huge portion of her money was used to change a power of attorney, preventing her return. Other older people have been victimized in similar fashion by family members to get at an expected inheritance.

 

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