CLS will provide legal advice and/or represent residents of nursing homes who are facing involuntary discharge from the nursing home, have concerns about their Medicaid eligibility or have quality of care concerns. CLS will also assist residents’ spouses, at the nursing home resident’s direction and consent, in determining if they are eligible for the spousal maintenance allowance and will represent clients in an appeal if the allowance is believed to be miscalculated or wrongfully reduced.
How We Can Help
What to Bring
Before you call or visit CLS, please gather any notices you have received from the nursing home and any other relevant documents. If the issue is a Medicare or Medicaid denial, please gather any documents you have concerning the application, denial or appeal.
Where To Get Help
Community Legal Services
Mondays and Thursdays 9:00am – 12:00pm
Your call will be returned within 2 business days.
*CLS will conduct a phone intake and meet the resident at the nursing home if it is determined that the resident’s case is one that CLS will handle. CLS’s policy is to make direct contact with the nursing home resident who is the client. Very often, family members either call or come in for walk-in intake to ask for representation for their nursing home resident family member. It is important for family members to know that CLS will have to make contact with the nursing home resident before proceeding with opening a file, unless the family member who is present for Intake shows CLS staff a valid legal document showing he/she is the nursing home resident’s power of attorney or legal guardian. CLS can also refer a resident or family member to the Department of Health’s toll free number for long term care facility complaints or to the long term care ombudsman serving that resident’s nursing home.
CLS’ Aging and Disabilities Unit is supported in part by funding provided by PCA and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
Community Legal Services
1410 W. Erie Ave
Philadelphia PA 19140
TUESDAYS ONLY 9:00 am-12:00 pm
About Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are long term care facilities which provide around the clock medical care for individuals who need this level of care. Nursing home residents are either “private pay” residents, meaning that they pay from their own money for their nursing home expenses, or they have their nursing home services paid for by the Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program. Low income seniors and disabled adult individuals residing in nursing homes whose care is paid for through the Medicaid program are entitled to a monthly personal needs allowance of $45, which goes into a nursing home resident’s personal account maintained by the nursing home. If the resident has a spouse who still lives in the community, Medicaid may provide a “spousal maintenance allowance”, which allows the “community spouse” to keep some or all of the nursing home resident’s income to help support the community spouse at home.
Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE)
CARIE LINE, 215-545-5728 or 1-800-356-3606, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs
North, South, West and Southwest Philadelphia: Contact CARIE, Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly @ 215-545-5724
Northeast and Northwest Philadelphia: Contact the ombudsman program at 215-399-4970
Pennsylvania Department of Health, for complaints regarding a Nursing Home/Long-Term Care Facility: