Category

LGBT

Aging as LGBT: Two Stories

By | BLOG, Health Equity, LGBT, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

Tina and Jackie were born in the same town in 1947. Despite similar beginnings, their lives take very different turns. In 1967, Tina meets Frank. And Jackie meets Frances. As a same-sex couple, Jackie and Frances couldn’t marry, were denied spousal benefits, and experienced a lifetime of discrimination and lost wages. Fast forward to today, and Jackie, like so many other older adults, struggles with financial insecurity, social isolation, and overall lack of health and well-being, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Read More

New Fact Sheet: New Guidance on Spousal & Survival Benefits for Married LGBT Individuals

By | FACT SHEET, LGBT, REPORTS, Social Security | No Comments

On March 1, 2017 the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it would reopen its decisions to deny spousal or survivor’s benefits to individuals who had been married to someone of the same sex, and whose marriage wasn’t recognized because of a discriminatory state or federal ban on marriage.

This ruling and policy applies not only to individuals who were denied benefits after the Supreme Court struck down federal discrimination against same-sex spouses (in United States v. Windsor in 2013) and state discrimination (in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015), but also to individuals who applied for and did not receive benefits before these Supreme Court decisions because of the discriminatory laws in effect at the time they applied.

A new Fact Sheet on this guidance includes more detailed information about who is affected by the new guidance, who isn’t, and what advocates and their clients should do to get their cases reopened.

This fact sheet was authored in collaboration with our partners at SAGE, Lambda Legal, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

New Medicare Fact Sheets for LGBTQ People

By | BLOG, Health Care, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, LGBT, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments
Ever since the Supreme Court first overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and then, in 2015, making same-sex marriage legal in every state, there has been a flood of changes in how government programs address the needs of LGBT individuals. For people who qualify for Medicare, there are many important changes:

  • Married same sex couples now have coverage for Medicare and Medicaid under the same rules as opposite-sex married couples.
  • Transgender individuals have protection from discriminatory treatment in health care.

Read More

July 5: Immediate Changes to Medicaid Managed Care

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Language Access, LGBT, Long Term Care, Medicaid | No Comments
On July 5, the first wave of new Medicaid managed care regulation requirements go into effect. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final Medicaid managed care rule this spring, introducing sweeping changes to how the federal government will regulate the entities that manage long-term services and supports (LTSS). While many of regulation’s big ticket items will be implemented over the course of the year, a few important pieces go live this summer. Justice in Aging will discuss these changes in a free webinar on June 30. Here’s a short list of some of the items we’ll be discussing. Read More

New Regulation Prohibits Discrimination in Health Care: Key Highlights for Aging Advocates

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Language Access, LGBT | No Comments
Aging advocates working to promote health equity got some good news and extensive summer reading last week. After much anticipation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final regulations that seek to transform care for underserved communities by ending discrimination in health care services and settings. Read More

Big Win For Married LGBT SSI Recipients

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, LGBT, LITIGATION, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments
The last few weeks have brought some good news regarding Held v. Colvin, a case we (along with Foley Hoag LLP and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD) filed in March 2015 against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Plaintiffs Hugh Held and Kelley Richardson-Wright and a proposed nationwide class.

We filed this case to stop SSA from attempting to collect “overpayments” from very low income people over 65 and people with disabilities receiving SSI who had been married to someone of the same sex on or before June 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Read More

Advancing Health Equity for Older Adults

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Language Access, LGBT, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Homes | No Comments
When John’s partner, Jack, moved into a nursing facility, the staff, who were uncomfortable assisting a gay man, let 16 days pass before helping him take a shower. “He was finally taken in for a shower by a staff member with empathy,” John shared. Afraid of future neglect and discrimination, John began checking Jack out of the nursing facility and bringing him home to their apartment to help Jack shower and shave.

John should not have to worry about a nursing facility neglecting Jack due to his sexual orientation. As an 83 year-old caregiver, John should not face the additional burden of replacing Jack’s neglected care. Read More

WEBINAR: Prohibiting Health Services Discrimination: Proposed Rule and Insight for Aging Advocates

By | Health Care, LGBT, WEBINAR | No Comments
When: Wednesday, October 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Recent proposed regulations released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provide a unique opportunity to address discrimination in health care settings, including new provisions to address language access, gender identity discrimination, and access for individuals with disabilities.  The proposed regulations, which were issued to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, represent a positive first step toward improving health equity. Advocates for older adults should seize the opportunity to significantly strengthen the regulations by participating in the comment process.

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LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field

By | LGBT, Long Term Care, REPORTS | No Comments
Imagine being out and proud all of your adult life and then moving into a long-term care facility and having to go back into the closet because you don’t feel safe coming out to staff and other residents. Imagine being dismissed and disrespected when you advocate strongly for the rights of your same-sex companion while she’s being cared for in a nursing home. Imagine feeling like you have to endure homophobic comments from a personal care worker assigned to you because you’re afraid of how he’ll treat you if you speak up.

These anecdotes are not only true; they’re common experiences for LGBT older adults. And they’re all in our ground-breaking report, LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field. Published in 2010, the report is still making waves in policy circles. In honor of Pride 2015, we’re re-releasing a fresh version of the report for those who may have missed it, along with its accompanying video.

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