Elder Law Task Force

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

10th Annual Advocacy Conference

This year's advocacy conference is focusing on advocating for behaioral health needs of seniors and vulnerable adults.  This is a full day conference that includes breakfast and lunch for only $60 if you register by October 18.  Baltimore County Legal Aid is a member of the consortium that planned this conference.

AdvocacyConf2012.pdf136.62 KB

Reaching Out: Innovative Communication Strategies FTC Event

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 9:00am - 4:45pm

 From the FTC:

Reaching Out:  Innovative Communication Strategies

Thursday, October 4, 2012
9:00 am -4:00 p.m.
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection will host a conference on October 4th to examine how collaboration with our legal services and government partners can help us all in our efforts to serve and inform consumers.  The discussion will focus on two areas that we have heard are of particular interest to many such partners:  outreach to underserved communities and debt collection work.
The day will begin at 9 a.m., when BCP Bureau Director David Vladeck will announce the launch of a new FTC website that gives consumer protection basics in a clear and direct style, and also equips consumer advocates with tools for outreach and education.  Participants will then join in a roundtable to discuss outreach-related successes and challenges, as well as how we can collaborate to better serve hard-to-reach audiences.  Please bring your ideas and questions.  We will hear from speakers representing a number of dynamic legal services, non-profit, and government organizations, including Pro Bono Net, the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), Neighborhood Legal Services, and the National Asian American Coalition.
At  12:30 p.m., we’ll turn our focus to one of the biggest issues we hear about:  debt collection.  The first panel of the afternoon will look at the work that government agencies, including the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are doing to address specific areas of concern.  A second panel, moderated by Jim Sandman, the President of the Legal Services Corporation, will focus on the same question from the perspective of legal services advocates. Finally, the afternoon will feature Peter Holland, Visiting Law School Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, who will talk about defending junk-debt-buyer lawsuits. 
Stay tuned for the full event agenda.  If you are planning to attend, please send an RSVP with your name, organization and email address to Martha Lee at mlee@ftc.gov.  Space is limited so please register now.  We hope to see you there!


New Misuse of Antipsychotic Medications Advocacy Toolkit Available!

From the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care:

Misuse of Antipsychotic Medications: An Information and Advocacy Toolkit

Developed in part through a grant from the Administration on Aging, this toolkit contains take-away resources for consumers, family members and advocates detailing the misuse of antipsychotic medications; how to recognize symptoms; the rights of residents under federal and state nursing home laws; and what consumers, family members and advocates can do to combat this problem.

Toolkit Components*:

ProPublica: What We Found Using Nursing Home Inspect

Fron the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:

ProPublica: What We Found Using Nursing Home Inspect
Drawing on government reports posted online last month, today we are launching Nursing Home Inspect -- a tool that allows anyone to easily search and analyze the details of recent nursing home inspections, most completed since January 2011. As of today, that includes nearly 118,000 deficiencies cited against 14,565 homes, but we will add more each month as new reports become available. Users can search across all the reports by any keyword, such as elope -- a feature the federal government's official nursing home website doesn't have. The results can then be sorted by both the severity of the violation and by state (Ornstein and Groeger, 8/14).

For the article, click on: http://www.propublica.org/article/our-latest-news-app-nursing-home-inspect

To use Nursing Home Inspect to find out about defiiciencies in a Maryland nursing homes, in your county, or in a specific facility, go to http://projects.propublica.org/nursing-homes/


New MOLST regulations proposed

New regulations have been published in the Maryland Register for MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). See http://www.dsd.state.md.us/MDRegister/3915.pdf at p. 1087.  The new proposed regulations withdraw the regulations previously proposed in 2011, and include a new form.  Comments are due by September 10, 2012.  If anyone is interested in participating in comments, please contact Jennifer Goldberg at jgoldberg@mdlab.org.

Maryland Medicaid Manual - now revised and online!

Great news for everyone who handles Medicaid cases - the Maryland Medicaid Manual is now revised and online:


No more need to navigate a book full of bad photocopies - both the updated manual and ongoing releases are included.  Yay!


Continuation of medical coverage for divorced spouses


Here is my question:

We concluded a divorce hearing on July 6, 2012 in which client received an absolute divorce, rehabilitative alimony, child support and the court also ordered that  the husband continue to provide medical insurance for Client and Child through his employer provided group insurance plan.

