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National Center on Law and Elder Rights

Authorizing legislation: Title IV, Section 420 (a)(1) of the Older Americans Act, as amended

The Purpose of the Program and How it Works

The National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) empowers aging and legal professionals with the tools and resources they need to provide older clients and consumers with high-quality legal assistance in areas of critical importance to their independence, health, and financial security.

NCLER is a streamlined point of entry supporting the leadership, knowledge, and systems capacity of legal and aging providers across the country. It serves to enhance the quality, cost effectiveness, and accessibility of legal assistance and elder rights protections available to older persons with social or economic needs. NCLER provides resource support to a broad range of legal, elder rights, and aging services professionals and advocates, including:

  • Legal assistance providers,

  • Legal assistance developers,

  • Long-term care ombudsmen,

  • State Units on Aging,

  • AAAs and ADRCs,

  • Senior legal helplines,

  • Adult Protective services, and

  • Others involved in protecting the rights of older persons.

NCLER provides core resource support through a strategic combination of case consultation, training, and technical assistance on a broad range of legal issues and systems development issues. NCLER assists professionals and advocates on a wide range of legal issues that can include:

  • Saving a senior’s home from foreclosure;

  • Protecting against consumer scams and creditor harassment;

  • Addressing elder abuse in the community and in long-term care facilities;

  • Accessing public benefits essential to financial security, independence, and health; and

  • Creating advanced directives that help avoid guardianship and facilitate supported decision-making arrangements.

NCLER attorneys apply subject matter expertise to achieve a range of objectives. Through effective leveraging of organizational resources, in-house experts, and strategic partnerships, NCLER achieves optimal national coverage on high-priority legal issues areas impacting older adults most in need. The NCLER also provides expert technical assistance on the efficient, cost-effective, and targeted provision of statewide legal and elder rights advocacy services.

The NCLER website (www.nlrc.acl.gov)serves as a single entry point into the national legal assistance support system and provides high-quality resources and access to expertise on legal and systems development issues.

NCLER serves the following core support functions for aging and legal networks:

  • Case Consultation for professionals and advocates in the field of law and aging to assist them in the resolution of complex legal problems impacting older persons.

  • Legal Training for professionals and advocates from aging and legal services networks on a wide range of legal and elder rights issues.

  • Technical Assistance in the development of efficient and effective legal and aging service delivery systems that address priority issues impacting older persons.

The provision of case consultation, training, technical assistance, and other legal resources enhances the ability of legal and aging service providers and advocates to help older persons maintain independence, live in their homes and communities, make their own decisions, and maintain their financial security.

In FY 2016 this program received $1,050,000 in funding.

Data Highlight: Services Provided to Legal and Aging Networks

Anticipated NCLER outcomes include:

  • An increase the number of professionals and advocates in the field of law and aging receiving case consultation, training, technical assistance, and other legal resources;

  • Identification of the percentage of professionals and advocates in the field of law and aging who assign a high rating to the quality of support received;

  • Identification of the percentage of professionals and advocates in the field of law and aging who attribute the successful resolution of specific legal issues to the support provided; and

  • Measuring and providing the results of direct technical support and training to aging and legal service providers who are developing innovations in integrated and targeted service delivery systems.

Funding History

FY 2012: $1,940,440
FY 2013: $1,966,323
FY 2014: $1,862,245
FY 2015: $1,966,329
FY 2016: $1,050,000


Last modified on 08/14/2017


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