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Get ready for Giving Tuesday!

Holiday Gifts List Post-ItThis holiday season, as you prepare to do your holiday shopping on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, don’t forget to save a little to support CCSLS on #GivingTuesday!  This year, Giving Tuesday is December 3, 2019.

We support the most vulnerable seniors in Contra Costa County.  Our mission is to ensure that seniors have access to the services they need to thrive.

It’s never too early …

Donate here!

We thank you for your support and wish you a wonderful holiday.

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Sign Up for the CCC Community Warning System

Fire alarm metal boxWhat is the Community Warning System?

Contra Costa County’s Community Warning System (CWS) gives Contra Costa County residents warnings about threats to life or health.  For example, the system warns about hazardous materials incidents, law enforcement activities, missing persons, utility outages, gas leaks, road closures, man-made disasters, and inclement weather.

The CWS is a partnership among several agencies.  These include the Office of the Sheriff, the Health Services Department, and other public, private, and nonprofit agencies. (more…)

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CalFresh Benefits Replacement Available for Those Affected by Power Outages

Fruits and vegetables displayedThe California Department of Social Services put out this infographic on getting CalFresh benefits replacements for those affected by power outages.  You have until November 8, 2019 to request a replacement if your food spoiled.

To make a request, contact the local Contra Costa County office at (877) 505-4630.   For more information on CalFresh, check out Contra Costa’s website here: https://ehsd.org/benefits/calfresh-formerly-known-as-food-stamps/

 

 

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Governor Signs Rent Control Law for All Californians

Apartment buildingLast month, the California Legislature approved a new law (the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, or AB 1482) with various tenant protections, including rent control for the entire state.  Governor Gavin Newson recently signed it into law.  This is great news for Contra Costa County tenants.  Currently, no city in Contra Costa except for Richmond has any rent control protections.  Under the new law, starting on January 1, 2020, the majority of California tenants will be protected. (more…)

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California’s Master Plan for Aging Prioritizes Elder Abuse

Gavin NewsomGovernor Gavin Newsom released an Executive Order to developed a Master Plan for Aging this June.  The goal is for the state and local government, the private sector, and philanthropists to “build an age-friendly state so that all Californians can age with dignity and independence.”

California Voters Support the Master Plan for Aging

new poll that asked 1000 California voters to weigh in on the initiative revealed that an overwhelming majority (76.2%) support the plan.  When asked their priorities, 73.6% identified elder abuse prevention among their top priorities, with 34% ranking it first, more than any other single issue.  The poll was conducted for We Stand With Seniors, a public awareness campaign co-founded by two nonprofits, West Health and The SCAN Foundation.

CEJC Calls for Spotlighting Elder JusticeCalifornia Elder Justice Coalition Logo

The California Elder Justice Coalition (CEJC), a network of 85 organizations, individuals, and coalitions, is urging policy makers to engage in elder justice.  They articulated several goals, including providing a “No Wrong Door” approach for reporting elder and dependent adult abuse.  They also want to ensure that all older adults have advance health care directives, and that individuals with cognitive impairments or dementia have supports in place.  Importantly, CEJC acknowledges that larger issues, such as access to housing and public benefits and freedom from discrimination, are critical to equality for older adults.

Contra Costa Senior Legal Services Supports Older Victims of Abuse 

Contra Costa EAPP

Our Elder Abuse Prevention Project includes a “No Wrong Door” model.  This means that elder abuse survivors can more easily access a variety of services.  Our partnership includes:

  • Adult Protective Services
  • Meals on Wheels Diablo Region
  • Family Justice Center
  • STAND! For Families Free of Violence
  • Contra Costa Office of the Ombudsman
  • Contra Costa Office of the District Attorney – Victim Witness
  • Contra Costa Mental Health Department

If you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, call Adult Protective Services at 925-602-4179.

 

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Do You Have Your Real ID? You May Need It!

What is a REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act was passed in 2005, and is already in effect.  But, beginning in October 2020, all states will need to comply.   There will be new restrictions on the kinds of identification that people can use to board flights and enter federal buildings.  A California issued REAL ID driver license or identification card meets these new requirements.  California REAL IDs are marked with a gold bear and star.

 

Comparing REAL ID with non-REAL ID license

Photo from https://realid.dmv.ca.gov/what-is-real-id-faq/

Do I need one?

You only need a REAL ID if you want to fly from the U.S. or enter federal buildings, such as federal courthouses and nuclear power plants.  However, you do NOT need it to apply for or receive federal benefits from organizations, such as Veterans Affairs or the Social Security Administration.  You also do not need it to enter the post office.

How do I get a Real ID?

Applying for a REAL ID requires proofs of identity, social security number (SSN) if eligible, California residency, and a trip to a DMV office.  Here is the official document checklist.  You can fill out the application online, but you cannot get a REAL ID online — you have to got to the DMV in person.

For more information, check out California’s REAL ID website.

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Can’t Afford a Phone? Try Lifeline!

Person holding cell phoneWhat is Lifeline?

Lifeline is a federal program to help low-income Americans get a landline or cell phone (but not both).  Lifeline provides a discount on monthly service of $9.25 per month.  There are several companies in California that provide cell phone and landline services through Lifeline.  You can use this tool to see what companies provide service in your area.

How do I qualify?

To qualify for Lifeline, your income must be 135% or less of the federal poverty level ($16,861.50/year for a single person).  However, you may also qualify if you participate in certain programs, like SSI, Medi-Cal (Medicaid), CalFresh (SNAP), or Section 8 housing.

You will need the following information to apply:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (or Tribal identification number)
  • Address

You may also need additional documents to prove your identity.

How can I apply?

You can apply online in California at https://californialifeline.com.  You can also call 1-866-272-0349 for English.  The California Lifeline program also provides assistance in several languages.

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Announcement: Estate Planning Clinic for Low Income Seniors Available Oct. 2019

Lawyer shaking hands with clientJohn F. Kennedy University is restarting its free elder law clinic in October 2019.  This clinic is for low-income seniors who want a will, trust, durable power of attorney, and advance health care directive.  To qualify, seniors (60+) must have an income of no more than $2500/month for a single person or $3500/month for married couples, with no assets except for a home.

Clinic Dates / Times:

  • October 8, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • October 15, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

This clinic has limited availability, so call soon for an appointment.  To sign up, call (925) 609-7900.   Our office will screen clients for eligibility and send them a homework sheet.  Clients must provide a $10 check in advance to hold their space, though it will be given back upon arrival.

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Contact Us

2702 Clayton Rd.
Suite 202

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

Events Calendar

For our upcoming events, check out our calendar.

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.