All Posts By

Katrina Cohens

Free Webinar: The Impact of Medicaid Work Requirements on Family Caregivers and Older Adults

By | Health Care, Health Care Defense, Medicaid, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

When: Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 10am – 11 am PT/ 1 pm -2pm ET.

Medicaid is an important source of health insurance coverage for many of the 40 million family caregivers in the United States who do not have access to other affordable coverage options. However, many states are in the process of designing or implementing policies that require family caregivers and others who are eligible for Medicaid to work a certain number of hours per month or qualify for an exemption to maintain their health coverage. Despite “caregiver” exemptions, these burdensome work requirements will cause many family caregivers who are in fact eligible for Medicaid to lose their coverage.

This webinar highlights key findings from a new Justice in Aging issue brief. We discuss our state-by-state survey of how Medicaid work requirements apply to family caregivers and analysis of the particular harms they will cause to family caregivers and the older adults they care for.

Closed captioning is available on this webinar. 

Learn more and read the brief

Who Should Participate:
Aging, family caregiver, and legal advocates and others wanting to learn more about how Medicaid work requirements impact family caregivers and older adults.

Presenters:
Natalie Kean, Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging
Lynn Friss Feinberg, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute

Moderator: 
Jennifer Goldberg, Directing Attorney, Justice in Aging

This webinar took place on Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 10am – 11 am PT/ 1 pm-2pm ET.

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Free Webinar: Changes to the “Public Charge” Rule and the Impact on Older Adults

By | Economic Security, Health Care, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, WEBINAR

When: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 10 am-11 am PT/1-2 pm ET.

The Trump Administration has proposed a rule that would hurt millions of older adults in immigrant families. Proposed changes to the “public charge” rule put immigration status at risk if an immigrant accesses or is likely to access programs that support health, nutrition, and economic stability. Confusion about the changes may lead to older adults forgoing services out of fear of potential immigration consequences.

This webinar, Changes to the “Public Charge” Rule and the Impact on Older Adults, provides an overview of the existing public charge rule and key proposed changes, including the addition of certain government benefits older adults rely on, and details on how immigration officials make the public charge determination. We also discuss the possible impacts on the lives of older adult immigrants and their families. The webinar includes tips on how advocates should be counseling their older adult clients and concludes with a summary of the regulatory timeline and what advocates can do to fight back against this harmful proposal. Justice in Aging will be releasing additional materials on the public charge proposal and its impact on older adults soon.

Who Should Participate:
Aging and legal advocates, community-based providers, health plan leaders, and others wanting to learn more about changes to public charge and the impact on older adults.

Presenters:
Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Director of Income and Work Supports, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Natalie Kean, Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging

Moderator:
Denny Chan, Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging

This webinar took place on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 10 am- 11am PT/1-2 pm ET.

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Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney- Oakland or Los Angeles Office

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Justice in Aging seeks an attorney with a strong commitment to elder justice and legal services for older adults to join our organization. The successful candidate will strengthen Justice in Aging’s elder justice initiatives to protect the health and economic security of older Americans, with particular focus on older adults of color, women, those with limited English proficiency, and LGBTQ older adults. The attorney will also play a key role in supporting legal services attorneys and the aging and disability network through the National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER), which Justice in Aging administers under a contract with the Administration for Community Living. The location for this position is Oakland or Los Angeles, CA.

Justice in Aging uses the power of law and our expertise in safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and SSI to fight senior poverty. Founded as a legal services back-up center in 1972, we have a rich tradition of successful, high-impact, strategic advocacy on behalf of the more than 7 million seniors living in poverty in America. The National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) is a national resource center for the legal services and aging and disability networks, focused on the legal rights of older adults with the greatest social and economic needs. Providing webinars, trainings, written materials, and case consultations, NCLER is a one-stop resource for professionals serving older adults.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Candidate review will begin on November 15, 2018. Questions about the position can be directed to Katrina Cohens, kcohens@justiceinaging.org.

