National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Hold District Days
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) launched an awareness campaign in May to educate members of Congress about elder law issues. Their campaign is called District Days and it focuses on events in the home districts of Congressional members. NAELA members joined Representatives and Senators to discuss issues important to seniors such as reauthorizing the Older Americans Act, not converting Medicare into a premium support system, nor raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67, opposing the restriction of Medicaid funding for states and eligibility for long-term services, and supporting the Disabled Military Protection Act of 2012.
The Older Americans Act helps provide elder abuse prevention, job training, case management, home-delivered meals, home care, legal services, caregiver support, transportation, and the long-term care ombudsman program. The OAA was originally initiated in 1965 to provide a range of services for seniors.
The Disabled Military Protection Act of 2012, if passed, would provide monthly payments to military survivors who are disabled children and unable to support themselves. Currently the Survivor Benefit Plan allows a military retiree to provide 55 percent of his or her monthly income to a family member after the retiree has passed away. However, this contribution is reported as income so a disabled child receiving the benefit could be ineligible for Social Security Disability Insurance funds and Medicaid.
The Disabled Military Protection Act would allow a special needs trust to be created for a disabled child of a military retiree. Because this trust is set up as a supplemental form of income for the child, it would not prevent him or her from also receiving SSI disability funds or benefits from Medicaid.
NAELA members will work with Congressional members in their districts going all the way into fall to raise awareness about the above mentioned issues and other ones relevant to the care of elders in this country.
The following dates are when they will be most active in their advocacy with various events or meetings.
• July 2-6
• August 7-September 7
• September 10-14 (Senate only)
• September 24-28
• October 8-November 6
Members of NAELA are attorneys experienced with many issues facing elders and those with disabilities of all ages. The organization was founded in 1987 and is a non-profit organization helping lawyers, bar organizations and advocates. They are located in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.