Elder Law Task Force

Elder Law Task Force content posted in order of most recent to oldest.

Social Security Trustees issue report on status of Social Security Trust Funds

The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2023, extended from last year’s estimate of 2016, with 89 percent of benefits still payable.

Read more at: https://www.ssa.gov/news/#/post/6-2016-1

Discharge of Student Loans Made Easier for Certain Social Security Disability Recipients

By law, anyone with a severe disability is eligible to have the government discharge their federal student loans. The Department of Education is now taking it upon itself to identify eligible borrowers and guide them through the steps to discharge their loans. The department has been identifying borrowers receiving disability payments and have the specific designation of “Medical Improvement Not Expected,” which indicates they are eligible for the discharge.

Borrowers identified in the match will receive a letter from the government explaining the steps needed to receive a discharge. They will not be required to submit documentation of their eligibility, unlike disabled borrowers who apply for the discharge on their own.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/04/12/obama-to-f...

http://www.justiceinaging.org/forgive-student-loan-debt-for-people-with-...

Elder Law Task Force meeting

Date: 
Tue, 02/09/2016 - 10:00am - 1:00pm

If you are a member of the Task Force, find the GoToMeeting information at:

http://www.mdjustice.org/ElderTaskForceGoToMeeting

Be sure to sign in to see the page.

The meeting dates for 2016 are:

Feb. 19
April 12 -  Joint meeting with the Public Benefits Task Force
June 7
Sept. 1 -  Joint meeting with the Public Benefits Task Force
Dec. 13 

Location
Location Name: 
Maryland Legal Aid offices
Contact
Name: 
Emily Jaskot
Phone: 
410-951-7810
Sponsor: 
Maryland Legal Aid

Caregiver Conference

The Howard County Office on Aging is hosting a conference for people caring for aging loved ones on Saturday, November 14th from 8am-3pm at the North Laurel Community Center in Laurel, MD. Details and registration are here: www.howardcountyaging/org/caregiver and in the attached flier.

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4th Annual Caregiver Conference Nov 14 2015.pdf187.6 KB

Survey About Mediation in Circuit Court Non-Family Cases

*CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY: http://circuitcourtmediation.questionpro.com*

The Salisbury University Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution is working with the Maryland Judiciary on a survey research project about attorney experience in Circuit Court Mediation Programs for Civil Non-Family Cases. The survey takes on average 7 minutes to complete and any attorney in Maryland that practices in the circuit court is eligible. The purpose is to examine the rate of use and explore issues and concerns that attorneys say enhances or limits the use of mediation.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY: http://circuitcourtmediation.questionpro.com

This survey research is being overseen by the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution. The results will be disseminated by MACRO at the conclusion of the project and will be used to improve the use of mediation, when appropriate, in civil non-family cases.

Questions regarding the research can be directed to Brian Polkinghorn, Ph.D., Executive Director, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution at bdpolkinghorn@salisbury.edu.

Nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries could see record increases in their premiums unless Congress intervenes.

From the NY Times:  The 60 million people on Social Security will not receive any cost-of-living increase in their benefits in 2016, the government said on Thursday, but because of a quirk in federal law, nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries could see record increases in their premiums unless Congress intervenes.

Read the full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/us/politics/medicare-premiums-social-security-cost-of-living.html?_r=0

Fact Sheet on Social Security benefits changes for 2016

Follow the link for a fact sheet containing chnges in various Social Security benefit, earnings limits and tresholds for 2016.

http://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/colafacts2016.html

Breaking Barriers 2015

Date: 
Thu, 09/24/2015 - 5:30pm - 9:00pm

On Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, Maryland Disability Law Center (MDLC) will hold its signature community event, Breaking Barriers. This year, our central theme will be the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Breaking Barriers celebrates the achievements of individuals and organizations engaged in the struggle for the legal rights of people with disabilities, while highlighting the work that lies ahead. In recognition and celebration of the ADA’s 25th anniversary, we will screen Independent Lens’ outstanding documentary “Lives Worth Living” chronicling key events leading to the passage of the ADA. A revered leader of the disability rights movement who features prominently in the film given her contributions to the ADA and other achievements, Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. State Department, will be present to accept MDLC’s “Lorraine Sheehan Lifetime Achievement Award.” Congressman Steny Hoyer who was instrumental to passing this landmark civil rights law will accept the Public Policy Award, Sidley Austin LLP will receive the Legal Advocate Award, and the Grassroots Advocate Award will be dedicated to the late MDLC attorney Gayle Hafner and presented to Thomas Hicks of Helping Other People through Empowerment (HOPE).

