Courtesy of Deb Miller

West Virginia Senior Legal Aid

Who should I call?

When you have an unusual or complex issue or problem to solve, contacting Dear Abby might be tempting, but there are services and resources closer to home in West Virginia.

If you are dealing with a consumer fraud issue, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline about identity theft, telemarketing, Internet scams, fake checks games, preneed funeral fraud and similar issues at 1-800-368-8808. More information is available at www.wvago.gov.

The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers from unfair business practices. To see how they can help, visit www.consumer.gov and www.consumer.ftc.gov.

For those faced with domestic violence, the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at www.wvadv.org is the place to start. Call 1-800-799-SAFE, the National Domestic Violence hotline, to speak with a counselor right away.

If you know of abuse, neglect or exploitation of an adult who seems to be mentally or physically incapacitated, you can report it to the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Adult Protective Services at 1-800-352-6513. Find out more at www.wvdkhr.org.

Help with legal issues is available. For low-income residents, Legal Aid of West Virginia, at 1-866-255-4370 or www.lawv.net, can provide guidance. Seniors, age 60 and over, can receive legal help regardless of income from West Virginia Senior Legal Aid. Contact 1-800-229-5068 or seniorlegalaid@gmail.com for assistance from a staff attorney. Also, various legal resources are available on www.seniorlegalaid.net.

Disability Rights West Virginia protects the legal rights of residents with disabilities. Their services are free. Contact them at 1-800-950-5250 or learn more at www.drofwv.org.

Those with independent living issues or disabilities can contact the Aging and Disability Resource Network. Staff can help with applications for supportive programs at 1-866-987-2372. Learn more at www.wvnavigate.org.

For those in a nursing home or assisted living facility, the West Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program can serve as an advocate on behalf of residents. Call 1-800-834-0598 ext. 2135 for their help.

Also, the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification inspects licensed nursing homes and participating nursing facilities. Call 304-558-0050 for their help or visit www.ohflac.wv.gov.

For Medicaid patients, DHHR's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit can investigate financial exploitation by caregivers and families. Their tipline is 1-888-Fraud-WV. After Oct. 1, 2019, these matters will be handled by the Attorney General's Office.

Have a complaint about a time share you own? The State Auditor's Division of Land Sales and Condominiums can provide information and a complaint form at https://www.wvsao.gov/Securities/.

AARP West Virginia is a nonprofit membership organization for people age 50-plus. They increase awareness on senior issues including consumer protection, in-home services, financial security enhancement and caregiver support. Learn more at www.aarp.org/WV/ or call 1-866-277-7458.

Each agency or program has expertise with these crucial issues to help those who feel unable to handle them on their own.

West Virginia Senior Legal Aid has helped older state residents for over 50 years to deal with their legal questions. You must call on your own behalf at 800-229-5068 to find the legal answers needed.

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