Responsibilities

  • Work with our health, economic security, and NCLER teams to enhance our work on elder justice, including prevention of and remedies for elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
  • Develop written materials for both educational and advocacy purposes, including alerts, issue briefs, and training materials.
  • Develop training for the legal services, aging and disability networks and respond to technical assistance requests.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with members of the legal services, aging and disability networks, including legal services providers, social services providers, state units on aging, area agencies on aging, and others involved in protecting the legal rights of older adults and promoting elder justice.
  • Lead or participate in a range of advocacy efforts to promote elder justice.
  • Work with other Justice in Aging team members to advance organizational objectives.
  • As needed, supervise other attorneys, pro bono attorneys, fellows and law clerks.
  • Limited travel will be required.

Requirements

  • A J.D.
  • Experience providing direct legal services to low-income older adults.
  • Capacity to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Effective speaking, presentation, and written communication skills.

Desired

  • Experience advocating on or representing clients with elder justice issues, including elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
  • Familiarity with health and economic security programs for older adults, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and SSI.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, build internal and external relationships, and work with partners.
  • Experience with or interest in partnering with organizations serving diverse populations, such as communities of color.
  • Collegial, collaborative approach.
  • Diversity of personal and professional experience.
  • Passion for social justice for low-income older adults.

Compensation:

Salary for this position will range from $64,000 to $94,000, based on a fixed salary scale. Justice in Aging also offers a competitive benefits package, including health, dental and life insurance; flexible reimbursement plan; 403(b) retirement savings plan; paid parental leave, and generous vacation policy.

To Apply:

Please submit the following to Katrina Cohens, kcohens@justiceinaging.org:

  • cover letter that describes your interest in this particular position and how your skill set would be a good fit,
  • résumé,
  • one writing sample,
  • and three professional references.

In your cover letter, please address the following in order for your application to be considered:

  • At Justice in Aging we advocate for older adults, particularly those in populations that have traditionally lacked legal protection, such as women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with limited English proficiency. To promote social justice and best achieve our mission, Justice in Aging is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How do you think your personal and/or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences to your response.

Justice in Aging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to maintaining a diverse staff and we particularly encourage applications from members of racial and ethnic minority groups, women, the LGBTQ community, and others whose background may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.

Free Webinar: Social Security Benefits You’ve Never Heard of, and Who is Eligible for Them

By | Economic Security, Social Security, WEBINAR

When: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

When most people hear about “Social Security benefits,” the first thought that comes to mind is income for older people who have retired from work. It’s true that the Social Security system provides a foundation of retirement income that permits seniors to live in dignity, with over 43 million retired workers receiving benefits each month.

However, the Social Security system is also the foundation of economic security for millions of family members of retired, disabled or deceased workers. In addition to retirement benefits, Social Security offers disability insurance protection to workers and their spouse and children, as well as life insurance that pays monthly benefits to dependents if the worker dies.

Join this webinar to learn more about the eligibility requirements for benefits for spouses and ex-spouses, children, and parents. About one American family in four receives income from Social Security benefits, and many more could receive this income if they knew they were eligible.

Who Should Participate:
This webinar is designed for those who are new to Social Security benefits and others who want to learn more about the lesser-known aspects of the program.

Presenters:
Tracey Gronniger, Justice in Aging
Kate Lang, Justice in Aging

This webinar took place on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

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Free Webinar: Elder Financial Exploitation in California: Addressing the Impact on Public Benefits

By | Economic Security, Health Care, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

When: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT

Elder financial exploitation is a growing issue faced by older adults in California, and the effects of abuse impact the physical health, mental well-being, and financial stability of victims. Financial abuse is not limited to the wealthy. Perpetrators of abuse often target income benefits, and exploitation can interfere with older adults’ access to health care and long-term services and supports.

This webinar provides information on the intersection between elder financial abuse and public benefits, such as SSI, Medi-Cal, Medicare, and In-Home Services and Supports. Presenters provide the tools needed for civil legal aid attorneys and aging services providers in California to spot, prevent, and address threats to public benefits that arise from elder financial abuse. Attendees also get a preview of a new resource, Financial Exploitation of Older Adults: A Guide for Civil Legal Aid Attorneys in California.

