Elder Law - Self-Help Resources

Legal Information

Other Self-Help Problems

Self-Help forms and Online Resources relating to Elder Law issues.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.
81 Resource(s) Found

PA Health Law Project Toll-Free Helpline - Call: 1-800-274-3258

The PA Health Law Project provides free legal services and advocacy to Pennsylvanians having trouble accessing publicly funded health care coverage or services. For assistance, call the PHLP Helpline at 1-800-274-3258 or 1-866-236-6310 TTY or e-mail the PHLP at staff@phlp.org. Information from the PHLP is also available online at www.phlp.org.

SeniorLAW Helpline - 877 PA SR LAW (1-877-727-7529)

The statewide toll-free SeniorLAW Helpline - 877 PA SR LAW (877-727-7529) - provides free legal advice, information and referrals by telephone for all Pennsylvania seniors 60 and over.

Application for a Social Security Card

From the Social Security Administration: Use this form to apply for (1) An original Social Security card; (2) A replacement Social Security card; or (3) A change of information on your record. [PDF]

Application for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance Benefits

You can apply for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance benefits online with Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Paper forms can also be printed from the website.

Application for Payment of Medicare Premiums, Coinsurance and Deductibles [PDF]

The PA 600M is a mail-in application for payment of the Medicare Part B premium only. It is used to help elderly individuals or individuals with disabilities who are eligible for Medicare to pay some or all of their Medicare Part B premium. A face-to-face interview is not required when using this application. The application cannot be used to apply for Medicaid (Medical Assistance), cash assistance or food stamps. (PA 600 M (AS) 8/19)

Applying and Appealing for Disability at Social Security (Video)

Watch this video from ctlawhelp to learn about how to apply and appeal for disability at Social Security. This video covers federal laws so the information in it is true no matter what state you live in.

Apply Online For Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security offers this online retirement application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes.

Benefits Check Up for Seniors (55+)

BenefitsCheckUp is a comprehensive online service from the National Council on the Aging to screen for federal, state and some local private and public benefits for older adults (ages 55 and over). BenefitsCheckUp also provides a detailed description of the programs, including the local addresses and phone numbers where to apply.

Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (B.E.S.T.)

The Social Security Adminisitration's Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) is an online tool that you can use to find out if you could be eligible for benefits from any of the programs Social Security administers. This tool will give you eligibility information based on answers you give on the online form.

Benefits.gov

Benefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government whose mission is to increase citizen access to benefit information, while reducing the expense and difficulty of interacting with the government. It is a free, online confidential tool that helps you find government benefits you may be eligible to receive.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Medical Assistance Financial Eligibility Application for Long-Term Care Supports and Services

Application for a determination of financial eligibility for long term care facilities. (PA 600-L Form) The person who needs help to pay for nursing facility care, or someone acting on his behalf, may complete the form.

Medicare Drug Plan Finder

The Medicare Drug Plan Finder from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can help you find and compare Medicare prescription drug plans in your area.

Medicare Eligibility & Premium Calculator

Use this calculator from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to get an estimate of when you’re eligible for Medicare and your premium amount. This calculator provides information for many but not all situations. If your situation isn’t in this calculator, contact Social Security to see if you’re eligible to enroll.

Online Services: Apply For Retirement, Disability or Medicare Benefits and Other Services from the Social Security Administration

From this webpage of the Social Security Administration you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), print a benefit verification letter, and more – from anywhere and from any of your devices!

Request for Social Security Earnings Information

This form will request verification of employment dates from the Social Security Administration. You may need this if you are having difficulty obtaining dates of employment for a pension, social security application, or personal reason. Please note: fees apply depending on the number of years you are requesting. [PDF] (02-2021) FREE yearly totals of earnings are available at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Social Security Benefit Application - Medicare

Online Medicare application from the Social Security Administration.

Social Security Retirement Estimator

The Retirement Estimator produces estimates that are based on your actual Social Security earnings record and has been rated the Federal Government's Best Online Service.

Survivors Planner: Planning For Your Survivors

Information from the Social Security Administration about help it can provide for your survivors when you die if you have earned enough Social Security credits through your work.

Northampton County: Protection From Abuse Information

Information on Protection From Abuse services in Northampton county. Under the Protection From Abuse Act, you may file for an order if the person who has or is trying to harm you is/was your spouse; was living with you in a common-law marriage or as your boyfriend/girlfriend; the parent of your child; your child; was a sexual or intimate partner; your parent; or related to you by blood or marriage.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Forms Center

Forms available from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

Application for a Social Security Card

From the Social Security Administration: Use this form to apply for (1) An original Social Security card; (2) A replacement Social Security card; or (3) A change of information on your record. [PDF]

Application for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance Benefits

You can apply for cash assistance, SNAP and Medical Assistance benefits online with Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Paper forms can also be printed from the website.

