All Posts By

Vanessa Barrington

Health Staff Attorney

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Health Care and Long-Term Services and Supports
Los Angeles Office, Oakland or Washington DC Office

Justice in Aging seeks an attorney with a commitment to social justice to join our organization. The successful candidate will work closely with our strong, respected, and effective health team to ensure older adults receive the long-term services and supports that they require, with particular focus on older adults of color, women, those with limited English proficiency, and LGBTQ older adults. The attorney will assist in supporting legal services attorneys and aging and disability network professionals as part of the National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER), which Justice in Aging administers under a contract with the Administration for Community Living. This position can be based in any of our three offices – Los Angeles, Oakland or Washington DC.

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 with the greatest economic and social needs.

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

Responsibilities

  • Work with our health and NCLER teams to improve older adults’ access to long-term services and supports, including home and community-based services and nursing facility care.
  • Work with a directing attorney to develop written materials for both educational and advocacy purposes, including alerts, issue briefs, and training materials.
  • Work with a directing attorney to develop training for the legal services, aging and disability networks, and respond to questions and inquiries from persons in those networks.
  • 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.
  • Work with other Justice in Aging team members to advance organizational objectives.
  • Limited travel will be required.

Requirements

  • A J.D. and current admission to a state bar.
  • Capacity to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.

Desired

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to work as part of a team, build internal and external relationships, and work with partners.
  • Collegial, collaborative approach.
  • Diversity of personal and professional experience.
  • Passion for social justice for low-income older adults and desire to provide assistance to underserved populations.
  • Experience with or interest in partnering with organizations serving diverse populations and/or working with communities of color.
  • Experience with or interest in direct legal services for low-income individuals (including through law school clinics, for example).

Compensation:

Salary for this position will starts at $60,000 and rises based on a fixed salary scale commensurate with experience. 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, a sabbatical benefit, 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 regarding systemic injustice and the resulting inequities that often impact women, people of color, people with disabilities, 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, equity 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, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and others whose background may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.

Litigation Attorney

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Oakland or Los Angeles, CA Office

Justice in Aging seeks a litigation attorney with at least five years of experience to join our Oakland or Los Angeles, CA office. The successful candidate will work closely with the Litigation Director and the Litigation Team in developing and pursuing high impact cases that promote and defend the rights of older adults. The litigation attorney will be based in one of our California offices, but work closely with attorneys in all three of our offices (Washington, DC, Oakland and Los Angeles) on issues related to health, economic security, and preserving the social safety net for seniors. This attorney will identify, develop, and litigate impact cases primarily on behalf of older adults in California, and will also contribute to our litigation across the country.

Justice in Aging uses the power of law and our expertise in safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income to fight senior poverty. For more than 40 years we’ve focused on addressing systemic injustice and the resulting inequities that often impact women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with limited English proficiency.

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. Our litigation program partners with local advocates and pro bono partners across the country to monitor legal issues that impact our clients and advance systemic litigation to protect their rights. This Litigation Attorney position presents an excellent opportunity to contribute to this impactful work in a time when the challenges to the safety net older adults rely on could not be greater.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Candidate review will begin on October 7, 2019. Questions about the position can be directed to Katrina Cohens at kcohens@justiceinaging.org.

Responsibilities:

  • Handle cases to promote and defend the rights of older adults in federal and state courts, with a focus on litigation impacting older Californians.
  • Develop and prosecute cases, including research, investigations, discovery, motions practice, trials, and appeals. Negotiate possible settlements in lieu of trial where appropriate.
  • Work closely with the Litigation Director and members of the Litigation Team, as well as advocates and pro bono partners in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Work with Justice in Aging attorneys to identify new cases that address systemic inequities based on race, gender, disability, language, immigration status, and LGBTQ identity.
  • As needed, supervise fellows, law clerks, pro bono attorneys, and other staff or consultants.
  • Limited travel will be required.

Requirements:

  • A J.D., with admission in the CA Bar (or admission in another Bar with eligibility for admission in CA).
  • Five to ten years of hands-on litigation experience (may be partially fulfilled with other relevant experience).
  • Strong legal writing, analytical and advocacy skills.

Desired:

  • Experience in the federal bar, in complex system reform litigation and/or a judicial clerkship are highly desirable.
  • Familiarity and passion for civil rights protections and public entitlements applicable to older adults (e.g., Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, Social Security, or the Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Commitment to using the law to address systemic injustice and resulting inequities.
  • Collegial, collaborative approach.
  • Diversity of personal and professional experience.
  • Ability to work independently, meet deadlines, and produce a high quality work product.

Compensation:

Salary for this position starts at $76,500 and rises based on a fixed salary scale commensurate with experience. Justice in Aging also offers a competitive benefits package, including health, dental and life insurance; flexible reimbursement plan; 403(b) retirement savings plan; 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, 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 regarding systemic injustice and the resulting inequities that often impact 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 or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity, equity 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, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and others whose background may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities

Issue Brief & Fact Sheet: What’s at Stake for Older Adults When States Eliminate Retroactive Medicaid Coverage?

