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In addition, the State ought to be required to develop some sort of plan for legal services within the entire State.

I would like to see in addition there be an expanded function for the kind of legal services and technical assistance and backup assist ance that we have been talking about that is now beginning to expand.

As I say, we are not talking about anything really new within the Older Americans Act. Section 304(c) (4) (c) specifically pulls out legal services, calls it something other than a social service and I don't think that mandate really has been fulfilled.

There has been a beginning, in excess of 40 programs being funded under title III. I would like some money for model projects to examine prepaid

and group legal services for the elderly. The Taft law, section 302, which has been amended in 1973 to allow legal services for an employee, mandatorily bargaining for employee benefits; we should be looking at how those plans could be made to benefit not only union members but retirees, preretirement counsel and benefits after they retired and no longer have a loud voice within the union.

I would like to see questions addressed such as going into institutions, the kind of thing we talk about, not the lawyers going in although some may need it, but nevertheless going in to visit the patients on a regular basis, experimenting with mobile units for attorneys to go out into the field.

And one final point, I would like to see some sort of program to sensitize the private bar because that is the only resource we have to ultimately look to for the major solution to this problem, sensitize them as to what they ought to be doing for the elderly in two ways: One, educate as to the substantive problems which we have the expertise to do, second, show them that they can make money in servicing the elderly.

There are fees under the SSI program, under the social security program. There are bizarre fees under the veterans program, I think $10 for a veterans case.

Nevertheless, some of the other benefit programs provide for fees and if the private bar were apprised of this I think they would be taking more of these social security cases and relieve the burden from legal services attorneys right now. Thank you.


SENIOR CITIZENS LAW CENTER, Los ANGELES, CALIF. My name is Paul Nathalison. I am Executive Director of the National Senior Citizens Law Center, an OEO legal services program dedicated to redressing the special legal problems of the elderly poor. One of the high priorities nf the National Senior Citizens Law Center, as enunciated by its Board of Directors (composed of representatives of the Administration on Aging, the American Association of Retired Persons, the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools, the California Rural Legal Assistance, the Gerontological Society, the Farmers Union Senior Citizens Program, La Raza National Lawyers Association, the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the National Bar Association, the National Caucus on the Black Aged, the National Clients Council, the National Council of Senior Citizens, the National Council on Aging, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the Western Center on Law and Poverty), is the expansion of legal services to the elderly poor.

Although our office is authorized to deal solely with the poor, we realize that the legal problems of the elderly exceed the confines of the official pov: erty guidelines. Therefore, we have a keen interest in not only improving the quality of legal services representation of the aged poor, but in increasing the public's awareness of the special legal needs of the entire elderly community.

Since the inception of the National Senior Citizens Law Center, the number of Legal Aid or Legal Services attorneys dealing with the special problems of the elderly has certainly increased. As a partial result of advertisements in our Newsletter and the National Clearinghouse Review, showing our willingness to provide expert assistance on legal matters of poor elderly Americans, we have received ever increasing requests for aid for Legal Services attorneys. In fact, these may soon be more than we can efficiently handle. These attorneys ask for our help because they have limited expertise in the areas of law peculiar to the elderly, such as Social Security, pensions, Medicare, involuntary commitment, nursing home problems, and SSI.

To remedy this situation, we are holding training sessions and preparing training manuals on these substantive areas of the law in order to familiarize Legal Aid lawyers with these programs and the most perplexing issues in: volved. However, not matter how successful our efforts to educate the poverty lawyers, a large proportion of the elderly poor will remain without adequate legal representation.

The situation of the non-destitute elderly, with respect to legal representation, is perhaps even more acute than that of the elderly poor, because they have too much income or resources to qualify for free legal services and yet, cannot afford to hire a private attorney. Furthermore, even if resources are available to pay a private attorney, such attorneys may be unavailable since the intricacies of the myriad of programs governing an elderly person's daily life are unfamiliar to the majority of the private bar.

To begin to remedy this situation we recommend that the Older Americans Act take as one of its main objectives the expansion of legal services to the nation's elderly. Obviously the main problems confronting the elderly revolve around inadequate income, inadequate food, inadequate health care, and inadequate housing. These are all issues where the assistance of attorneys can be invaluable. Often times lawyers propose, draft, pass, enforce and interpret by regualtion and otherwise, legislation which affects millions of elderly individuals. This is the legislation which is aimed at special needs of the elderly and it would appear axiomatic that lawyers should be involved in interpreting these regulations and statutes on behalf of the intended beneficiaries.