On Friday, August 1, 2012 , my client found out from Husband's employer, a large hospital, that the Husband allowed his insurance to lapse as of June 30, 2012, just before our divorce hearing.  Husband, who is pro se, denies this and claims he he renewed  the insurance.  No notice was given to my client of the lapse.

To be brief, the employer reinstated the Child on the insurance policy, but refused to reinstate Client. The employer is claiming that she is no longer a beneficiary.  I know that under MD Code Insurance § 15-408, allows for a divorced spouse to continue to be covered on the other party's health insurance. 

What is there any way to compel the insurance company to reinstate her?


Legal Tools to Avoid Guardianship

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
This session will explore legal options to avoid Guardianship. Guardianship of an adult should always be the last resort, when all other options have been exhausted. Join us as we review the basics of capacity and guardianship, financial tools such as joint accounts, powers of attorney, representative payee, living trusts, and health care tools such as default health care decision makers, durable power of attorney for health care, living wills, and physicians’ orders for life sustaining care (POLST.)

Presenters are;
Charlie Sabatino – Director ABA Commission on Law and Aging
Erica Wood – Assistant Director ABA Commission on Law and Aging
David Godfrey – Senior Attorney ABA Commission on Law and Aging

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging.  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.
If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org
Title: Legal Tools to Avoid Guardianship
Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
National Legal Resource Center

Medicare Recipients To Get More Coordinated Care

From the Baltimore Sun: Medicare Recipients To Get More Coordinated Care
Four doctor groups across Maryland have been chosen by the federal Department of Health and Human Services for a program that aims to cut health costs and better coordinate care for Medicare recipients. … In Maryland, the doctor groups include: Accountable Care Coalition of Maryland LLC, located in Hollywood with 109 physicians; Greater Baltimore Health Alliance Physicians LLC, affiliated with Greater Baltimore Medical Center with 399 physicians; Maryland Accountable Care Organization of Eastern Shore LLC with 15 physicians; and Maryland Accountable Care Organization of Western MD LLC with 23 physicians.


Report: Nation Isn’t Ready To Meet Elderly Patients’ Mental Health Care Needs

From Capsules, the Kaiser Health News blog:


By Christian Torres

July 10th, 2012, 3:46 PM

The U.S. is not prepared for the mental health needs of aging baby boomers, according an Institute of Medicine report released Tuesday.

A continued lack of specialists and other trained providers including primary care physicians and nurses will likely make it difficult for aging patients to receive treatment for depression, dementia and other conditions. In addition, some experts are concerned that the baby boomer population, which is a growing component of the nation’s older demographic, have an unaddressed problem with substances – namely misuse of prescription medications.

“There is a conspicuous lack of national attention either to preparing the health care workforce […] or to ensuring sufficient numbers of personnel for the rapidly growing elderly population,” the IOM committee wrote. It’s estimated that as many as one in five members of the elderly population had at least one mental health or substance use problem in 2010.

Meeting the growing needs of the elderly will require a coordinated effort among government agencies, professional societies, providers and even family caregivers, the IOM report said.

Government in particular can help by expanding training and loan forgiveness programs for health care professionals, the report suggests. It can also promote improved health care delivery through coordinated care models and through revisions to Medicare and Medicaid payment practices. For example, psychiatric case managers are not reimbursed by those programs, despite research showing that they can provide effective treatment for depression and substance abuse, said Peter Rabins, an IOM committee member and psychiatry professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

“We need to change mindsets” in both training and delivery of care, Rabins added. Health care providers, policymakers and others will have to recognize that mental health problems frequently run parallel to other medical issues and can lead to poor outcomes and higher costs.

Already, the government is pushing to improve mental health staffing for military veterans, an especially vulnerable subset of the elderly population. In April, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would add around 1,900 psychologists and other staff.

What could that FREE lunch cost you? -- How to Avoid Being Drawn Into Financial Elder Abuse Scams

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Seniors fear outliving their assets and are constantly drawn to individuals whom they believe can help them.  Often times these individuals are scam artists peddling worthless services or unsuitable financial products.  Assisted living facilities staff members who allow these individuals to make financial presentations in their buildings risk being accused of "assisting" in elder financial abuse.  Current civil and criminal laws on financial abuse continue to evolve and assisted living facilities need to protect themselves from needless exposure to criminal elder financial abuse, civil liability and negative publicity.

