Legal Counseling and Assistance
The Senior Legal Services Program provides free civil legal services for Albany County residents who are at least 60 years of age.
The program is staffed by the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York Inc. The attorney provides free advice and representation and/or referrals as appropriate and as resources permit. Some of the legal topics may include: Social Security, SSI, Pensions, Medicare, Nursing or Adult Home Issues, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Utilities/HEAP, Tenants Issues, Home Repair &Consumer Fraud, Grandparents' Rights, Financial Abuse, and Elder Abuse.
Group presentations are given at Albany County senior centers and congregate sites; topics include: wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and estate matters. (The attorney does not provide direct representation on these issues.)
The attorney makes monthly visits to senior and community centers. Call the site for an appointment.
- Town of Bethlehem Senior Citizens Services, 445 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 439-4955
- Cohoes Senior Citizens Multi-Service Center, 10 Cayuga Plaza, Cohoes, 235-2420
- Town of Colonie Senior Resources Department, 6 Winners Circle, Colonie, 459-5051
- Town of Guilderland Senior Citizens Services, Guilderland Town Hall, Rt. 20 Guilderland 356-1980
- Heldeberg Senior Services, Inc Hiawatha Grange, Westerlo, 797-3652
- Senior Services of Albany, Westview Center, 680 Central Ave. Albany, 482-2120
- Senior Projects of Ravena, 9 Bruno Ave. Ravena, 756-8593
- Whitney Young Jr. Health Center, Lark & Arbor Dr. Albany, 465-4771 ext. 4496
The telephone intake slots are limited and are first-come first-serve; call 518-462-6765 or 1-800-462-2922. The best times to reach intake staff are between 11:00am-Noon and 1:00-5:00pm. (Those who are not homebound are encouraged to sign up at one of the community sites.)
All Albany County seniors are encouraged to take advantage of this program, especially those who: are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation; or physically isolated; proposed for or under guardianship; reside in nursing or adult homes or assisted living; have chronic health problems; or problems accessing health care; homeless or threatened with homelessness; live on a subsistence income; or limited English proficiency; are proposed for or under guardianship.
Helpful Websites & Contact Numbers
The New York State Attorney General's website: www.oag.state.ny.us has information and downloadable guides on a variety of topics including: crime victims' rights, health care proxy, identity theft, consumer tips, credit issues, tenant's rights, and tips on choosing a health care plan. To contact the AG's office, call 518-474-7330.
The National Center on Elder Abuse: www.elderabusecenter.org/ is a comprehensive website which helps define the forms of abuse, and information about laws protecting seniors, statistics, and contact numbers. The National Centers' number is: 202-898-2586.
For elder abuse concerns, contact the Albany County Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Unit, at 518-447-7228 or the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center at: 518-447-7716 (hotline), or 518-447-5500 (office).
New York Department of Health site: www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/phforum/nycrr.htm has information about birth and death certificates, Medicaid, and health care proxies.
Updates on the Medicaid laws and Medicaid home care and chronic care programs are compared at: www.pierrolaw.com/medicaid .
The Elder Preparedness Self-Assessment Tool (TEPSAT) is an on-line, interactive, performance-based tool athttp://www.elderornot.com/ that will help you measure how prepared you are for the elder years. The higher your score, the higher your level of preparedness. As you "take the test," TEPSAT directs you to valuable tools and resources that will help you further prepare for decision-making in those later years.