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Your Legal Rights As an Individual Receiving Long Term Services and Supports

We are all protected by certain legal rights that seek to provide each of us with fair treatment and quality care, safe from discrimination, fear or abuse. Understanding your legal rights, benefits and obligations is crucial to maximizing the use of the long term services and supports you receive.

The Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program has created this page to provide you with links and pertinent information to help you to do just that.

 

Learning About Your Legal Rights

One centralized resource that the state of Connecticut offers regarding your legal rights is My Place CT. My Place CT is a free web based resource center created specifically for individuals in Connecticut. Once on the My Place CT Legal Rights Web Page, you can use the menus to find subjects that best match your needs.

  • The Legal Matters section addresses issues, such as living wills, powers of attorney, conservators and other legal matters that are important to understand when planning for your future.
  • The Consumer Rights section will help you recognize and understand your rights within the system of services and supports for older adults and persons with disabilities.
  • The Legal Resources section will point you to organizations that can provide additional information and help.

Another General Resource for Connecticut Residents is CT Law HelpCTLawHelp.org was created by several nonprofit legal services organizations whose shared mission is to improve the lives of Connecticut’s poorest citizens by providing free legal services to people with low income. The website is funded by the Connecticut Bar Foundation and the Legal Services Corporation, and seeks to further the goal of equal access to justice by providing information and self-help materials on legal issues affecting people with low income.

Legal Resources - Where to Get Help

  • For concerns over your care, or if you feel your rights have been violated, you should contact the nursing home administrator or a staff member in charge.
  • You can also contact us at the CT Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by calling us at 1-866-388-1888 (Toll-Free) or by Email at LTCOP@CT.GOV.
  • You can also file a complaint with the Department of Public Health.

For additional information on the legal rights and benefits available to older adults and people with disabilities, review the resources below:

Obtaining Legal Assistance

Connecticut Network for Legal Aid

This network of several nonprofit legal services organizations has a shared mission to improve the lives of Connecticut’s low-income residents by providing free legal services. Their goal is to offer equal access to justice by providing information and self-help materials on a variety of legal issues.

Explore the Connecticut Network for Legal Aid website for contact and eligibility information as well as extensive legal self-help information and tools. Services are free.

Consumer Law Project for Elders (CLPE)

The CLPE Hotline provides free legal assistance, including advice, representation and referrals to people aged 60 and over who have consumer problems or questions about their rights as consumers. Call 1-800-296-1467 (Toll-Free) to be connected with a legal specialist.

Need a Lawyer?

Local and county bar associations offer lawyer referral services to help you find a private attorney in your county. There may be a fee for the referral and for services from private attorneys.

Area | Telephone

Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, Tolland and Windam

1-860-525-6052

Fairfield

1-203-335-4116

New Haven 

1-203-562-5750

New London

1-860-889-9384

Other Legal Service Resources

There are also a number of legal services organizations that provide free legal help to those who qualify. One of the organizations listed below may be able to help. Contact them directly for information about their services and eligibility requirements.

  • Connecticut Legal Services: A nonprofit law firm dedicated to representing, advising and educating low-income individuals and families in matters relating principally to civil law and thereby helping them secure the protections, privileges, benefits, rights and opportunities these laws provides.
  • Greater Hartford Legal Aid: A not-for-profit law firm whose staff helps clients with civil (not criminal) legal issues. They are advocates, primarily lawyers and paralegals, who know how to serve people who have little money.
  • New Haven Legal Assistance: Provides high-quality legal services to individuals, families and groups in the greater New Haven area, including the lower Naugatuck Valley, who are unable to obtain legal services because of limited income, age, disability, discrimination, and other barriers.
  • Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut (SLS): A private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to helping as many low-income people as possible to understand their civil (non-criminal) legal problems. They cooperate with other nonprofit law firms and volunteer attorneys to provide a broad range of legal services to Connecticut’s poor.
  • Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT): In addition to conducting investigations, educating policy makers, and challenging discriminatory barriers in court, we can help individuals with disabilities understand and exercise their rights. When you contact DRCT, you will be given information about disability rights, referred to experts and resources, empowered in your advocacy efforts and provided representation consistent with DRCT’s mandates, priorities and resources. The agency also provides public education and training and informs policymakers about issues affecting people with disabilities. 

(DRCT Programs and Services English)  (DRCT Programs and Services Spanish)

  (DRCT Poster English) (DRCT Poster Spanish)

National Law Advocacy Groups

The National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER): The National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) provides the legal services and aging and disability communities with the tools and resources they need to serve older adults with the greatest economic and social needs. A centralized, one-stop shop for legal assistance, NCLER provides Legal Training, Case Consultations, and Technical Assistance on Legal Systems Development. Justice in Aging administers NCLER through a contract with the Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA): Members of the NAELA are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of older Americans with disabilities. Elder and special needs law includes helping such persons and their families with planning for incapacity and long-term care, Medicaid and Medicare coverage (including coverage of nursing home and home care), health and long-term care insurance, and healthcare decision making. It also includes drafting of supplemental needs and other trusts, the selection of long-term care providers, home care and nursing home problems solving, retiree health and income benefits, retirement housing, and fiduciary services or representation. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. NAELA's mission is to educate, inspire, serve and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

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