Closed captioning is available on this webinar.

Presenters:
Amber Christ, Justice in Aging
Sarah Galvan, Justice in Aging

The webinar took place on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT.

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Issue Brief: Medicaid Enrollees Put at Risk When State Medicaid Programs Assume Support from Family Caregivers

By | Health Care, Health Care Defense, ISSUE BRIEF, Medicaid

A new Issue Brief reveals how states’ assumptions often deprive Medicaid recipients of needed assistance.

Under Medicaid law, all assistance by friends and family members must be voluntary. This brief, based on a review of over 100 administrative decisions in several states, shows how Medicaid programs violate this law to the detriment of people on Medicaid. Medicaid programs often deny services based on family assistance that is not available. This puts lives at risk, increases the chances that a beneficiary will have to be institutionalized, and forces families to make impossible choices between caring for a family member and going to work.

The issue brief outlines states’ responsibility to respect the voluntary nature of assistance, examines how some states approach the issue, and suggests public policy responses to ensure that states authorize adequate assistance.

Rachel Gershon, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Health Law and Economics co-authored this paper with Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson. The paper is part of a post-fellowship project with Justice in Aging and the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging. 

Free Webinar: Improvements to the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB) – Part Two

By | Health Care, Medicare, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

Part 2: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Qualified Medicare Savings Program (QMB) helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries pay for their health insurance by covering Part A and B premiums and cost-sharing. State Medicaid programs, which administer QMB, have a responsibility to screen for eligibility, but many individuals still face challenges enrolling into the QMB program. Another challenge is that even after beneficiaries are enrolled in the program, some Medicare providers, in violation of federal law, bill QMBs for costs covered by Medicare. In the past two years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented a number of changes to the QMB program, which touch both beneficiaries and providers, and are designed to reduce improper billing.

This two-part webinar, The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program: Eligibility, Challenges, and New Developments, provides an overview of the QMB program and eligibility criteria. The webinar also covers challenges to eligibility and under-utilization, and reviews the recent CMS administrative changes intended to curb improper billing.

Part Two of the two-part webinar provides:

  • An overview of the improper billing rules under the QMB program
  • A review of the recent CMS administrative changes

Who Should Participate: 

  • Aging and legal advocates, community-based providers, health plan leadership, and others wanting to learn more about the QMB program and improper billing.

Presenters:
Georgia Burke, Justice in Aging
Denny Chan, Justice in Aging

Part Two took place on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.

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Additional Materials

Free Webinar: Improvements to the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB) – Part One

By | Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

Part 1: Monday, September 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Qualified Medicare Savings Program (QMB) helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries pay for their health insurance by covering Part A and B premiums and cost-sharing. State Medicaid programs, which administer QMB, have a responsibility to screen for eligibility, but many individuals still face challenges enrolling into the QMB program. Another challenge is that even after beneficiaries are enrolled in the program, some Medicare providers, in violation of federal law, bill QMBs for costs covered by Medicare. In the past two years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented a number of changes to the QMB program, which touch both beneficiaries and providers, and are designed to reduce improper billing.

This two-part webinar, The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program: Eligibility, Challenges, and New Developments, provides an overview of the QMB program and eligibility criteria. The webinar also covers challenges to eligibility and under-utilization, and reviews the recent CMS administrative changes intended to curb improper billing.

Part One of the two-part webinar:

  • Provides an overview of the QMB program, including eligibility and utilization
  • Looks at challenges to enrollment, including state enrollment procedures and data transfer issues
  • Discusses recent improvements in enrollment procedures for individuals who need QMB because they do not have premium-free Medicare Part A.

Who Should Participate: 

  • Aging and legal advocates, community-based providers, health plan leadership, and others wanting to learn more about the QMB program and improper billing.

Presenters:
Georgia Burke, Justice in Aging
Denny Chan, Justice in Aging

Part One took place on Monday, September 24, 2018.

