Through federal funding, older Georgians 60 years of age and older can receive access to lawyers and paralegals who provide representation in non-criminal legal cases, information on many issues of interest to seniors, and community education to prevent harm that may potentially be caused by not having access to legal assistance.
This program is called the Elderly Legal Assistance Program or ELAP. ELAP addresses issues regarding income; consumer protection; abuse, neglect and exploitation; healthcare; housing; long-term care and more. Services are provided in every county.
The only kinds of cases and issues addressed by this program are civil matters. This means that no case that carries a criminal penalty, such as restitution, fines or imprisonment, is eligible for consideration.
Program services include:
- Legal information
- Legal counseling
- Case representation
- Legal education sessions to help older Georgians prevent more costly, time-consuming legal problems
ELAP providers do not refuse assistance based on the amount of a person’s income or resources; however, federal law does require that the program direct services to those persons 60 years of age and older who are in the greatest social and/or economic need, limited English speaking persons, and rural or low-income minorities.
For persons younger than age 60 who meet certain income and resource requirements, Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc. and Atlanta Legal Aid Society may be able to provide free and reduced-fee legal assistance in certain types of cases.
The Division of Aging Services (DAS) administers the ELAP program through the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Contact your local AAA for more information.
See the Publications page for consumer materials related to ELAP.