Help for Seniors
Bay Area Legal Services’ Senior Advocacy programs provide free advice and representation on civil legal matters to eligible Hillsborough and Pasco county residents aged 60 and over. Our senior advocacy programs can provide services to seniors without regard to income, although extended services are generally provided to those who would otherwise have limited access to justice. Our elder law advocates help our clients regain and retain their dignity, self-determination, and quality of life. Services include:
- Advance Planning: Helping you maintain your independence and helping ensure that your needs can be met your way through assistance with advance planning documents like a health care surrogate designation, a living will stating your decisions regarding life-prolonging procedures, and when appropriate, a durable power of attorney; providing advice on the benefits and detriments of related options; providing educational presentations to groups on these topics.
- Caregiver Advocacy: Helping caregivers who are 60 and older and caregivers of those who are 60 and older with specialized assistance on a holistic basis: services may include providing a health care proxy affidavit, assisting with temporary legal custody or adoption, or saving the home of your caregiving family.
- Consumer Protection: Helping you protect your income and property through advice or representation concerning your rights as a consumer or as a debtor.
- Family Law: Helping you protect yourself and your family through advice or representation concerning divorce, custody, adoption, name change, and other family law matters.
- Health Care Rights: Helping you preserve your Medicaid and Medicare rights.
- Housing Preservation: Helping you preserve your housing and prevent homelessness through assistance with foreclosure prevention, landowner or landlord-tenant problems, and other shelter issues.
- Income Preservation: Helping you maintain income and benefits you need through advice or assistance regarding wage and Unemployment Compensation problems and entitlement program issues.
BALS also manages the Florida Senior Legal Helpline (SLH), a free statewide telephone advice and referral service for Florida residents aged 60 or older who live outside of Hillsborough and Pasco counties. You may contact the SLH at 1.888.895.7873 to determine if you qualify. The SLH, funded by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and The Florida Bar Foundation, does impose financial guidelines.
- Bankruptcy FAQs: www.flmb.uscourts.gov/faqs
- Employment discrimination: http://www.eeoc.gov
- Federal Communications Commission: http://www.fcc.gov
- Federal Trade Commission: http://ftc.gov
- Foreclosure prevention/modification information: http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
- Medicaid HMO regulation, Agency for Health Care Administration: http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency: http://www.occ.treas.gov
- Social Security Administration: http://ssa.gov
- Agency for Health Care Administration: http://ahca.myflorida.com/
- Elder abuse hotline: 1-800-962-2873
- Elder Consumer Protection Program: http://www.law.stetson.edu/elderconsumers/
- Florida Attorney General: http://www.myfloridalegal.com
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Consumer-Services
- Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr
- Florida Department of Elder Affairs: http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/index.php
- Florida Department of Financial Services: http://www.myfloridacfo.com
- Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Committee: http://ombudsman.myflorida.com
- Public benefits application: www.myflorida.com/accessflorida
- Senior programs and referrals: Elder Helpline: 1-800-963-5337
- Seniors vs. Crime: http://www.seniorsvscrime.com/offices.htm
- Unemployment compensation (Help Center/Reemployment Assistance Program): http://www.floridajobs.org
- West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging: http://agingflorida.com
- 13th Judicial Circuit Advance Directives website: www.fljud13.org/adap.aspx
- 13th Judicial Circuit website: www.fljud13.org
- Affordable Housing Services: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/affordablehousingoffice
- Aging Resource Center: http://www.agingflorida.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88&Itemid=87
- Consumer Protection Agency: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/consumerprotection
- Crisis Center for community resources: www.crisiscenter.org
- Domestic violence shelter, The Spring of Tampa Bay: www.thespring.org
- Elder Helpline: http://www.agingflorida.com/index .php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19&Itemid=2
- Elder Justice Center (Court Programs): http://www.fljud13.org/
- Family Justice Center: www.fjchc.org
- Family Forms Clinic: https://www.bals.org/self-help-and-links/family-forms-clinic
- Federally subsidized housing: City of Tampa: http://www.thafl.com;
- Federally subsidized housing : Hillsborough County (Affordable Housing Services): www.hillsboroughcounty.org/
- Food Stamp (SNAP) application assistance: http://www.agingflorida.net/downloads/snap.pdf
- Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court: www.hillsclerk.com
- Job information: http://silver.employflorida.com/portals/silver
- Legal Information Center, family law matters: http://www.fljud13.org/LegalCommunity/ForCitizens/LegalInformationCenter/AboutUs.aspx
- Public records: www.hillsclerk.org
- SHINE, prescription drug assistance program and Medicare or Medicaid program questions: http://www.agingflorida.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=37
- Best Holland's playground: http://www.cop17-cmp7durban.com
- 6th Judicial Circuit: www.jud6.org
- Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.: http://www.agingcarefl.org/
- Community Resources: United Way of Pasco: www.unitedwaypasco.org
- Domestic Violence Resources:
East Pasco: Sunrise Domestic Violence Center: www.sunrisepasco.org;
West Pasco: Salvation Army: www.uss.salvationarmy.org
- Online Public Records: www.pascoclerk.com
- Pasco County Clerk of the Court: www.pascoclerk.com