State grant funds more legal services for Vermont seniors

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State grant funds more legal services for Vermont seniors

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 1:36pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont received an Administration for Community Living grant that will provide $178,500 each year for three years to expand legal services for at-risk older adults. The Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems demonstration grant is a cooperative grant between the Vermont Agency of Human Services’ Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) and Vermont Legal Aid. The grants are designed to help states respond effectively to legal issues affecting seniors with significant social or economic needs.

In Vermont, the funding will be used to develop services specifically for seniors at the statewide legal hotline, Vermont Law Help, as well as to provide legal training, to do outreach, and to build and strengthen partnerships throughout the state with the court system, Adult Protective Services, the Office of Public Guardian, the Area Agencies on Aging, and others.

“As the number of older adults living in Vermont continues to grow, more and more seniors are calling to find help,” said Michael Benvenuto, Elder Law Project Director at Vermont Legal Aid. “Housing, health care, consumer, and financial issues along with elder abuse are critical areas of need that, if unresolved, can threaten the well-being of older adults as well as their ability to stay in their homes and communities. This grant will allow Vermont Legal Aid to expand our services and develop an integrated system for helping seniors statewide.”

DAIL Commissioner Monica Caserta Hutt confirmed, “The importance of access to quality legal assistance and supports cannot be understated for Vermont’s older adults. This grant provides us with the opportunity to support that growing need and to enhance our collaborations with community partners on behalf of Vermonters.”  

Vermont Legal Aid (VLA) is a non-profit law firm that provides legal advice and services to individuals and families throughout Vermont who are facing a civil legal problem that threatens their rights, shelter, job, health or well-being. VLA began serving clients in 1968 and has partnered with DAIL for more than 30 years.

Source: Vermont Legal Aid 7.13.2016