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New Law in California Makes Organ Donation the Default

California has taken steps to increase the number of organ donors in the State.  On January 1, 2019,  A.B. 3211 went into effect.  The new law makes three changes to California’s Advanced Health Directive (AHCD) law, which clarify patients’ rights regarding organ donation.

Organ donation is now the default choice.

The new law simplifies the choice to donate organs and/or tissue by making the choice all inclusive.  Donation is now the default, and if a person wishes not to donate, they must say so.  Instead of separate questions, the new form has just one choice for those electing to donate.  The new language says that upon death, organs, tissue, and parts can be donated for transplantation, therapy, research and education.  Individuals can specify exceptions or cross out any of the choices in the general donation clause. (more…)

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What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

If you slipped and hit your head, and ended up in the hospital in a coma, who would manage your finances?  Does that person have the legal authority to access your accounts, pay your bills, and handle your property?  If you are a senior, you should know the answer to these questions.  Anyone can become incapacitated, and planning for this can save you and your family a lot of time, money, and headache.  A Durable Power of Attorney is one of the key documents to plan for incapacity. (more…)

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New Law Will Make SSI Recipients Eligible for CalFresh in 2019

Beginning in summer of 2019, seniors in California who receive Social Security Income (SSI)/State Supplemental Payment (SSP) benefits will also be able to apply for CalFresh food benefits.  California had been the only state in the nation to exclude SSI/SSP recipients from receiving food stamps.  This new law will help reduce hunger and poverty among California’s seniors.

The CalFresh food program is California’s largest social service program to help relieve hunger and malnutrition in the state.  Over 4 million California residents receive an average of $130 per month to purchase food.  With this change in the law, eligible seniors will be able to receive a monthly CalFresh food benefit to help meet their basic needs.  Importantly, the receipt of CalFresh benefits will not count as income or resources for the purposes of calculating SSI/SSP benefits. (more…)

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As California’s Population Ages, Resources Grow Thin

Millions of seniors are struggling to meet their basic needs.  From health care to housing to caregiving, there are not enough resources to go around, according to a new article in the LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-next-california-demographics/#nws=mcnewsletter).   These struggles will only grow as the population of California’s seniors, the fastest-growing population, continues to increase.  In 2016, there were 5.5 million seniors in California.  By 2060, that number is expected to climb to 13.5 million, or 26% of the population (from 14%).  (more…)

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5 Tips For Protecting Yourself From Financial Abuse

Financial abuse costs seniors billions of dollars a year. 

All across the country, seniors are the victims of scams, fraud, and other types of financial abuse.  Seniors are targeted in all kinds of ways.  A scammer on the phone pretends to be law enforcement and says you will be arrested if you do not pay unpaid fines for missing jury duty.  A family member helps themselves your savings account.  An insurance agent convinces you to buy an annuity that ties up your money with no benefit to you.

Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself and your assets from many kinds of financial abuse. (more…)

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What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

You may have heard of an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), or you may already have one in place.  The following explains what an Advance Health Care Directive is and why it is important to planning for incapacity.  Incapacity can happen gradually, such as when we near the end of life, or suddenly, such as when we suffer from a stroke or other health crisis.  If not planned for, incapacity can create a myriad of problems. Taking action while you can make sound decisions will help you and your loved ones manage your care in the future. (more…)

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2702 Clayton Rd.
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Concord, CA 94519
(925) 609-7900
legalhelp@ccsls.org

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Our Mission

The mission of CCSLS is to protect the rights of seniors. By providing legal services, the organization is also able to mediate poverty and improve health outcomes for the population it serves. Lawyers are uniquely qualified to help identify and address legal issues that impede the ability of seniors to remain healthy and independent.