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A Lifeline for An Elder

For the elderly, effective legal intervention can often mean maintaining their basic means of survival.

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Susan,” an elderly woman who lives alone, received notice that the Department for Children and Families was about to terminate her food stamps. According to DCF, Susan had failed to report employment income on an interim financial report.

A Simple Mistake

Susan realized the effect a loss of food stamps would have on her life. She believed she had completed the necessary paperwork, and did not understand why she was being penalized. She contacted Law Line of Vermont for help.

Working with Susan, an LLV volunteer quickly identified the problem. Susan had only worked sporadically. She had serious mental health problems, and her literacy was limited. She had not clearly understood the question she had been asked on the DCF form.

A Senior Kept Safe

Once Susan understood the question, she was glad to answer correctly—and to return the benefits overpayment she had received. Most importantly, as a result of LLV advocacy, Susan did not lose her food stamp eligibility. Thanks to the support of the Vermont Bar Foundation, Susan was able to keep food on her table.

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