The Older Americans Act, in Section 304, already indicates that legal services programs for the elderly should, where necessary and feasible, be provided under Title III. Much of the efforts of the National Senior Citizens Law Center during 1974 have been directed at trying to assist local Legal Services programs to obtain Title III funding for special elderly law projects. It is most exciting to be able to report that in excess of 44 projects have been so funded by local Area Agencies on Aging. In January of 1975 the National Senior Citizens Law Center, pursuant to a special grant from the Administration on Aging, conducted a na. tional conference for elderly law specialists. This conference was attended by in excess of 130 attorneys either specially funded to provide legal services to the elderly or desiring to provide such services to the elderly. We view this as a most exciting indication of interest, but it must be viewed also as only the tip of an iceberg which must receive more extensive support from the Administration on Aging and from the Congress through amendments and regulations to the Older Americans Act.

The expansion of the already existing mandate in Section 304 to provide legal services to the elderly might take the form of several specific proposals.

It has become increasingly obvious to those of us dealing with governmental agency personnel and other professionals concerned with the needs of the elderly, that a large majority of these individuals have no clear concept of what lawyers and the legal profession can do for the elderly. These professions are not really aware of how lawyers can assist them in their job of making the various benefit programs designed for the elderly work in their local areas. An extensive educational program should be undertaken so that the professional in the field of aging will know when lawyers can and cannot be of assistance to them and their aged clients. We strongly urge that the Older Americans Act, through its amendments and regulations recognize this special "access" place which legal services and lawyers acting on behalf of the elderly can take with respect to all

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of the services (whether they be health, income, or other social services) designed to benefit the elderly.

There should be expanded funding under Title III or perhaps other Titles of the Older Americans Act for the actual provision of legal services to the elderly. We recognize that the dollars available under the Older Americans Act are limited and it should be the intent of legal services programs which are funded under Title III to assist local Area Agencies by giving them technical assistance as to possible other sources of funding for the provision of legal services to the elderly. Thus the funding under Title III or other Titles of the Older Americans Act could actually be viewed as a seed-money type of grant altho it would also be to provide actual services to the elderly in the community. Possible sources of additional funding for the actual provision of legal services to the elderly which might be explored with the assistance of attorneys trained in the field would include: Title XX of the Social Security Act, LEAA funds, General Revenue Sharing (several legal services programs for the elderly have received this type of funding), Community colleges. In addition these funded legal serpices programs could assist the Area Agency in drawing down existing resoures for the provision of legal services to the elderly without securing additional funding. For example, the Charters of City and County attorneys offices and Attorney Generals offices could be examined for ways in which these offices might devote some of their efforts and resources to the provision of legal services to the elderly. Reserve units of the Army Judge Advocate General and Civil Affairs units might well devote some of their time to providing legal services to the elderly. The vast resources contained in law schools must be utilized as they have at several law schools around the country.

Obviously once offices providing actual intake legal services to the needy elderly are established and fully working they will be in need of the types of back up and technical research assistance provided by centers such as the National Senior Citizens Law Center. It is hoped that some sort of funding for these types of research and technical assistance programs can be secured either from the Legal Services Corporation or the Administration on Aging.

The entire field of using paralegals to provide and expand existing legal services provides immense opportunities for those interested in the legal problems of the elderly. Thus money should be made available to train paralegals to be used in existing legal services or other offices providing legal services to the elderly; and, in addition, special grants might be made to some of the major national aging organizations to train their members to provide paralegal assistance with respect to the myriad of benefit programs available to the elderly. Thus, in the first instance, there should and could be paralegal working under the supervision of an attorney specifically dealing with the elderly and, secondly, paralegals (who of course cannot be giving legal advice without the supervision of an attorney) who can provide information and referral in a more general way to the elderly in the community.

The National Senior Citizens Law Center and legal services attorneys around the country are doing what they can to represent the interests of the elderls poor, and these efforts are continously expanding. Our services as presently funded, however, are not enough to remedy adequately the legal problems of the bulk of our older Americans.

Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you very much, Mr. Nathanson.
You have anticipated in your statement most of my questions.
I just have one question, therefore.
How is the National Senior Citizens Law Center funded ?

Mr. NATHANSON. It is funded through the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of Legal Services in Washington.

Mr. BRADEMAS. You are in business for how long?

Mr. NATHANSON. We have funds now until March 31. We have been told we will get another 6 months. Then the question comes up as to whether or not we will be included within the Legal Service Corporation.

If you recall, the Green amendment said something about backup centers being funded by grant.

We have hopes, either through the Corporation or perhaps through the Administration on Aging, to receive funding.

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Mr. BRADEMAS. Speaking for myself, I am much impressed with what you are doing and hope support for what you are doing continues, indeed that we can expand the program.

Mr. Cornell.
Mr. CORNELL. No questions.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Mr. Beard.
Mr. BEARD. No questions.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Mr. Miller.
Mr. MILLER. Just one question.

You sort of hinge entry for legal service on section 304 where necessary and feasible.

I just want to comment that I fully endorse what you are saying about the need for legal services. I think to use the law really as one of the arrows in the quiver of the senior citizen just has to be put there. I know the success that the center had on the question of nursing homes and whether or not they were going to install fire suppressant equipment in California. It was the threat of a lawsuit that got the Government moving and got the regulatory agencies off their deadend.

I would just simply like to endorse the proposition. I think it should be made part of the act. I don't lead you to heljere that it will be no comprehensive as you outlinel, but dennitely these service organizations ought to have legal counsel on an advocacy basis to serve the complaints.

Mr. NATHANSON. Thank you.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you again, Mr. Nathanson and Mr. Lanigan.
We appreciate very much your coming.

Mr. BRADEMAS. Next we are pleased to hear from Miss Bertha S.
Adkins, the Chairman of the Federal Council on the Aging.

Miss Adkins, we are pleased to see you.

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Miss Adkins. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am happy to be here.

Mr. BRADEMAS. I am sorry we have kept you so long, but as you can see there is a great deal of interest in the subject.

Miss ADKINS. Which is always heartening.

If I may, Mr. Chairman, I will not read my statement which even though it is brief, I think we might save your time if I just talk a little bit, and for the benefit of the new members of the committee, may

I say we are a creature of the Congress. We are a group of 15 people nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and we got under way last June.

We have in our membership all ages represented which I think is good. We are from all sections of the country. We have tried to have the minority groups represented.

In our deliberations we have recognized that the overall view of the programs on aging which the Congress wants us to look at and to analyze and criticize and make suggestions both to the executive branch and to the Congress, we have a unique opportunity.

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We had three specific mandated studies which the Congress wanted done. We are under way, one of which has been completed and we would like to attach to this report-I think it has not been giventhe question that had risen on the use of the formula in granting funds for the State agencies.

We completed that study and have sent that in.

We are working on this question of the integration of benefits for the elderly and we also have a tremendous task in the mandated study of the impact of Federal, State, and local taxation on the elderly.

As you can imagine, that cannot be done quickly. Yet we are trying to get a start on all of these things which are important. This coming year, too, we are particularly concerned that we take a look at some of the questions of national policy dealing with, as we have expressed it, the fragile elderly, which means in general those who are over 75 years of age who have particular needs.

As we have indicated in the report beginning with our March meeting we will have sessions and discussions with experts in the field to see how we might use our resources in the most effective way.

I think that the Congress in its concern, which we share, realizes that in all of this area of activity for older people there is a need for someone to look at the broad view and not just from a departmental point of view.

I think this is the reason why the Federal Council was established and this is what we hope we can help in focusing attention on our needs, improvements.

Having just gotten under way in such a brief time we are not ready to make specific recommendations on the changing of the Older Americans Act as we have indicated in the report, but we do hope, Mr. Chairman, that our activities can be extremely helpful to you and we know of your interest and we want to do everything of course that we can for this segment of our population. If

you have questions I shall be happy to answer them. Miss Tavani who is the staff director can, I am sure, fill in with pertinent information.



My name is Bertha Adkins and I am here today in my capacity as the Chair. man of the Federal Council on the Aging. I know I express the pleasure of all the members of the Council for the invitation to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on Education. We appreciate the opportunity to report back to the legislators who were largely responsible for the creation of the Federal Council on the Aging.

Since we were confirmed by the Senate in June of 1974, we have attempted to carry out the goal set down for us by the Congress, namely, to speak out for the older citizens of this nation at the Federal level.

We have taken positions on a number of matters and communicated our views to the President, the Congress, various Federal officials and the general public. I shall outline these later in this presentation. We have completed one of the three studies we are directed to carry out by the Congress. Our report and recommendations on revising State formulae for funding programs under the Older Americans Act was recently submitted to the respective Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees Having legislative responsibility for the Older Americans Act as well as the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Commissioner on Aging. Work is underway

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