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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: December 15, 2011
DHSS-124-2011





NEW DELAWARE SENIOR LEGAL HOTLINE WILL HELP OLDER DELAWAREANS GET FREE ADVICE AND ENSURE THEIR RIGHTS


New Castle - Through the new Delaware Senior Legal Hotline, Delawareans 60 and older can receive free legal advice on a variety of issues.

Advice will be provided by either a Delaware Volunteer Legal Services staff attorney or volunteer attorneys. If the issue requires more than advice, the caller will be screened for free legal services and, if eligible, will be referred to Community Legal Aid Society (CLASI), Delaware Volunteer Legal Services (DVLS) or the Legal Services Corporation of Delaware (LSCD). There are no income requirements for the hotline.

The Delaware Senior Legal Hotline -- (302) 478-8850 in New Castle County and (800) 773-0606 in Kent and Sussex counties - is available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

"With our increasingly complex world, it's important that Delaware's seniors have a trusted and free resource like the hotline to turn to whenever the need for legal advice arises," Gov. Jack Markell said. "Whether the issue involves housing, health care or finances, our older residents should be reassured that help is just a phone call away."

As Delaware's older population continues to grow, Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said the Delaware Senior Legal Hotline will be an increasingly valuable resource.

"The hotline will assist older Delawareans in accessing quality legal services to ensure their rights and financial security," Landgraf said. "The ability to call the hotline and get answers to legal questions before a crisis arises will benefit many of our older citizens."

In 2010, the Division of Services for Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities, in partnership with Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI), Delaware Volunteer Legal Services (DVLS) and Delaware Helpline (211), was awarded a three-year Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance grant through the U.S. Administration on Aging. As part of the grant, a "Legal Handbook for Older Delawareans" was printed, a legal needs assessment of older Delawareans was conducted and the Senior Legal Hotline was developed and implemented.

The Delaware Senior Legal Hotline -- (302) 478-8850 in New Castle County and (800) 773-0606 in Kent and Sussex counties - is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

For more information about the hotline, call Denise Weeks-Tappan, planning supervisor in the state Division of Services for Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities, at (302) 255-9390.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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