Archive | September, 2011

Event: Elder Law & Ethics 2011

Please join us for an interactive presentation and case studies of elder law & ethics on topics such as:

  • Determination of decisional capacity
  • Risk factors for neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • Solutions for helping those at risk
  • Proposed changes to Medicaid (DRA) and potential impacts Amended Power of Attorney Act

Presented by: Attorney Kathryn C. Casey, JD
Partner, Dutton & Casey, P.C.

Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Registration: 8:30 a.m.
Presentation: 9:00 a.m.– Noon
Location: Lake Barrington Woods
22320 Classic Court
Lake Barrington, IL 60010
Registration: There is no cost to attend. Registration is required prior to September 23, 2011.
847-842-8900. Seating is limited.

This program will award 3.0 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers,
Professional Counselors and Registered Nurses. This program satisfies the Illinois Social Worker 3-hour ethics requirement.
Credits provided by Silver Connections/Paxem.

Schedule a Meeting with One of Our Attorneys

To schedule a meeting with one of the firm’s attorney, please call

  • 312-899-0950 for the Chicago office
  • 847-906-3584 for the Arlington Heights office
  • 847-261-4708 for the Skokie office
  • 847-886-9456 for the Vernon Hills office


When calling to set up an appointment, you will speak with Joshua Roma, our paralegal and intake specialist. This call is an opportunity for you to discuss your situation and for us to listen. If our services match your needs, Joshua will work with you to find an available date for you to come to meet with one of our attorneys.

Two things will happen prior to your meeting. The first is that you will receive a questionnaire from our office, either in electronic form or through the mail, depending on your preference. Different circumstances call for different information, so the questionnaire you receive will be specific to your situation. The purpose of the questionnaire is to gather as much background information before the meeting so that the information is readily available for the attorney when you meet. This will maximize your time with the attorney, as more of your time can be spent discussing possible solutions and next steps. It also provides the attorney with a more solid understanding of your situation, which will in turn assist her in providing specific advice that will benefit you most.

Secondly, prior to your appointment, you will receive a phone call from our office reminding you of the date and time of your appointment.

What happens during your meeting?  After?

The first meeting lasts one hour and fifteen minutes long.  During this time, you will meet with one of our attorneys and discuss your circumstances with her.  The information included in your questionnaire will help to guide that conversation.  After you discuss your situation and the details surrounding it, the attorney will talk about some strategies for how your situation may be remedied and what steps would need to be taken in order to achieve that solution.  She will also discuss the approximate costs involved in assisting with your elder law matter so that you are aware of the financial commitment ahead of you and can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

The charge for the first meetng is $350 and it is important to know why.  “Free” is good, but some things are free for a reason.  Our attorneys have over 50 combined years assisting their clients with elder law matters of all shapes and sizes.  At Dutton & Casey, the first meeting is designed as an opportunity to sort through your situation and come up with a plan on how to deal with that situation, whatever it may be.  It is not a sales meeting.  Each of our clients is unique, and as a result, we do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach.  We will provide only those solutions that fit your needs, not a generic package that ignores your real concerns while addressing some that do not even apply to you.  The meeting may even provide you with the information you need to understand that you may not need to retain an attorney after all.  By investing in a productive consultation, you are investing in knowledgeable, attentive and tailored legal assistance.

After the meeting, you will have the option to retain Dutton & Casey to represent and assist you in your matter.  If you choose to do so, we ask that you sign and return our retainer letter (which we will provide once you notify us that would like us to assist with your matter) along with the agreed upon retainer amount.  Once we receive the signed document along with the retainer amount, the work begins immediately.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dutton & Casey, P.C., please fill out the form and Joshua will contact you.

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September Is National Preparedness Month – Include Everyone in Planning for Emergencies

In his proclamation designating September as National Preparedness Month, President Barack Obama stated, “In April of this year, a devastating series of tornadoes challenged our resilience and tested our resolve. In the weeks that followed, people from all walks of life throughout the Midwest and the South joined together to help affected towns recover and rebuild…Disability community leaders worked side-by-side with emergency managers to ensure that survivors with disabilities were fully included in relief and recovery efforts. These stories…underscore that in America, no problem is too hard and no challenge is too great.”’s Emergency Preparedness section has quite a few tools and resources that can help people with disabilities and others prepare for, and recover from, emergency situations and disasters.


Here are a few examples of the resources you’ll find on

•    Tips for people who have pets or service animals
•    Information about emergency kits and supplies
•    Preparing for emergencies at work and school
•    Accessible shelters and emergency housing
•    Help recovering from a disaster

You can also find help in your state by visiting’s Information by State section and going to the Emergency Preparedness section for your state. This blog also has postings about the importance of including everyone in emergency management planning, preparing for emergencies in the workplace and taking into account service animals when planning for emergencies.