 This webinar will address the Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefit scams, unsuitable annuities and other financial schemes that target seniors living in assisted living facilities.

 Date: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Time: 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Eastern /11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Pacific

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:


After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

 This free webinar is sponsored by the Assisted Living Consumer Alliance, www.assistedlivingconsumers.org

Assisted Living Consumer Alliance

Maryland braces for Supreme Court decision on health care reform law

Maryland braces for Supreme Court decision on health care reform law

By Meredith Cohn and Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun

June 19 2012, 7:22 PM EDT

Miriam Brand just graduated from the University of Maryland and does not have a job, but she does have health insurance.

The complete article can be viewed at:

Telephone Interviewing Skills: Webinar

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

 Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Providing services by telephone is harder than it sounds! This webinar will help you learn how to overcome the challenges of providing legal advice to a client when you cannot read visual cues or use your nonverbal cues to put the client at ease, etc. We will discuss how to conduct an effective interview, how to provide the information to the client in a manageable way, how to assess the client’s capacity, and how to determine if the client is capable of following through on your advice. We will include not only great suggestions but also some role playing to help you see the concepts in action.

David Godfrey, Senior Attorney at the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, and Shoshanna Ehrlich, Program Specialist at the Center for Elder Rights Advocacy, will be our presenters for this informative webinar. Both have many years experience in working with clients by telephone, as well as providing training on this topic.

Join us July 12, 2012 from 2pm to 3:30pm Eastern for this webinar. If you are new to hotlines or a seasoned veteran, you will find this webinar a great resource for improving your skills in this challenging area.

This webinar is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging's National Legal Resource Center.

 Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Center for Elder Rights Advocacy

Update on the National Mortgage Settlement for Legal Advocates

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:


The settlement between forty nine states and the federal government with five of the largest mortgage servicers, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and Ally, provides direct financial relief to borrowers and former homeowners, cash payments to the states and the federal government, and imposes new standards on the servicing loans in foreclosure.  This webinar will provide an overview and update advocates on the essential terms of the settlement.  

Presenters are Chris Barry-Smith (MA AGO), Amber Villa (MA AGO), Phil Lehman (NC AGO) and moderated by Odette Williamson (NCLC).

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging.  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.

If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org



After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

National Legal Resource Center/National Consumer Law Center

MVLS 2012 Celebrate Pro Bono Reception

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 6:00pm

Save the Date!

MVLS will honor our volunteers, donors, and student fellows from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law MPILP program on Thursday, October 18th at Westminster Hall in Baltimore. 


Location Name: 
UMD Carey School of Law Westminster Hall
519 W. Fayette Street
Stephanie Austin
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

New Flyer: What Is Elder Abuse

The 7th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Friday, June 15, 2012.  Elder abuse is a violation of human rights.  As stated in Article 5 of the Political Declaration and Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002: “We are determined to enhance the recognition of the dignity of older persons and to eliminate all forms of neglect, abuse and violence.” 

In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, please join me in raising awareness about elder abuse and promoting the human rights of older adults.  Please distribute widely the attached fact sheet, which is a Maryland-specific adaptation of an elder abuse awareness flyer from the National Center on Elder Abuse http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/.  You can also show you care by wearing purple.  For a world perspective on elder abuse, including posters that you can download, see the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse http://www.inpea.net/

On Thursday, June 14, 2012, you can participate in the White House’s observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  The White House Office of Public Engagement, in collaboration with the Administration for Community Living/Department of Health and Human Services, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Department of Justice, is hosting a day-long symposium to highlight the problem of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, particularly financial exploitation. The day will be divided into four sessions to be webcast live on the White House website (http://www.whitehouse.gov/live), starting at 9 am on Thursday, and will include social media-based interactive question and answer sessions on Twitter and Facebook.

For events closer to home, and further resources, below are Maryland specific links from the Department of Aging - see http://www.aging.maryland.gov/.