Breaking Barriers brings together people from the disability, legal, nonprofit and business communities from across the state. This event will be held at the University of Baltimore’s modern, accessible Wright Theater and Bogomolny Room, conveniently located at Mount Royal and Maryland Avenues in Baltimore. Our event tickets will be reasonably priced to attract a broad audience and include scrumptious food and drink.

For more info, visit: http://www.mdlclaw.org/news-events/breaking-barriers.
For tickets, see: http://breakingbarriers2015.brownpapertickets.com.

Location
Location Name: 
University of Baltimore Student Center
Address1: 
21 West Mount Royal Avenue
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Contact
Name: 
Virginia Knowlton Marcus or Lea Gilmore
Phone: 
410-727-6352
Sponsor: 
Maryland Disabilty Law Center

New Pro Bono Program From the SSA

A new pro bono program seeks volunteers to act as representative payees.  A flyer is attached.  For more information, go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/payee/probonopilot.htm.

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Rep Payee Pro Bono Program.pdf193.87 KB

Post Judgment Collections Training for Attorneys

Date: 
Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:00am - 12:00pm

This training will focus on helping consumers collect on judgments, like security deposits, and helping consumers defend against collection. Topics include wage garnishments, bank garnishments, defenses and best practices. There is no fee to attend but each participant will be asked to accept one post judgment case from Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service over the next year.

Register Online

Location
Location Name: 
University of Baltimore School of Law
Address1: 
1401 N. Charles Street, Room Al102
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
Maryland
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Lonni Summers
Phone: 
(443) 451-4064
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
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Registration form - Post Judgment Collections 20150625.pdf175.26 KB

Untangling Titles: Navigating Title Transfers, Deed Issues, and Estate Administration

Date: 
Tue, 06/23/2015 - 9:00am - 4:30pm

Training will cover the following:

  • The probate process
  • Drafting a simple deed
  • Dealing with fraudulent deeds
  • Lease purchase agreements
  • Quiet title auctions

More information and register online

Location
Location Name: 
University of Baltimore School of Law
Address1: 
1401 N. Charles Street, Room Al102
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Margaret Henn
Phone: 
mhenn@probonomd.org
Sponsor: 
Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

The Intersection of Family Law and Bankruptcy Training for Attorneys

Date: 
Thu, 06/18/2015 - 9:00am - 12:00pm

This training will bring together a family law practitioner and a skilled bankruptcy attorney to discuss the intersection between these two areas of law. Topics will include bankruptcy 101, property and other asset issues when your client or adverse party files bankruptcy, adverse proceedings – what are they and how do they overlap with the family court matter, drafting settlement agreements to protect your client’s best interests, and post judgment matters including enforcing settlement agreements or court orders.

This training is free, but requires the acceptance of one MVLS Chapter 7 bankruptcy or family law case within a year of the training. Attorneys can choose which legal area they prefer to accept the case.

Register Online

Location
Location Name: 
University of Baltimore School of Law
Address1: 
1401 N. Charles Street, Room Al102
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
Maryland
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Susan Francis
Phone: 
(443) 451-4084
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
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Registration form - Family Law and Bankruptcy Training 20150618.pdf175.31 KB

Tax Controversy Training for Attorneys

Date: 
Fri, 03/20/2015 - 9:00am - 1:00pm

Free training session on handling IRS and Maryland tax controversy cases for low-income taxpayers.  While the training will cover handling tax cases generally, the focus of this session will be on the mechanics of advocating for the taxpayer who is battling with tax collection issues. There is no fee to attend but each participant will be asked to accept one tax controversy case over the next year.  

