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No recovery no fee


scottdale phoenix

se habla espanol

No recovery  •  no fee


Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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What is the Elder Justice Act?

Elder abuse is a serious problem in Arizona, with approximately 7,000 seniors experiencing some type of abuse each year. This is a 150% increase over the last decade. Seniors are often vulnerable because they depend on others for assistance.

Perpetrators of abuse are overwhelmingly family members and caregivers. Because of their level of reliance on their abuser, seniors regularly underreport or fail to report abuse. In fact, estimates are that only 25% of abuse cases are ever reported.

To protect seniors from abuse, Congress passed the Elder Justice Act (EJA) as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.

The following briefly outlines this Act and its actions to safeguard seniors.

The EJA applies to seniors aged sixty and older. The EJA’s goal is to promote elder justice through preventing, detecting, treating, intervening in, and prosecuting elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and protecting elders with diminished capacity while maximizing their autonomy.

The EJA formed the following agencies and coordinated federal support to:

  • Establish the Elder Justice Coordinating Council (Council);
  • Establish the Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (Advisory Board);
  • Provide support for Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Forensic Centers;
  • Require immediate reporting for crimes in long-term care facilities;
  • Impose penalties for any retaliation against individuals reporting violations; and
  • Direct a study on creating a national nurse aide registry to include criminal background checks.

The Council

The Council is responsible for the following:

  • Coordinating the activities of federal, state, local, and private agencies in combating elder abuse;
  • Providing reports and recommendations to Congress; and
  • Support the Council in developing plans and recommendations to combat elder abuse.

The Advisory Board

There are twenty-seven members of the Advisory Board. These members are appointed by the Secretary and are experts in elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Elder Abuse Forensic Centers

The purpose of the forensic centers is to develop expertise in identifying elder abuse and provide support services to victims. The forensic centers carry this out by:

  • Developing criteria to determine when elder abuse has occurred and whether it amounts to a crime;
  • Developing expertise in victim support and case evaluation, tracking and review; and
  • Providing data to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the U.S. Attorney General.

Reporting Requirements and Penalties

The EJA extended reporting requirements to include long-term care facilities receiving at least $10,000 in federal funds. Per the EJA, covered individuals, like owners, operators, employees, managers, agents, and contractors of these facilities, must report any reasonable suspicion of a crime against a resident or anyone receiving care from the facility.

Reports must be made to both the DHHS and local law enforcement within twenty-four hours of reasonable suspicion of a crime. If the suspected crime could result in serious bodily injury, it must be reported within two hours.

Failure to report can subject a covered individual to a civil fine of up to $200,000 or $300,000 if failure to report increases the resulting harm or causes harm to another victim.

An Experienced Phoenix Elder Abuse Attorney Can Help

If you suspect a caregiver or institution is abusing your loved one, take steps to document and report the abuse. If you are unsure who to contact in your area or would like to discuss your loved one’s situation with a professional, call the legal team at Knapp & Roberts.

The Phoenix elder abuse attorneys at Knapp & Roberts will listen to you and advise you of your next best steps to help your family member. Reach out to us today for a confidential consultation.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.