Application for Payment of Medicare Premiums, Coinsurance and Deductibles [PDF]

The PA 600M is a mail-in application for payment of the Medicare Part B premium only. It is used to help elderly individuals or individuals with disabilities who are eligible for Medicare to pay some or all of their Medicare Part B premium. A face-to-face interview is not required when using this application. The application cannot be used to apply for Medicaid (Medical Assistance), cash assistance or food stamps. (PA 600 M (AS) 8/19)

Apply Online For Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security offers this online retirement application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes.

Benefits Check Up for Seniors (55+)

BenefitsCheckUp is a comprehensive online service from the National Council on the Aging to screen for federal, state and some local private and public benefits for older adults (ages 55 and over). BenefitsCheckUp also provides a detailed description of the programs, including the local addresses and phone numbers where to apply.

Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (B.E.S.T.)

The Social Security Adminisitration's Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) is an online tool that you can use to find out if you could be eligible for benefits from any of the programs Social Security administers. This tool will give you eligibility information based on answers you give on the online form.

Benefits.gov

Benefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government whose mission is to increase citizen access to benefit information, while reducing the expense and difficulty of interacting with the government. It is a free, online confidential tool that helps you find government benefits you may be eligible to receive.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Consumer Law Forms from Aging Safely

Aging Safely has developed a set of three consumer law forms that can be used as standalone letters or work together as a package to help older adults who have been victims of financial exploitation or identify theft: (1) Letter to a creditor to request debt forgiveness when a bill is owed; (2) Letter to a creditor to dispute a charge from a bank or company; and (3) Letter to a credit bureau to dispute an item on a credit report.

Cover Sheet for Interstate Enforcement of a Protection Order from Aging Safely

Aging Safely has created this free program that can create a cover sheet for your protection order when traveling outside your area of residence. When you put the cover sheet on top of your protection order, it makes it easier for the courts and police in other states to enforce your order.

Medical Assistance Financial Eligibility Application for Long-Term Care Supports and Services

Application for a determination of financial eligibility for long term care facilities. (PA 600-L Form) The person who needs help to pay for nursing facility care, or someone acting on his behalf, may complete the form.

Online Services: Apply For Retirement, Disability or Medicare Benefits and Other Services from the Social Security Administration

From this webpage of the Social Security Administration you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), print a benefit verification letter, and more – from anywhere and from any of your devices!

Pennsylvania Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will - Why are these Important? (Video)

This video from the Allegheny County Bar Association explaining what a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will does for you and why it is important for you to have one.

Safety Planning Form from Aging Safely

Aging Safely has developed this online interview that will help you prepare a free safety plan if you or a loved one are in an unsafe situation.

Social Security Benefit Application - Medicare

Online Medicare application from the Social Security Administration.

Eldercare Locator

The Eldercare Locator from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging connects older Americans and their caregivers with sources of information on senior services. The service links those who need assistance with state and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.

Federal Court Finder

Find a federal court location by location or court name, including appellate, district, bankruptcy, probation and pretrial office, or federal defender organization. Each District Court has its own local forms which are generally available on the Court website.

Hospital Compare - A quality tool provided by Medicare

This tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides you with information on how well the hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions. This information will help you compare the quality of care hospitals provide.

How to Complete a Custody Complaint Form - For Grandparents and Third Parties (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services provides line-by-line instructions on how to complete a Custody Complaint form 2 (for grandparents and third parties) that is available from the PA Courts "Representing Yourself" website.

How to File a Case in Philadelphia Small Claims Court

Explanation of the Small Claims Court process in Philadelphia from Philadelphia Legal Assistance as outlined in a brochure from the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

LongTermCare.gov

This website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides information on Long Term Care including a "Pathfinder" to provide the information that is most relevant and useful to you now.

Medicare Drug Plan Finder

The Medicare Drug Plan Finder from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can help you find and compare Medicare prescription drug plans in your area.

Medicare Eligibility & Premium Calculator

Use this calculator from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to get an estimate of when you’re eligible for Medicare and your premium amount. This calculator provides information for many but not all situations. If your situation isn’t in this calculator, contact Social Security to see if you’re eligible to enroll.

Medigap Policy Search

This interactive tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helps you Find a Medigap Policy in Your Area.

Nursing Home Checklist [PDF]

A checklist that helps you evaluate nursing homes.

Nursing Home Compare

Online tool to provide detailed information about the past performance of every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.

Quiet Title Packet (Fraudulent Conveyance)

Information and Forms to bring a Quiet Title action in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. This type of action establishs a party's title to real property against anyone and everyone, and thus "quiets" any challenges or claims to the title. [PDF]

Request for Social Security Earnings Information

This form will request verification of employment dates from the Social Security Administration. You may need this if you are having difficulty obtaining dates of employment for a pension, social security application, or personal reason. Please note: fees apply depending on the number of years you are requesting. [PDF] (02-2021) FREE yearly totals of earnings are available at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Social Security Retirement Estimator

The Retirement Estimator produces estimates that are based on your actual Social Security earnings record and has been rated the Federal Government's Best Online Service.

Upsolve

If you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to file your bankruptcy through Upsolve. Upsolve is a national non-profit that helps people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost. Upsolve is an online program focused on assisting low-income Americans through Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost. Read about whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you!

Consumer’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning

This tool kit from the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources. There are 10 tools in all, each clearly labeled and user-friendly. The tool kit does not create a formal advance directive for you. Instead, it helps you do the much harder job of discovering, clarifying, and communicating what is important to you in the face of serious illness.

Erie County: How to Get a Custody Order in Erie County

Information from the Erie County Bar Association about the steps involved in getting a custody order in Erie County

Pennsylvania Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will - Why are these Important? (Video)

This video from the Allegheny County Bar Association explaining what a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will does for you and why it is important for you to have one.

Apply Online For Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security offers this online retirement application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Custody Proceedings - Representing Yourself: Forms and Information from the Pennsylvania Courts

Free online information is available from the Pennsylvania Courts website to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state. Standardized court forms for child custody proceedings may be obtained on this page of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website. Included are forms for both parents and third parties, including grandparents.

Divorce Proceedings - Representing Yourself: Forms and Information from the Pennsylvania Courts

Free online information is available from the Pennsylvania Courts website to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state. Standardized court forms for divorce proceedings may be obtained on this page of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website.

Hospital Compare - A quality tool provided by Medicare

This tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides you with information on how well the hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions. This information will help you compare the quality of care hospitals provide.

LongTermCare.gov

This website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides information on Long Term Care including a "Pathfinder" to provide the information that is most relevant and useful to you now.

Medical Assistance Financial Eligibility Application for Long-Term Care Supports and Services

Application for a determination of financial eligibility for long term care facilities. (PA 600-L Form) The person who needs help to pay for nursing facility care, or someone acting on his behalf, may complete the form.

Medicare Drug Plan Finder

The Medicare Drug Plan Finder from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can help you find and compare Medicare prescription drug plans in your area.

Medigap Policy Search

This interactive tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helps you Find a Medigap Policy in Your Area.

Nursing Home Compare

Online tool to provide detailed information about the past performance of every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.

Online Services: Apply For Retirement, Disability or Medicare Benefits and Other Services from the Social Security Administration

From this webpage of the Social Security Administration you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), print a benefit verification letter, and more – from anywhere and from any of your devices!

Request for Social Security Earnings Information

This form will request verification of employment dates from the Social Security Administration. You may need this if you are having difficulty obtaining dates of employment for a pension, social security application, or personal reason. Please note: fees apply depending on the number of years you are requesting. [PDF] (02-2021) FREE yearly totals of earnings are available at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Social Security Benefit Application - Medicare

Online Medicare application from the Social Security Administration.

Survivors Planner: Planning For Your Survivors

Information from the Social Security Administration about help it can provide for your survivors when you die if you have earned enough Social Security credits through your work.

Upsolve

If you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to file your bankruptcy through Upsolve. Upsolve is a national non-profit that helps people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost. Upsolve is an online program focused on assisting low-income Americans through Chapter 7 bankruptcy at no cost. Read about whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you!

Carbon Self Service Center - Forms

Download forms and information from the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas

Erie County: How to Get a Custody Order in Erie County

Information from the Erie County Bar Association about the steps involved in getting a custody order in Erie County

Northampton County: Protection From Abuse Information

Information on Protection From Abuse services in Northampton county. Under the Protection From Abuse Act, you may file for an order if the person who has or is trying to harm you is/was your spouse; was living with you in a common-law marriage or as your boyfriend/girlfriend; the parent of your child; your child; was a sexual or intimate partner; your parent; or related to you by blood or marriage.

How to File a Case in Philadelphia Small Claims Court

Explanation of the Small Claims Court process in Philadelphia from Philadelphia Legal Assistance as outlined in a brochure from the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Forms Center

Forms available from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

Westmoreland County: Forms

A variety of forms for use in the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas may be downloaded at this link.

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