New LAEP Grants to Increase Effectiveness of Legal Assistance for Older Americans

September 15, 2022

In response to the growing elder rights and legal assistance needs of older Americans, ACL has awarded a total of $819,455 in three-year Legal Assistance Enhancement Program (LAEP) grants to Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc., Iowa Legal Aid, Montana Legal Services Association, and Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. The grantees will use the funds to expand access to justice through delivery of legal assistance for older Americans with social or economic need, strengthen collaboration between legal service providers and the aging network, and improve substantive skills for legal service providers to assist older Americans with their legal needs.

2022 LAEP Grantees

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma (LASO), in partnership with the 11 Oklahoma Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), the Community Living, Aging and Protective Services Division (CAP) of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, and the Oklahoma Conference of Churches (OCC), will enhance and expand access to justice to underserved older adults in Oklahoma and specifically target outreach to rural elders and older adults with limited English proficiency by providing Vietnamese and Spanish translations. This project will also increase legal providers’ substantive expertise and skills and strengthen community partnerships.

Iowa Legal Aid

Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa Department on Aging, and Iowa’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), in partnership with the American Red Cross and the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, will increase understanding among older rural Iowans regarding how to respond to their unique issues in planning for disasters and responding to the legal problems that often arise for older adults during disaster recovery. Legal aid lawyers will be assigned to geographic areas lacking broadband access, establish a mobile intake unit, and integrate legal services with disaster preparation and response. Clients will receive a full range of legal assistance, from advice and education to full representation, focused on the areas of housing, income, healthcare, and decisional supports, such as powers of attorney.

Montana Legal Services Association

The Montana Legal Services Association, in partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), will expand and enhance Montana’s current elder rights services by providing civil legal assistance to older Montanans and creating a more cohesive network in partnership with Montana elder service providers. This project will have a strong focus on assisting tribal elders and will additionally emphasize strengthening relationships with Montana’s Adult Protective Services (APS) and Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) to reach older adults experiencing problems that have legal solutions. The overarching project goal is to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, quality, availability, and accessibility of legal aid services for older adults in Montana.

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., will test an innovative model for bringing legal assistance resources to older persons where they live. They will offer legal assistance onsite to historically underserved older adults to build stronger collaborations. This project expands access to legal services by co-locating legal aid within a low-income housing complex that is home to many older adults and persons with disabilities. This effort will empower older adults by helping them resolve legal issues that will improve their safety and independence, while also strengthening the collaboration between legal services providers and the aging network.

Learn more about Legal Assistance Enhancement Program (LAEP) | ACL Administration for Community Living


Last modified on 09/15/2022


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