LSE's Helpline and Area Offices. LSE's unique combination of brief services over the Helpline and extended representation through the Area Offices is an innovative, effective, and efficient way to deliver legal services to Maine's needy elderly.
LSE's Helpline gives every needy elderly Mainer with access to a phone the ability to call toll free and speak directly with a live attorney or paralegal. This is vitally important in a rural state like Maine, where the majority of the population does not live in close proximity to a legal service provider's office. This type of access is particularly important for seniors, who often are unable to travel even the short distances necessary to visit a legal service provider's office.
In addition to providing information and brief services, the Helpline is a very effective referral service for those cases that LSE cannot take. The Helpline's experienced staff is able to refer callers to the appropriate legal or social service provider, which means that they avoid "runaround." The Helpline also has its own Reduced Fee Panel of private bar attorneys to help elderly Mainers whose income is between 125% and 200% of poverty, people who otherwise would not be able to afford an attorney.
The other component of our service delivery system is our Area Offices in Augusta, Bangor, Lewiston, Scarborough, and Presque Isle. The Area Office attorneys and paralegals provide brief services and extended representation. With the exception of the administrative office in Augusta, the Area Offices are located within the local Area Agency on Aging. This unique relationship between LSE and the Area Agencies allows elderly Mainers to address multiple needs in one location - a type of one stop shopping. Also, co-location enables LSE and Area Agency social work staff to work together to address clients' multi-faceted concerns and needs.
LSE's Health Insurance Counseling Program. LSE has joined with the Office of Aging and Disability Services and the Area Agencies on Aging to create a Health Insurance Counseling program with a special grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Health Insurance Counseling program provides elderly Mainers with information and assistance to help them navigate an increasingly complex health care system to get the care they need. Disabled Medicare beneficiaries who are under 65 years of age are also able to use this service. The Health Insurance Counseling program is part of LSE's Helpline.
Health Care Reform Information. LSE provides answers to your questions about federal health care reform. Start here.
Senior Medicare Patrol. The Maine SMP is another collaborative effort on the part of LSE, the Office of Aging and Disability Services and Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging to educate Maine’s Medicare consumers, their families and caregivers about Medicare benefits and about healthcare fraud, waste and abuse. The Maine SMP is a volunteer-based effort through the Area Agencies on Aging. Volunteers conduct community presentations, provide one-on-one counseling to help interpret Medicare statements, and assists consumers in filing complaints of fraud and abuse with Medicare.
LSE's Reduced Fee Attorney Panel. As described above, through generous involvement of the private bar, LSE has established a statewide panel of attorneys who have agreed to provide representation on a wide variety of matters on a reduced fee or flat fee basis. To be eligible for assistance by the Panel, an individual must have income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Panel referrals are made through the Helpline.
Medicare Part D. LSE'S Medicare Part D Appeals Unit provides help to low income Medicare beneficiaries in obtaining needed prescription drugs.
LSE's Client Education Materials. LSE maintains an extensive online Elder Rights Handbook that provides helpful, in depth information on many frequently asked legal questions. This includes information on consumer debt, housing, MaineCare, Medicare, Powers of Attorney, elder abuse, financial exploitation, surviving spouse issues, and many other areas of interest to seniors and their family members.
LSE's Web Site. LSE's site www.mainelse.org contains a description of LSE's services, eligibility guidelines, announcements, a calendar of outreach events, full text versions of LSE's client education materials, and links to other legal services sites, such as HelpMELaw.org which is an extensive resources guide to legal services in Maine.