Maryland Fact Sheet What is Elder Abuse.doc174.5 KB

Alternatives To Bankruptcy -- Advising Seniors When Bankruptcy Is Not An Option

Wed, 05/30/2012 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

This is the last free Webinar in the National Legal Resource Center's series - a new series will start in June.  Don't miss out - reserve your Webinar seat now at:


According to an AARP study, between 1991 and 2007, bankruptcy filings by senior citizens went up by 150%. Many potential clients seek bankruptcy at the wrong time – when their economic situation is at the worst and they have no money.  Some clients are completely collection-proof and therefore have no need to file bankruptcy, and others should not or cannot file bankruptcy for other reasons.   Rather than simply rejecting cases as inappropriate or outside priorities, this webinar will provide guidance on how to advise clients why bankruptcy is inappropriate in certain situations, and suggest alternative strategies for dealing with their crushing debt burden.

The presenter is Michelle Weinberg, Supervisory Attorney of the Chicago Seniors/Consumer Practice Group of LAF - Legal Assistance Foundation.

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging.  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.

If you have any questions email trainings@nclc.org



Alternatives To Bankruptcy -- Advising Seniors When Bankruptcy Is Not An Option


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT


After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

National Consumer Law Center

Elder Care Mediation and Why It Is Important to Your Practice

The American Bar Association
Commission on Law and Aging, Senior Lawyers Division,

Family Law Section, Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice,

Young Lawyers Division, Section of Dispute Resolution,

General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Division

and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education

Present a 90-Minute Live Webinar

Elder Care Mediation and Why It Is Important to Your Practice

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Eastern | 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Central | 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Mountain | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Pacific

Program Description

With the aging of the boomers, your clients increasingly will face conflicts in estate planning and elder care. Questions will arise within the family such as:

  • ·       Who will take care of mom?
  • ·       How do you untangle family feuds over the estate?
  • ·       Who decides about dad’s health care?

Learn from an experienced mediator and attorney about how senior mediation can address sibling, extended family, and intergenerational disputes in elder care—and what it can mean for your practice.

Our Expert Faculty



Robert J. Rhudy
Senior Mediation and Decision-Making, Inc.
Baltimore, MD

Carolyn Rodis

Training Standards Committee,
ACR Elder Decision-Making and Conflict Resolution Section

Harwood, MD


Erica Wood
Assistant Director
ABA Commission on Law and Aging
Washington, DC


Live WebINAR Tuition


Sponsoring Section Members


ABA Members



General Public

Government, Legal Aid, and Non-Profit Attorneys


Additional registrants using the same connection


Unable to Participate?

This program will be available on audio
Sponsoring Section


$135     ABA Members

$150     All others

For more information and to order visit www.ShopABA.org

 (Please search by program title.)


All participants must be registered for the program.

Cancellation policy is available on the ABA website. Scholarship applications are also available upon request.

CLE Credit

The ABA will seek 1.5 hours of CLE credit in 60-minute-hour states and 1.8 hours of CLE credit in 50-minute-hour states in states accrediting ABA live webinars and teleconferences.*

NY-licensed attorneys: This non-transitional CLE program has been approved for experienced NY-licensed attorneys in accordance with the requirements of the New York State CLE Board for 1.5 New York CLE credits.

*States currently not accrediting ABA live webinars and teleconferences: IN, KS, NE, NJ, OH, and PA.

senior mediation webinar flyer w cosponsors 4-27-12.DOC235 KB

Federal Regulators Scrutinize Banks' "Advance Direct Deposit" Loans

Why you really do not want pay day loans: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/04/30/federal-regulators-scrutinize-banks-advance-direct-deposit-loans/

This is an exerpt from the article, click on the link above to read the entire article.  The exerpt is about how the loans work:

Say you need $100 to pay your rent or cover some other expense, but don't have the money in the bank. You've been receiving $500 monthly via electronic deposit. The bank agrees to a loan on the assumption that it will be able to automatically draw the full amount plus a fee from your next $500 deposit. There's no check of the borrower's credit history. The loans are popular partly because consumers can gain access to money quickly. The fee usually ranges from $7.50 to $10 per $100 borrowed. Guaranty Bank charges a flat $30 each time a customer applies for the loan. Repayment is required within 35 days. (See chart.)

Consumer groups say that people who use these loans are usually the most needy but least able to repay them on time. The bank repays itself regardless of whether borrowers have sufficient deposits in their bank accounts. This can create an overdraft in the account.

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We welcome your comments and suggestions