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2009 Annual Report 3815 W. St. Joseph St., Suite C200 Lansing, MI 48917 1-866-400-9164 Advising, empowering and serving older adults and people with disabilities to solve legal, financial and personal problems

Economic Security Responding to the growing

2009 Highlights

number of older adults in Michigan facing financial hardships, Elder Law of Michigan (ELM) made economic security for older adults a key priority.

New Benefits Outreach and Enrollment Center identifies over $12 million in benefits for older adults in Michigan.

ELM secured funding to create the Benefits Enrollment and Outreach Center (BEOC). The BEOC helps older adults who are struggling to make ends meet by exploring programs and services to save them money on medical expenses, prescription drugs, utilities, housing and food. “It’s been a great resource for families,” said Kate White, Executive Director. “We are seeing hundreds of older adults who don’t have enough income to meet their most basic needs and we’re helping many of them.”

MiCAFE generated over $2.2 million in food assistance for 2,205 older adults and the economy of Michigan.

ELM didn’t just act on instinct. “Working with Wider Opportunities for Women and the University of Massachusetts at Boston, we conducted evidenced-based analysis to understand the cost for retirees to live in Michigan. Over 30% of people age 65 and older can’t make ends meet.”

Mid-America Pension Rights Project recovers $2.9 million in retirement funds. Elder Abuse video raises awareness of serious public health threat to older adults; 4 judges, 20 prosecutors and 312 law enforcement officers were trained to identify and provide more effective responses to elder abuse. Consumer Fraud Prevention Project contacted 120,000 people to warn them about scams, schemes and swindles.

Investing in results! Our deep thanks to the individuals, callers, foundations, companies, lawyers and organizations that invest in results for older adults, people with disabilities and their families.

Corporations & Foundations Abrams & Associates PC Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan C & E Communications Comerica Incorporated Consumers Energy Foundation Fannie Mae Serve Program Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, PC Gordon Food Service Jackson National Life Insurance Company Keenan Consulting Layton & Richardson, PC Michigan Assisted Living Association Michigan State Bar Foundation Women Lawyers Association Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC Nolan, Thomsen & Villas, PC Public Affairs Associates, Inc. Thomas M. Cooley Law School


366 individuals who care made personal financial contributions ranging from $5 to $1,000. To view a list of these generous people visit

To save paper and expense, our 2009 Audited Financial Statements are online at or GuideStar. A paper copy may also be obtained by contacting us at Beneficiaries of the Elder Law of Michigan Pooled Trust Account donated over $24,000 in support of our mission. It is a great way to give back by directing residual funds to a charity that works to promote independence, options and resources to allow older adults and people with disabilities to live with dignity.

Who we serve and how we help    

71% are older women 85% have incomes of less than $20,000/year 15% are family caregivers 17% are 81 years of age or older

Diversity of Clients White

African American



Native American/First Nation 1%


Where clients reside



30% Wayne County 70%

10% Oakland County 8% Kent County 5% Macomb County

Income Levels of Clients

4% Ingham County 4% Genesee County

$50,000 or more $40,000-$49,999

39% Balance of Michigan

$30,000-$39,999 $20,000-$29,999 $10,000-$19,999 Less than $10,000 0








Results for people and families Protecting Women A 62 year old woman living in Washtenaw County had invited her boyfriend to live with her in her home. This arrangement was satisfactory until he began assaulting her. She called the Hotline to report he had moved out and taken some of her property with him. While relating the story, the boyfriend showed up and resumed the assaultive behavior. Our Hotline attorney convinced her to overcome her reticence to contact the police. She was able to call them and they responded. Our attorney also gave her information about obtaining a Personal Protection Order to ensure she would have a safe place to reside. She called the Hotline a week or so later to inform that the boyfriend had been arrested, a PPO obtained and the situation was under control. She felt safe and secure.

Your donation of any amount to Elder Law of Michigan can give help, hope and dignity to families in need in our state. Please visit

A Sister’s Fight A 69 year old woman called the Hotline and related a complicated set of facts which had created an inability of her elderly brother to have access to his SSI benefits. The brother was in a nursing home. Another brother, who had just died, had been his Guardian and had controled his Social Security and SSI benefits, but due to his untimely death, the caller took over as the successor Guardian. The Social Security and SSI benefits were being deposited into two different accounts for the brother in the nursing home; the SSI benefit was in the name of a nickname the brother had once used and the Social Security Administration now wanted proof of his identity in the form of a State ID. The brother did not have this form of identification and his condition prevented him from leaving the nursing home. The Legal Hotline attorney, after copious research, was able to find Social Security regulations allowing identity to be proved with a health insurance card with photo, which the brother possessed. With the Hotline’s help, the sister gained access to the needed income for her brother. She said she sleeps better each night knowing he is getting the care he needs and has the money to pay for it.

2009 Annual Report Elder Law of Michigan  

Our 2009 Annual Report