Legal aid for seniors, poor
by Hawkins Teague
Jul 19, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are many legal problems that can surface for senior citizens.

Some may have questions regarding social security or living wills. Others need help with transferring power of attorney, and still others are hounded by creditors because they have built up large amounts of debt by paying for medicine they can’t afford with credit cards.

Since lots of seniors may have limited funds, there aren’t many places they can turn to. This is why Laurel King-Davis, a staff attorney for Kentucky Legal Aid, visits the Trigg County Senior Citizens Community Kitchen on the first Wednesday of every month.

Kentucky Legal Aid is a service that is paid for through a combination of United Way funding and federal and state grants, a kind of “patchwork quilt of money,” King-Davis said.

Scott Crocker, the executive director, said that about 40 percent of their expenses are covered by federal money. Another source is court-filing fees from around the state. Crocker said that a portion of each fee goes to them.

On most visits to the senior center, King-Davis keeps quite busy, generally advising eight or nine people, she said. Anyone 60 or older is eligible for the free service, no matter what their financial situation may be. Most have to do with wills or estates, but she said problems with credit card debt plague plenty of seniors. Many of them depend on expensive prescription drugs and out of desperation buy them with credit cards they can’t pay off.

This is why one of the services Kentucky Legal Aid provides is helping seniors get access to free drugs. It’s a valuable service, King-Davis said, because sometimes the cost of the drugs can be more than half of the money they have available for living expenses, which may be very low to begin with.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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