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SeniorLAW Center

Two Penn Center, Suite 1501
1500 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

215-988-1244 (phone)
215-988-1243 (fax)
http://seniorlawcenter.org/
info@seniorlawcenter.org
  • 215-988-1242 (Local) 877-727-7529 (877-PA-SR-LAW)
  • We seek justice for older people by using the power of the law, educating the community and advocating on local, state and national levels.
  • On issues of import to the lives of older Pennsylvanians, including elder access to justice, elder abuse and financial exploitation, reverse mortgages, grandparent custody and voting rights.
  • Income guidelines: seniors with the greatest economic and social needs
    Age guidelines: 60 years old or older
    Geographic guidelines:
    *Extended representation: Philadelphia County
    *All 67 counties of PA for legal advice, information, counsel and referral services (limited representation)
  • Phone intake: M, T, W, Th 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Walk-ins: T & Th – Legal Emergencies Only, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    Note: Victims of abuse and violence are seen as a emergencies at any time the office is open.

    In-person intake appointments are also made for monthly community legal clinics at partner venues throughout Philadelphia. See www.seniorlawcenter.org for dates and contact information.

    In-person intake for eligible participants of Mercy LIFE program are available onsite at MLP days and times. See www.seniorlawcenter.org for dates and contact information.

    Potential clients speak with a legal staff member or volunteer who takes initial demographic information and a statement of legal issue, with extended follow-up by staff attorney or volunteer attorney who screens for eligibility, then assesses legal merit of those seeking extended representation and either provides legal advice and limited representation or completes intakes. These intakes are then reviewed by or under the supervision of the Legal Director and assigned to a legal staff member or referred to a volunteer attorney who specializes in that area of law. If client’s case is an emergency, a response is within 24-48 hours.

    Home, hospital, nursing home and hospice visits and services are available on a limited basis for homebound, chronically ill and severely disabled elders with critical legal issues.

    Language Line available for all services.
  • For Extended Representation:

    Housing: forward and reverse mortgage foreclosures; home repair contractor disputes and fraud; landlord/tenant matters; real estate taxes and real estate tax foreclosures; deed transfers; tangled title probates; utility shutoffs during moratorium period.

    Elder Abuse and Domestic Violence: protection from abuse and other protective matters including ejectments, defiant trespass, revocations of POAs; investigation and prevention of financial exploitation including scams, identity theft, unauthorized access and use of bank accounts, credit cards, other credit vehicles; spousal support for victims of domestic violence.

    Family Law: custody and support for grandparents and other kinship caregivers.

    Advance Life Planning: with panels of volunteer attorneys, drafting of simple wills, living wills, financial and health care powers of attorney.

    PA SeniorLAW HelpLine: All areas of Pennsylvania and some federal civil law.
  • Victim Services: Services include: Free legal representation and counsel to end abusive situations and to remove perpetrators from the homes of victims; Free legal representation and counsel for older adult victims of financial exploitation, including protection from and remedies to address complex financial exploitation, identity theft, fraud and other crimes; Free civil legal representation to address the economic security of older adult victims of crime, including spousal support actions, housing issues (including fraudulent deed transfers and ejectments) to guarantee that the senior survivor can remain in his/her home, and consumer issues (including debt collection and consumer credit problems) caused by the abuser’s economic abuse; Free civil legal representation for Limited English Proficient older victims of crime; Free civil legal representation for Older Veteran victims of crime; Support, advice, guidance and information/referral services for older adult victims of abuse and financial exploitation, linking them to other resources and support services, including emergency financial assistance, support groups, health services, lock changes, and other resources; Community education and outreach programs to help older adults recognize abuse and exploitation and know how and where to receive assistance; Professional education and training to sensitize those working with older adults who may experience abuse and/or exploitation and provide referral information; Advocacy to help stem the crisis of elder abuse and financial exploitation; Partnerships with victim services colleagues, law enforcement, protective services and others interested stopping elder abuse and financial exploitation.

    Homeownership Rights: Safe shelter is essential to health, safety and independence. Protecting and preserving the homes of senior homeowners also helps to retain the vibrancy of our intergenerational neighborhoods. SeniorLAW Center’s Homeownership Rights team provides seniors with mortgage foreclosure assistance and mortgage modification, we correct deed and title problems, we administer estates of deceased owners and transfer the deed to the senior residing in the property, we resolve property tax delinquencies and we work to protect seniors from unscrupulous home repair contractors.

