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Legal Assistance


AoA programs and services funded under the Older Americans Act (OAA) are designed to empower older persons to remain independent, healthy, and safe within their homes and communities, for as long as possible. Legal assistance and elder rights programs work in conjunction with other AoA programs and services to maximize the independence, autonomy and well-being of older persons.

Legal programs under Title III-B, Title IV, and Title VII of the OAA provide and enhance important protections for older persons:

Title III-B attorneys provide legal assistance nationwide on issues such as income security, health care, long-term care, nutrition, housing, utilities, protective services, defense of guardianship, abuse, neglect, and age discrimination. Legal assistance is targeted towards older individuals in social and economic need.

The National Legal Resource Center (NLRC) serves as a centralized access point for a national legal assistance support system serving professionals and advocates working in legal and aging services networks. These professionals can benefit from the case consultation, training, technical assistance, and other legal resources offered by the NLRC.

Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems (Model Approaches) is a discretionary grant program designed to help states develop and implement cost-effective, replicable approaches for integrating senior legal helplines into the broader tapestry of state legal service delivery networks. The cornerstone of these projects are legal helplines, which assist seniors in accessing quality legal services to ensure their rights and financial security, and to enhance their choice and independence.

Legal Assistance Developers (LADs) are responsible for developing and coordinating a state’s legal services and elder rights programs to ensure consistent service and quality results.

The Title III-B legal assistance network, the National Legal Resource Center, the  Model Approaches demonstration grants, and Legal Assistance Developers are programs designed to protect older persons from direct challenges to independence, choice, and financial security. These programs also help older individuals understand their rights, exercise options through informed decision-making and achieve optimal benefit from the support and opportunities promised by law.