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Legislative Update by Attorney Emma Hemness

Wednesday, October 05, 2022 3:04 PM | Trisha Randall (Administrator)

Legislative (or Administrative) Action Affecting Florida’s Elderly and Disabled

Presented by Emma Hemness, BCS, CELA

Better Living For Seniors Hillsborough August 26, 2022

Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long Term Care Program –

Older news: AHCA received CMS Waiver renewal to increase available slots from 84,000 to 94,000 in April 2020. Locally, in our PSA, priority 5 (+ higher ranks) releases are 350-400 per month. For August, DOEA released 394.

Older American Act programs –

ADI got $12 million. CCE got an additional $9 million. Statewide there remains staffing crisis for home health programs

Elder Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation Statutes (Ch. 825 & 415)

Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar worked together on additions to the statutes

Added: Expands who may bring an action for injunction by now allowing an agent under Power of Attorney to bring an action, IF and ONLY IF the authority is granted within the Durable Power of Attorney.

Provided: Additional means of proving abuse and exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult by criminalizing the intentional isolation of vulnerable adults from family members. Law enforcement and prosecutors can intervene prior to irreversible physical harm or loss of assets that isolation is designed to facilitate or conceal.

Added: Expanded timeframe for injunction for protection against exploitation up to 45 days (from 15)

What does killing someone and exploiting a person have in common?

Added: Forfeiture for abuse, neglect, exploitation, or aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult. To receive NO benefit from joint accounts or by Will or by Trust, or beneficiary designation, if convicted.

Added: Criminalizes conduct of exploiter who changes terms of the will or trust

Added: Receipt of a kickback or improper benefit is now a breach of fiduciary duty, considered exploitation

Added: Obtaining appointment under POA statute with purpose of benefitting someone other than principal is exploitation

Money Received by Contractors – older news. Not limited to elderly or vulnerable. If contractor is paid >10% and performs no work within 90 days, then a crime is presumed. Anything over $1000 is a felony.

Individual Retirement Accounts – 2022 legislation: If received as part of divorce settlement, can remain protected from creditors.

Guardianship Data Transparency – 2022 legislation: A statewide database will be established by clerk of courts

Foreign Guardianship Transfer – 2022 legislation “DOA”. Florida (one of only 4 states) does not participate in the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA). Courts may not accept a foreign guardianship under “full faith and credit”.

Better Living for Seniors Hillsborough is proud to be affiliated with  

The Area Agency on Aging serving seniors and their Caregivers in
Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Highlands and Hardee Counties.

             8928 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619

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