FEMA has a great website for kids, READY Kids. This site also has a lot of good information for parents and teachers.  

Stay safe, be prepared, and check out these other resources for more information

• (Listo América)
•    Are You Prepared? Video Contest
•    FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination
•    National Preparedness Month Coalition
•    Emergency Preparedness and You
•    Citizen Corps
•    American Red Cross

Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Protections for Same – Sex Civil Union Partners

When one partner in a long-term relationship needs expensive long term care, often the only way for the couple to pay for it is to look to Medicaid. Historically, there have been no spousal impoverishment protections afforded to partners in same-sex relationships when one partner needs long term care and applies for Medicaid. However, the combination of the new Illinois Civil Union Act and a policy change recently announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ensure that Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections are afforded to Illinois same-sex civil union partners.
On April 1, 2011, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that, effective immediately “[t]he Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will notify states of their ability to provide same-sex domestic partners of long-term care Medicaid beneficiaries the same treatment as opposite-sex spouses in the contexts of estate recovery, imposition of liens, and transfer of assets. This includes not seizing or imposing a lien on the home of a deceased beneficiary if the same-sex domestic partner still resides in the home. It also includes allowing Medicaid beneficiaries needing long-term care to transfer the title of a home to a same-sex domestic partner, allowing the partner to remain in the home.” In additional to these protections, the partner in the community is allowed to receive assets, in addition to the home, from the nursing home partner in an amount sufficient to bring the community partner’s assets to the Community Spouse Asset Allowance standard – presently $109,560. The community partner may also be eligible to receive income from the nursing home partner when Medicaid is paying for that partner’s long term care.
The new Civil Union law which became effective on June 1, 2011 provides that a “party to a civil union” is to be included in any definition used in state law where the term “spouse,” “family,” “immediate family,” “dependent,” “next of kin” and other terms that denote “spousal relationship” are stated. The Civil Union Act stops short of granting same-sex couples the right to “marry”; however, it does guarantee “[a] party to a civil union … the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits as are afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses.
The Civil Union Act in Illinois mandates that the Illinois State Medicaid agency, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, treat partners in civil unions the same as married partners. The federal Medicaid agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, is allowing states to treat same-sex partners as opposite sex spouses for purposes of Medicaid. Therefore, same-sex partners in Illinois Civil Unions should be afforded Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections if Medicaid coverage of long term care becomes necessary for one of the partners. Dutton & Casey, P.C. is available to represent civil union partners needing long term care in accessing Medicaid and Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections. Please note, federal Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections apply to the Medicaid programs covering nursing homes and assisted living (supportive living) facilities, as well as to the home based services program, the Community Care Program, administered by the Illinois Department on Aging.

Event: Elder Law Update

In this session, Attorney Janna Dutton will update you on two important subjects…New Power of Attorney Act and DRA. Bring your questions!

Date: September 15, 2011 – 830-10am

Location: Terrace Gardens Assisted Living, 8415 North Waukegan Road, Morton Grove, Illinois   60053

Registration: There is no cost to attend this program. However, advanced registration is required. Call 847-470-4550 or email by September 12, 2011. Seating is limited.

Continuing Education: 1.5 hours of credit will be awarded to LPC, LCPC, LSW, LCSW, and RN. Credits provided by Silver Connections.

Event: Elder Law and Ethics, 2011

This program will provide an overview of Elder Law topics within an ethical framework. Discussion will This program will provide an overview of Elder Law topics within an ethical framework.  Discussion will include topics of importance to all individuals working with older adults.  These will topics will be presented via interactive lecture and case studies. The following topics will be presented:

  • Determination of decisional capacity
  • Factors that contribute to a person’s risk for neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • Solutions for helping those at risk
  • Updated on the changes to Medicaid (DRA) and what impacts they may have


Date: Wednesday, September 14 , 2011

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Firm Speaker: Janna Dutton, JD

Location: The Abington, 3901 Glenview Rd, Glenview, IL 60025-2467

Click here for a flyer.

To Register: No charge to attend. Pre Registration is required by calling Vicki in marketing department at The Abington. Phone: 847-729-0000  or sending an email to:

Event: Taking Pride in Wellness

The Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders at Center on Halsted provides enriching social, cultural and educational programs for the diverse lesbian, bisexual, and transgender older adult population of Chicago. This goal of this Wellness Fair is to educate older adults, caregivers and loved ones of ways to stay healthy in a holistic way. There will be workshops, participatory activities and a vendor fair with topics that touch on upon parts of wellness including intellectual, social, and spiritual health.

Date: Friday, September 16, 2011

Time: 10:00 am-3:00 pm

Location: Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613

For the flyer on the program, click here.