Impact on Older Adults – Legal Ramifications of COVID-19 and FREE Resources to Help

One of the demographics we have seen most impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is adults over the age of 60. They are experiencing new hardships, including housing and credit issues like bankruptcy, foreclosure, and tax sale. On top of all of this, they also need to put their guard up against scammers that often prey upon this population.

MVLS is committed to helping all populations in Maryland navigate civil legal challenges that are placed upon them at all times, including now during COVID-19. We created the Ultimate Resource Guide for Older Adults that can be easily downloaded from our website.

Read on for additional resources and tips.

FREE Resources Available to Older Adults 

  • The Community Development Network of Maryland is updating its website regularly with information and FREE resources for those impacted by COVID-19.
  • Maryland is the first state in the country to start a free, opt-in, telephone service to check on Maryland’s older residents, all across the state.​ For Senior Call Check call 1-866-50-CHECK or register online at aging.maryland.gov.
  • Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott’s Office provides resources and information to guide Marylanders.
  • The Maryland Commission on Aging provides information and resources, which are organized by county.
  • Dial 2-1-1 to quickly access services and information focused on aging and disability, food, housing and shelter, domestic violence, legal and tax services, utility assistance, as well as many others.
  • Maryland’s Access Point (MAP) Information and Assistance connects older adults with long term services and support in Maryland. Program specialists work with caregivers, professionals and all individuals with long term care needs to deliver private and public resources.
  • MVLS’s Bankruptcy Bypass Program can support a client who has no garnishable income or assets. In these situations, when bankruptcy is not a good solution, attorneys can send letters to creditors informing them that the client is not collectable. For older adults on limited incomes, by-passing bankruptcy frees up their income to pay for necessities.

Be a Detective – Fraud and Scams will Increase

According to the National Council on Aging, there is an increasing number of crooks who use clever schemes – technology and age-old tricks – to defraud millions of older adults every single year. With a disruptive event like COVID-19 these crooks see another opportunity to prey on others.

The Federal Trade Commission has an updated list of scams that are being used in response to COVID-19. Read more about these and other scams so you don’t become a victim.

  • Companies claiming they have coronavirus treatments
  • Fake charities
  • Fake emails, texts and phishing
  • Robocalls
  • Misinformation and rumors

Older adults can find credible financial stability information and fact sheets developed by Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service here.

Estate Planning
It’s a common misconception that you only need estate planning if you’re rich and wealthy with assets. This misconception can be detrimental to low-income Marylanders, especially those who are living paycheck to paycheck.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service’s volunteer and staff attorneys are available to help Marylanders through the estate planning process while practicing social distancing.

This extended time at home with family members and loved ones can be productive by having conversations about medical directives and wills. We understand this isn’t an easy conversation to have, but it’s a real conversation that can help keep your assets (home, car, etc.) in your family for years to come.

Connect with MVLS’s paralegals to share more about your estate planning questions and requests through our online intake (https://mvlslaw.org/free-legal-help/) or through our phone intake lines – (410) 547-6537 or (800) 510-0050 Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – Noon.

We are here for you!