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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.

Helpful links

Federal

Florida

Hillsborough County

Pasco County