    Tenant Rights: SeniorLAW Center’s Tenant Rights Project provides direct representation to eligible Philadelphia seniors facing eviction and advises tenants on their rights and remedies in both private and public housing. We also provide housing counselor referrals and potential sources for emergency rental assistance and other resources. Through our statewide HelpLine, we can counsel senior tenants on their rights throughout Pennsylvania. SeniorLAW Center also advocates for systemic changes to improve tenants’ lives and protect their rights.

    Pennsylvania SeniorLAW Helpline: The Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine is a statewide free and confidential telephone-based legal service, staffed by attorneys, providing legal information, advice, and/or referrals as well as brief services for certain areas of law, to older Pennsylvanians (60 years and older) in all 67 counties of the Commonwealth. Attorneys provide free legal advice, information and referral on a wide variety of civil (noncriminal) legal issues including: Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation – family violence, identity theft, unauthorized bank withdrawals, credit card fraud, fraudulent deed conveyances; Housing – foreclosures, landlord-tenant, deeds, utilities, home repair contractor fraud; Family Law – grandparents’ rights, kinship care, custody, support, divorce; Consumer Problems – credit, debt, bankruptcy; Benefits – Social Security, Pensions, VA benefits; Health Care; Estate Planning – health care and financial powers of attorney, living wills, simple wills; Many other areas of law.

    Veterans: SeniorLAW Center proudly serves those who served our country and offers special services to senior veterans 60 and older in a variety of civil legal matters. While the Department of Veterans Affairs and Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs offer a variety of programs and services for veterans, neither include victim services or legal advocacy and assistance for veterans. This project serves two underserved populations in Pennsylvania: older people and veterans. We offer enhanced services through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for veterans who were affected by economic or other crimes. We collaborate with veterans groups, leaders, legal and nonprofit partners and others to address the needs of senior veterans as holistically as possible.

    Community Legal Clinics: SeniorLAW Center offers direct services in seven diverse Philadelphia communities at senior-focused venues on recurring dates and times each month. Community-based services expand our ability to reach isolated clients, increase access and provide services in a comfortable environment in seniors’ own neighborhoods. We believe it is essential to serve clients in the neighborhoods in which they live and congregate, and in their own languages.

    Limited English Proficient Seniors: SeniorLAW Center proudly provides legal, educational and advocacy services to older adults in their own neighborhoods and languages.

    Pro Bono Action for Community Impact in Pennsylvania: This project leverages pro bono partnerships with law firms and corporate counsel to fight for systemic changes that expand legal protections and resources for vulnerable seniors. In partnership with AARP and Legal Counsel for the Elderly in Washington, D.C., this project uses the power of pro bono not to represent individual clients, as we have done at SeniorLAW Center for over 40 years, but to change the systems which affect whole communities of older people, including older Pennsylvanians statewide.

    Pension Project: SeniorLAW Center is proud to be the Pennsylvania partner on the Mid-America Pension Rights Project, a regional pension counseling project, serving Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. This project includes those under 60 or those who are not Pennsylvania residents but who are seeking retirement benefits from a Pennsylvania-based company or employment. This project provides expansive services in the area of pension rights, including: Eligibility and rights; Benefit rights for spouses and survivors; Rights of divorced individuals; Finding lost pensions; Pension denials and appeals; Pursue pension questions and problems through the administrative process; Where litigation is required, the Mid-America Pension Rights Project may be able to assist people in finding a pension attorney to bring their case to court.

    Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Services include: direct legal representation to eligible older adults who are or want to be kinship caretakers in both Dependency Court (when abuse or neglect and the child welfare system is involved) and Domestic Relations Court; legal advice, information and referral regarding kinship care issues; advice, information and referrals to resources and supports that can be of assistance to those providing care;
    Advocating for systemic changes to improve kinship caregivers’ lives and protect their rights; Community outreach events and trainings regarding Kinship Care issues

    Other Services: Advocacy through participation on task forces, councils, roundtables, coalitions and committees concerned with aging, access to justice, poverty, women’s rights, domestic violence, intergenerational families, equality and other key issues. Community and professional education workshops on legal issues affecting the elderly. Law student training for students who work at SeniorLAW Center to develop skills in client counseling and representation, negotiating, advocacy, research and legal writing and elder law issues. Many diverse pro bono programs, practice groups, Life Planning Clinics, and other pro bono opportunities.

  • Karen C. Buck, Esq.
  • Dana N. Goldberg, Esq.
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