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Additional Materials

Fact Sheets: New Resources on How Trump’s Public Charge Impacts on Older Adult Immigrants

By | CA Health Network Alert, Economic Security, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicaid, Social Security

Advocates are preparing to respond to a new “public charge” rule from the Trump Administration that would put immigration status at risk if an immigrant seeks access to an array of programs that support health, nutrition, and economic stability.

If implemented, this rule would harm older immigrants, their families, and caregivers. The rule would make it much more difficult for U.S. citizens and residents to welcome aging parents or other family members into the country. Seniors and their families may be afraid to go to the doctor or get helping paying for food or rent. Additionally, many immigrant older adults work as caregivers for very low pay. This rule would make it harder for them to access benefits like Medicaid and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Justice in Aging has a new fact sheet that provides an overview of the harms to older adults, their families, and caregivers that the Trump Administration’s changes to the “public charge” rule pose.  A California fact sheet provides an overview of these harms looking at California-specific data and programs.

Racial Justice Fellowship for Summer 2019

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Justice in Aging is pleased to recruit for its second Racial Justice Fellowship for Summer 2019. The fellow may work in any of our three offices: Oakland, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. This is a paid fellowship.

The Position: Justice in Aging seeks a rising 3L (current 2L) with a passion for public interest law and a commitment to communities of color for a 10-week summer fellowship focused on the intersection of poverty, aging, and racial justice. The fellow will work with staff on projects that integrate Justice in Aging’s core programs—health care and economic security—with the fellow’s personal and professional interests.

During the fellowship, the fellow will have the opportunity to author a writing sample. The fellow will participate in all intern trainings and events, attend external stakeholder meetings and events, and have the opportunity to learn more about the legal non-profit world. The fellow will also prepare and present an internal training to the staff on a topic they have researched during the summer.

The fellow will be an integrated member of the Justice in Aging team and will participate in our substantive team meetings and in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Justice in Aging will pair the fellow with one attorney as a mentor for the summer. Justice in Aging is also interested in working with the summer fellow to craft a post-graduate fellowship application for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or the equivalent.

Compensation: The fellow will be provided a $5,000 stipend.

Qualifications: We seek current law school students with: (1) a genuine and demonstrated commitment to working on behalf of communities of color; (2) interest in aging issues; (3) high-caliber legal research and writing skills; and (4) the ability to take initiative and work independently. An interest in a public interest career is desirable. Individuals with ties to low-income, racial/ethnic minority communities, and other underserved populations are especially encouraged to apply.

The Organization: Justice in Aging is a 45-year old non-profit organization with a rich tradition of successful, high-impact strategic advocacy on behalf of more than 7 million seniors living in poverty in America. Justice in Aging works primarily in two areas: health care (including long-term services and supports) and economic security. We use a variety of legal tools to improve access to benefits for seniors, including producing educational materials for advocates, participating in administrative and legislative advocacy, litigating on behalf of older adults, and supporting direct legal services providers with complex legal issues.

Justice in Aging is the only aging organization to focus explicitly on issues of senior poverty and, as a part of that work, we recognize that senior poverty is often a result of historic and systemic discrimination based on race and other identities. We work to foster equity for older adults in our core program areas as well as working internally to create an inclusive environment where all staff members are supported and valued.

Application: Applications are accepted until Friday, September 28, 2018. First-round phone interviews will be conducted the weeks of September 24 and October 1.

To apply for the summer Racial Justice Fellowship, please send  the following materials to Katrina Cohens at kcohens@justiceinaging.org:

  1. cover letter,
  2. resume,
  3. writing sample,
  4. a list of three references

In your cover letter you must discuss how your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have shaped your interest in racial justice and aging issues.

Cover letters without this explanation will not be considered. Please also include any scheduling conflicts during the weeks of September 24 and October 1 that may affect your availability for a first-round phone interview.

Justice in Aging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to maintaining a diverse staff and we particularly encourage applications from members of racial and ethnic minority groups, women, the LGBTQ community, and others whose background may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.