Older people sometimes need legal assistance. For those who cannot afford to pay privately for this assistance, the Older Americans Act requires states to provide legal services specifically to older persons age 60 and older, with the greatest economic and social need.
Every state has a Legal Assistance Developer who provides leadership and technical assistance. Developers often have other roles and responsibilities, including coordinating their states' elder rights efforts and promoting alternative legal assistance delivery systems. Developers refer persons in need of assistance to the appropriate legal providers for older individuals, help with outreach and public education, and direct the design and implementation of programmatic systems to improve the quality and quantity of legal assistance for the elderly in their individual states.
Legal assistance is advice and representation provided by an attorney for an older individual with economic or social needs. This includes:
The following are some typical examples of legal problems older persons present to the legal assistance programs:
| Family Matters:
Power of Attorney for Health Care
Supplemental Security Income
The Division of Adult Services and Aging does not directly provide legal assistance services. The Older Americans Act legal assistance in South Dakota is provided by the following contractors: