For several years now, elder law advocates have been pushing Congress to pass legislation to help prevent elder abuse in the U.S., which statistics show is a growing problem. Despite no one actually being in favor of elder abuse, getting legislation passed has proven difficult mostly because of Congress having other priorities.
The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley, has now stated that he believes his bill, the Elder Abuse and Prevention Act, will pass this year and become law as Financial Advisor reports in "Elder Abuse Act Has Good Chance of Becoming Law This Year."
If passed, the act would do several important things.
First, it would increase the penalties for email and telemarketing scams aimed at the elderly. Second, it would increase funding for elder abuse prevention training and mandate that every federal judicial district of the Justice Department must have at least one attorney whose focus is on fraud committed against seniors. Third, the Act would also increase data collection about elder abuse to give lawmakers a better understanding of the scope of the issue.
Another bill being pushed by Sen. Susan Collins, the Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, would give immunity to financial institutions from lawsuits, when they report suspected elder abuse.
Both of these bills will be closely watched by elder law advocates.
Reference: Financial Advisor (Feb. 9, 2017) "Elder Abuse Act Has Good Chance of Becoming Law This Year