About the Article

Elderly veterans are especially susceptible to mental illnesses like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These mental illnesses are a direct result of their time serving in the military. As these elderly veterans are dependent on government aid for their health care, being stripped of these benefits can have a huge impact on these veteran’s lives. These veterans often get lost in the bureaucratic maze and no longer receive these benefits, despite potential eligibility.

Medical-legal partnerships are a very useful tool that help people receive the government health care benefits they are eligible for. Some medical-legal partnerships, like the Road Home program in Chicago, have focused specifically on elderly veterans and have seen great results. Veterans who receive assistance from these medical-legal partnerships have experienced advantageous results in the form of increased benefits or maintaining their access to these benefits for a longer period of time.

This Note surveys the bureaucratic maze elderly veterans face in their search for health care benefits. It recommends an expanded use of medical-legal partnerships to provide expanded care to elderly veterans and to give these veterans the care they are entitled to. Medical-legal partnerships like Road Home in Chicago are a great model for success and this program exemplifies the potential that the expanded use of these partnerships has. Improved care for elderly veterans can truly be unlocked through these partnerships.

About the Author

Dan Lewis, Associate Editor 2018-2019, Member 2017-2018, The Elder Law Journal; J.D. 2019, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The author wants to thank LAF’s Veterans’ Rights Project attorneys, Kathryn Socha, Ellen Rheaume, Catherine Schur, and Erin Sutton, for teaching him about the obstacles affecting veterans with disabilities. He also wants to thank Amy Zimmerman of the Legal Council for Health Justice for introducing him to medical-legal partnerships before attending law school. He wants to thank his Mom and Dad for their love and support.

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The Elder Law Journal
law-elderlaw@illinois.edu

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