By | Affordable Care Act, FACT SHEET, Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, Long Term Care, Medicaid

Retroactive Medicaid coverage is a key financial protection that helps older adults and others who develop sudden illnesses or long term care needs access the care they need right away. It is a smart policy intended to protect low-income people from crushing medical debt in instances where they need emergency medical or long-term care and cannot apply for Medicaid immediately. But several states are eliminating this protection through Medicaid demonstration waivers approved by the federal government.

A new Justice in Aging issue brief—Medicaid Retroactive Coverage: What’s at Stake for Older Adults When States Eliminate This Protection?—discusses typical situations that cause older adults to need Medicaid retroactive coverage, and how the policy helps them access care, while protecting them from financial hardship. The issue brief also delves into how states are using waivers to eliminate this coverage, which states are doing so, and how older adults, their families, and health care providers are harmed when the coverage is eliminated. A companion fact sheet provides a higher level view of the issue.

 

Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

ETTV America: Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer (May 29, 2019)

Even when faced with questionable or improper behavior, many AAPI older adults may decide not to speak up.  In a mini-series highlighting individuals for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, ETTV – a Chinese-language television station – interviewed Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney Denny Chan.  In addition to sharing his personal story of why he advocates for low-income seniors, Denny discusses reasons why AAPI older adults might stay quiet, even if they are improperly billed for medical services, and encourages them to be involved in their healthcare.  “Many older adults in our community feel an immense sense of gratitude after immigrating from their home countries.  Their benefits may be better here than where they came from.  Of course, this is something to appreciate, but older adults should speak up if they are mistreated by the government.” This interview is in Chinese.

Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population?

By | IN THE NEWS, SENIOR POVERTY

KPBS: Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population? (May 22, 2019)

California’s senior population is set to double over the next 25 years. And the state’s high cost of living means a life of poverty for hundreds of thousands of older Californians. KPBS media in San Diego hosted a live panel discussion with aging and economic security experts to discuss how the state can best meet the needs of an aging population while also ensuring that low-income older adults can meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and health care. Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville participated in this wide-ranging panel discussion.

Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security

Fast Company: Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.  (May 8, 2019)

Around half of Americans approaching retirement have no retirement savings. This is due to declining wages and pensions, high housing and health care costs, longevity, and myriad other reasons. There is no single solution, but there are actions businesses and policy makers can take that would help. One is to pay people more. “The fact that wages have been so stagnant for the middle class has really impacted the ability of people to save,” said Kevin Prindiville, Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, who was interviewed for the article. Creating more ways for people to saved, expanding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and creating more affordable housing are other solutions Justice in Aging proposes in the article.

Health Care for Elders with Limited English (in Chinese)

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

AARP TV: Health Care for Elders with Limited English (May 1, 2019)

There are currently about five million older adults with limited English proficiency in the United States, and the numbers are growing. It is important that LEP older adults know their rights in health care settings, and feel comfortable speaking up and asking for materials to be translated into their language or for translation services, if needed. This interview with Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney, Denny Chan talks to AARP about how LEP seniors can learn about and exercise their rights. This interview is subtitled in Chinese.

Health Care for Elders with Limited English (in English)

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

AARP TV: Health Care for Elders with Limited English (May 1, 2019)

There are currently about five million older adults with limited English proficiency in the United States, and the numbers are growing. It is important that LEP older adults know their rights in health care settings, and feel comfortable speaking up and asking for materials to be translated into their language or for translation services, if needed. This interview with Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney, Denny Chan talks to AARP about how LEP seniors can learn about and exercise their rights. This interview is in English.

 

Issue Brief: Cal MediConnect-Unmet Need and Great Opportunity in

By | Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, Medicaid, mltss

CalMediConnect, launched in 2014, is California’s dual eligible demonstration and seeks to integrate Medicare and Medicaid benefits under one health plan. One of its purposes is to better meet the needs of dual eligibles by increasing access to long-term services and supports (LTSS) and providing other value-added services, known in the demonstration as Care Plan Options (CPO). However, evaluation data and beneficiary experience indicate that more can be done to provide care for dual eligibles enrolled in the program. Justice in Aging recently obtained data via a Public Records Act request from California’s Department of Health Care Services that includes LTSS referrals and the number and type of CPO services plans are providing members.

Our issue brief, Cal MediConnect: Unmet Need and Great Opportunity in California’s Dual Eligible Demonstration, provides a brief overview of the Cal MediConnect program and examines the health plan referral data for LTSS and CPO services obtained through the Public Records Act request. It concludes with recommendations for policymakers on ways to strengthen Cal MediConnect through improving access to LTSS and CPO services. These recommendations are of interest to those following Cal MediConnect as well as advocates and stakeholders in other states with their own dual eligible demonstrations.

Read the brief.

Advocates Seek Medically Necessary Oral Health Care, CMS Eyes Issue

By | IN THE NEWS

Inside Health Policy January 29, 2019
This story leads with the news that CMS is taking a look at medically necessary dental benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. The article then goes on to describe advocate efforts (including Justice in Aging) to push for an inclusion of oral health benefits in Medicare Part B.  The article also mentions Justice in Aging’s brief on including an oral health benefit in Medicare as well as a bill that Senator Ben Cardin introduced to provide an oral health benefit. The article is behind a paywall. This is a summary.