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EJA Update, May 20, 2011

One Year Anniversary of the Elder Justice Act March 23rd marks the one year anniversary of the Elder Justice Act (the EJA).

For the first time, last March, Congress passed a comprehensive federal elder abuse prevention law. This was an important victory for aging advocates, but now a year later, the law is powerless due to a lack of funding.

A year later, vulnerable older adults who should be protected by the law are confronted with the same threats they faced a year ago. This is a sad reality given the increasing severity of elder abuse in this country. According to a recent National Institute of Justice study, almost 11% of people ages 60 and older (5.7 million) faced some form of elder abuse in the past year. A 2009 study estimated that 14.1 percent of non-institutionalized older adults nationwide had experienced some form of elder abuse in the past year. Financial exploitation of older adults is increasingly alarming. A 2009 report by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) estimates that seniors lose a minimum of $2.5 billion each year.

Elder abuse, neglect and exploitation is a serious and widespread social justice problem and a major health issue. Victims of elder abuse are often abused by family members or someone close to them and victims tend to be older, frail and often dependent on their abusers for life’s basic necessities and care. Victims of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation have three times the risk of dying prematurely. To this day, elder abuse is the only form of family violence for which the federal government provides virtually no resources.

State Adult Protective Services agencies are at the front line at the state and local level in the fight against elder abuse yet they are ill equipped to do their jobs. The main funds in the Elder Justice Act are dedicated to adult protective services in all 50 states. President Obama demonstrated his recognition of the urgent need to support APS by requesting funding for APS in his FY 2012 budget. Congress must build from his proposed $16.5 million request.

Another important tool in the fight against elder abuse are the Long-Term Care Ombudsmen. Their job is to respond to complaints of abuse and neglect in the nation’s long-term care facilities. The President has requested an additional $5 million in funding to strengthen and improve the Ombudsman program.

It is critical that funding for the Elder Justice Act become a reality this year. Those who commit crimes of elder abuse will continue to have the upper hand unless we provide new funding for those who would stop them.

Funding the Elder Justice Act would send money directly to the states to create jobs and protect our seniors from abuse; keeping them out of harm, from losing their life savings, and needing expensive care.

Elder justice unfunded is elder justice denied. Congress must finish the job and fund the Elder Justice Act so we can work to do what actor Mickey Rooney pleaded at a recent Congressional hearing—STOP ELDER ABUSE NOW!

Robert Blancato, National Coordinator
Shannon Donahue, Coordinator of Advocacy and Outreach

Hearing-Senate Special Committee on Aging-“Justice for All: Ending Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation” Elder Justice Coalition Testimony Submitted by Bob Blancato, National Coordinator March 2, 2011


On Tuesday, May 25th, EJC National Coordinator, Bob Blancato testified to the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on the Senior Financial Empowerment Act of 2009.

Letter from the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations supporting first year funding for the Elder Justice Act

Submission on Elder Justice and Elder Rights

Coalition letter to the Chairs and Ranking member and all other members of the Labor HHS Subcommittees in the House and Senate in support of full funding of the Elder Justice Act for FY 2011.

Elder Justice Act/Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act Now LawElder Justice Bills Clear Congress, Obama to Sign into Law

Written Statement of Bob Blancato, National Coordinator, Elder Justice Coalition Older Americans Act Elder Abuse Listening Session Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee October 11, 2011

Written Testimony of Bob Blancato, National Coordinator, Elder Justice Coalition
Field Hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging
Hartford, Connecticut - August 23, 2011 (MS Word Format)


Elder Justice Coalition 2010 year-end report

April 14, 2010-Call for Action/Update (MS Word Format)


Elder Justice Act Introduced
The Elder Justice Act was introduced in the Senate on April 2nd, 2009 and the House on April 21st, 2009. S. 795, the Elder Justice Act was authored in the Senate by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and co-authored by Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) with original co-sponsors Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). On the House side the EJA companion bill, H.R. 2006, was authored by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and co-sponsored by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA). A section by section summary of the Elder Justice Act is available in the Legislation section.

Complete text of S. 795 is available here.


Previous Co-Sponsors of S.333 and S. 2010 Who are not on S.1070 - 6/24/08 (MS Word Format)

Senate Bill Co-Sponsors - 6/24/08 (MS Word Format)

House Bill Co-Sponsors - 6/24/08 (MS Word Format)


S. 1070 – The Elder Justice Act - 4/03/07 (PDF Format)

H.R. 1783 – The Elder Justice Act - 4/03/07 (PDF Format)


s. 2010 – The Elder Justice Act - 11/15/05 (PDF Format)

Summary - S. 2010 Elder Justice Act - 11/18/05 (MS Word Format)


HELP version "Act for Elder Justice" - 9/23/04 (PDF Format)

Outline of Last Draf of the Finance Committee Bill, S. 333, The Breaux Elder Justice Act - 9/20/04 (MS Word Format)


Year End Review - 2003 Activities and Accomplishments

December 15, 2003 - Bob Blancato, National Coordinator, reacts to the news that Senator Breaux will not seek reelection in 2005.

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging 12/15/03 - JOHN BREAUX ANNOUNCES HE WILL RETIRE FROM THE U.S. SENATE

End of the Year Letter for EJC Membership, November 26, 2003

Memorandum on Membership - October 22, 2003

Speech by Robert Blancato, September 2003 - Elder Justice: A Congressional Approach to a National Problem

Letter from Senator John Breaux (PDF Format), August 12, 2003

Summary of July 8th Meeting - Coordinating Committee of the Elder Justice Coalition

House Press Release - Elder Justice Coalition Applauds Expected Introduction of Elder Justice Act in House, June 17, 2003

Summary of June 6th Meeting of the Founding 5 Groups of the Elder Justice Coalition

Testimony of Robert B. Blancato for the Hearing of Senator John Breaux
April 23, 2003

Elder Justice Coalition Membership Surpasses 100, February 21, 2003

Elder Justice Coalition Press Statement, February 10, 2003

Proposed Amendment from NALSD

As part of our role to provide information about the Elder Justice Act, we are pleased to provide some language related to possible modifications to the Act as developed by the National Associate of Legal Services Developers. The Coalition offers no position for or against this language. However as a coalition membership service, we wish to share it with all members. If you wish to offer any views on the language, please send it directly to the Association.

Including the State Legal Assistance Developer as a Partner in the Elder Justice Act

Legal Developer Fact Sheet



If you prefer to write a check, please send it to:

Elder Justice Coalition
1612 K St. NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006




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