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Our Mission and Programs

Our Mission.  Since 1974, we have been protecting the rights of older Mainers.  Our mission is to provide free, high quality legal services to socially and economically needy Mainers aged 60 and over. 

Our Helpline and Staff Attorneys. LSE's unique combination of brief services over the Helpline and extended representation through Staff Attorneys is an innovative, effective, and efficient way to deliver services to older Mainers who need legal help.  

Our Helpline gives every older Mainer with access to a phone the ability to call toll free and speak directly with an attorney or paralegal. This is vitally important in a rural state like Maine, where most people do not live close to a legal service provider's office. This type of access is helpful to people who are unable to travel even short distances necessary to visit a legal service provider's office.

In addition to providing information and brief services, our Helpline is a very effective referral service for those cases that we cannot take. Our experienced staff can refer callers to the appropriate legal or social service provider, which means that they avoid "runaround." Our Helpline also has its own Reduced Fee Panel of private bar attorneys to help older 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 through our Staff Attorneys located across the state.  Our Staff Attorneys provide brief services and represent people in situations where they must go to court or an administrative hearing.  In order to receive services from one of our Staff Attorneys, someone must first contact our Helpline and complete an intake.

Our Health Insurance Counseling Program. We have 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. Our Health Insurance Counseling program provides older Mainers with information and assistance to help navigate an increasingly complex health care system. 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 our Helpline.

Senior Medicare Patrol.  The Maine SMP is another collaborative effort between us, 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 assist consumers in filing complaints of fraud and abuse with Medicare.

Our Reduced Fee Attorney Panel. As described above, through generous involvement of the private bar, we have established a statewide panel of attorneys who have agreed to provide representation on a variety of matters on a reduced fee or flat fee basis. 

Our Medicare Part D Appeals Unit. Our Medicare Part D Appeals Unit provides help to low-income Medicare beneficiaries in obtaining needed prescription drugs.