Register online or contact Cheri Wendt-Taczak at (443) 451-4061 or cheri@mvlslaw.org for details.

Location
Location Name: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
Address1: 
201 N Charles Street
Address2: 
Suite 1400
City: 
Baltimore
State: 
Maryland
Zip: 
21201
Contact
Name: 
Cheri Wendt-Taczak
Phone: 
4434514061
Sponsor: 
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

foreclosure

Maryland has 3rd highest foreclosure rate:

New MDJustice Website

Thank you all for letting me present the new MDJustice website at the Task Force meeting. The new MDJustice website can be found at mdjustice.openadvocate.org. Your current MDJustice username/password should be the same. If for some reason you cannot login please email me at mstubenberg@mdlab.org or call me at 410-951-7799.

I encourage everyone to look around the new website and to test it out. Feel free to create a post, add comments, etc. The only caveat is all the material on the new MDJustice website will be erased when it goes live so don't add anything of importance to the new site. Please give me feedback on the new site by posting it here or under the same post on the new MDJustice website. We are still in the phase where we can add and change features on the website. Once the site goes live it will be much more difficult.

Matthew Stubenberg

Pretty cool new demographic website

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At Esri, we believe that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future. Governments, industry leaders, academics, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) trust us to connect them with the analytic knowledge they need to make these critical decisions that shape the planet.

We invite you to discover ways that you can leverage our technology and expertise in your own organization. 

Zip Code look up: http://www.esri.com/data/esri_data/ziptapestry-noform

Other demographics: http://www.esri.com/data/esri_data/demographic-overview

International Day of Older Persons 2014: Expanding the Conversation on Domestic Violence

More on International Day of Older Persons from Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of ACL

Today we join communities around the world in observing the International Day of Older Persons. October 1 was designated by the United Nations in 1990 to recognize the vital contributions of older people to the global community and to encourage member nations to thoughtfully address the aging of the population. At the Administration for Community Living, we are working to ensure that this includes the supports and services necessary for older people to live and contribute in their communities. 

It is also the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States. Throughout the month, projects and events in communities around the nation will work to raise awareness of this often-unseen crime, support victims and survivors, mourn those who have been lost, and connect those working to end domestic violence.

This makes today an ideal time to talk about domestic violence later in life.

We often do not associate domestic violence with older people. To a degree, this assumption is accurate: data from the CDC indicate nearly half of those who are domestic violence victims first experience it between the ages of 18 and 24. But violence does not suddenly stop once a person reaches the age of 60. Older people are the frequent victims of a long list of abusive acts including sexual mistreatment, physical assault, neglect, emotional abuse, exploitation, and financial fraud. A recent UN study estimates that 28 percent of women over the age of 60 experience at least one form of violence and abuse. Unfortunately, domestic violence is underreported across all age groups because of the stigma associated with being a victim. 

In the U.S., two important pieces of legislation, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and the Violence Against Women Act, protect survivors of all ages through a national network of domestic violence programs and a coordinated community response to abuse. These laws have markedly improved our nation’s response to domestic violence, but can still do more to protect older people.

This is critical, because domestic violence can continue into old age and worsen over time. Further, violence against older people often results in greater injuries. An older person’s ability to escape violence can be hampered by health conditions, functional limitations, poverty and even greater social isolation. Older people may therefore need specialized support in order to access domestic violence services, such as shelters and hotlines.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Older Persons is Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All. In order to ensure that we do not leave older people behind, we must first expand our conversations about domestic violence to include the experiences of victims in later life. We must provide protection and support for survivors of domestic violence of all ages. And, as I have said before, we must lift up the voices of survivors and let them be our guides. Only by listening to their experiences will we educate ourselves and one another about the realities of domestic violence.

To help start the conversation, I encourage everyone to read and share Domestic Violence: Older Women Can Be Victims Too, a fact sheet from the National Center on Elder Abuse. Our collective acknowledgement of the impact of violence on older women is the first step to bringing about real change. 

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