All our staff are working remotely.
We encourage all older adults who need our services at SeniorLAW Center to contact us by phone:
1-877-PA SR LAW (Statewide)
SeniorLAW Center is committed to continuing to advocate and serve older people during this time of uncertainty.
The courts in Philadelphia and many counties now open. Please visit the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts website for updates and resources. We call on the courts to address the pressing concerns of all litigants, including older and vulnerable individuals, and grant continuances as a matter of course.
*See below for more information by county on closings, resources and updates.
- Continue to check the CDC website for updates on national recommendations. Older and vulnerable people should continue to take precautions.
The CDC stated 80% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are 65 and older. This suggests, members of our population who are age 60 and older are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. The CDC offers this advice for older adults and people with chronic medical conditions who are at increased risk for COVID-19:
- Have a plan
- Know who will take care of you in the event a caregiver gets sick
- Reach out TODAY to your health care provider to get reserve supplies of your medication
- Make sure you have a few week supply of food and household items so you don’t have to go out
- Keep aware of what is happening in your community and if the virus is spreading (commonly referred to as community spread) stay inside and avoid crowds.
The Administration for Community Living Website (ACL) provides information on:
- Benefits under the Older Americans Act
- The Senior Nutrition Program
- The State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
- CMS Guidance on HCBS (Home & Community-Based Waivers) and Nursing Home Visitation
- A Spanish language version for some of the information
How to Avoid Scams
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report your scam online with the FTC complaint assistant, or by phone at 1-877-382-4357
- COVID-19 Fraud Hotline: 1-888-C19-WDPA
- General Fraud and Other Criminal Matters:
- Contact the FBI at (202) 324-3000, or online at www.fbi.gov or tips.fbi.gov.
- Health Care Fraud, Medicare/Medicaid Fraud, and Related Matters:
- Contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-HHS-TIPS, or online at www.oig.hhs.gov.
- Internet Fraud and Lottery/Sweepstakes Fraud by Internet:
- Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) online at www.ic3.gov.
- Mail Fraud and Lottery/Sweepstakes Fraud:
- Contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-800-372-8347, or online at postalinspectors.uspis.gov.
Family and Domestic Violence
PA.Gov – The official Website for The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Updated resources to help individuals, families, and businesses do their part in fighting Covid-19. This guide will be kept up to date as resources and information change.
Health.pa.gov – The Pennsylvania Department of Health.The Department of Health provides information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and connects with resources for Pennsylvanians.
Updates from the Five County Region
ARE PHILADELPHIA COURTS OPEN?
The Philadelphia County courts are now open. For more information and updates on essential court, services that remain available please visit: https://www.courts.phila.gov/covid-19.
For more specific and updated information go to https://www.courts.phila.gov/covid-19/
HOW DO I GET A PROTECTION FROM ABUSE (PFA) ORDER IN PHILADELPHIA DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
- During Business Hours. You can file for a Temporary Protection From Abuse order on weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm by:
- Calling the Domestic Violence Unit at 215-686-6311, ext. 19217 Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. DV Unit personnel will conduct a brief intake interview, obtain a valid email address, and telephone number for each Petitioner; each Petitioner must also provide other electronic (audio/visual) means by which they can be contacted in order to participate remotely at the hearing on their petition.
- Thereafter, each Petitioner will receive a telephone call from the DV Unit for a more detailed interview. Based upon that interview, the DV Unit will then prepare a proposed PFA Petition and email a copy of said proposed petition to the Petitioner. The Petition must then be signed electronically by the Petitioner (via a link embedded in the email from the DV Unit).
- Temporary PFA Hearings – Each verified petition completed and filed during the normal business hours prescribed above, will be immediately scheduled for an electronic (audio/visual) Temporary PFA hearing before a Judge. Said hearings will be held electronically from 11:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.
- After Business Hours Family Court is closed between 4 pm and 8 am on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. If you are in danger of abuse during that time, you may file a request for an emergency PFA order at the Criminal Justice Center (CJC), Room B-03 at 1301 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA (215-683-7280). The CJC will now be open from 11 am – 8 am, 7 days a week to assist with emergency orders. Judges review the emergency orders the next business day and mail the temporary order to you or you can request to pick up the Order when it is ready between 4-5 p.m.
CAN I FILE FOR CUSTODY OR TO MODIFY MY ORDER IN PHILADELPHIA DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
Only Emergency Custody Petitions will be accepted during this time.
Emergency Custody Petitions are for serious situations in which a child’s life or health is at risk. A parent or caregiver not following a custody order is usually not considered an emergency, unless the child’s health and/or safety is at serious risk of harm.
Please also be aware of the following:
- Child custody transfers are permitted under the City of Philadelphia’s Stay at Home Order under “visiting/caring for family”- meaning the Court expects you to follow any orders you have during this crisis.
- The Court Nursery is closed for visitation. No supervised visits will be taking place in the Court Nursery until the Family Court reopens.
For more specific and updated information go to:
PHILADELPHIA CORPORATION FOR AGING
- If you or someone you know is being physically or emotionally abused, neglected, or financially exploited, please call the PCA Helpline immediately: 215-765-9040 or toll-free (from outside Philadelphia) 888-482-9060, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Report Elder Abuse in Pennsylvania
24 Hour Hotline – 1-800-490-8505
- Abuse reports can be made on behalf of an older adult whether the person lives in their home or in a care facility such as a nursing facility, personal care home, hospital, etc. The reporters may remain anonymous and have legal protection from retaliation, discrimination and civil or criminal prosecution. Common signs and symptoms of abuse may include:
- Weight loss
- Bruises or broken bones
- Increased confusion
- Unusual withdrawals from any account
- Signing over one’s home to another
SeniorLAW Center advocates continue to provide vital resources, advice, assistance or representation to seniors affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Call us if you need assistance:
1-877-PA SR LAW (Statewide)
Additional Links for Information