What is the Legal Hotline?
The Legal Hotline provides free legal information,
advice, and referral for residents of Ohio age 60 and over. The Legal
Hotline responds to the legal needs of callers within Ohio regardless
of income, resources or location. Typical questions concern Medicare, Medicaid and
Medicaid estate recovery, living wills, durable powers of attorney for
health care, and consumer problems. The Legal Hotline also acts as a gateway to other Pro Seniors
programs, referring appropriate callers to the Long-Term
Care Ombudsman Program or to Care Options.
How can I reach the Legal Hotline?
Telephone appointments for the Legal Hotline
are made Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In the Cincinnati
area, you can call (513) 345-4160. Outside the local calling area, you
can reach the Legal Hotline toll-free at (800) 488-6070. Click
here for a National Senior Hotline
How does the Legal Hotline work?
When you call the Legal Hotline, you will initially
talk with an intake worker. The intake worker
will gather basic information, such as name, address, birthdate, phone
number, etc., and take down the general nature of your question or problem.
Hotline attorneys use the information collected by the intake workers
to return calls.
What if I require more than advice to solve
If you have a legal problem that cannot be solved
over the phone, the Legal Hotline will try to refer you to an appropriate
source for more in-depth assistance. If you are in the five-county area
around Cincinnati - Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, and Warren counties
- the Legal Hotline may refer you to a Pro Seniors staff attorney. Pro
Seniors staff attorneys handle problems that most private attorneys do
not, such as problems involving Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, other
government benefits, and protective services. Pro Seniors may also refer
you to a private attorney on the Hotline Referral
What is the Hotline Referral Attorney Panel?
Pro Seniors' Legal Hotline
for Older Ohioans offers free legal advice to callers age 60 and older. While many problems can be solved over the phone, some cannot. That's
why the Hotline Referral Attorney Panel (HRAP) was created. HRAP assists
callers who need more personal attention by referring them to an attorney
who will handle their legal problems, usually at a fee they can afford.
The HRAP has attorneys throughout Ohio.
Many of the HRAP attorneys have agreed to accept cases from moderately
low-income persons at an agreed-upon reduced fee, or in some instances,
for free. When appropriate, the Legal Hotline also refers clients to local
legal aid offices and other community resources available to assist them.
I'm an attorney, how do I qualify?
- Be, and continue to be, an attorney in good
standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio;
- Maintain an office separate and distinct from
any other business or residence;
- Be actively engaged in the private practice
- Carry, and continue to carry, professional
liability insurance equivalent to at least $100,000 per occurrence and
$300,000 in the aggregate, which insurance is acceptable to Pro Seniors;
- Represent clients in a professional and businesslike
manner in all respects;
- Meet the minimum CLE credits in areas of expertise
- Abide by HRAP rules and procedures.
How do I join the panel?
It's easy. Mail the following to Pro Seniors:
- your completed
- the declarations page of your professional
liability insurance; and
- a check for $75 payable to "Pro Seniors,
- The document above requires the free Adobe®
Acrobat® Reader to view and print.
How does the panel work?
What are the benefits?
Referrals are made to attorneys in the order in
which their names appear in the rotation system. You will accept any referral
for initial consultation except for those matters you indicated in your
application that you are unwilling to handle. However, if any referral
creates a conflict of interest, you must advise the client to contact
the HRAP coordinator for another referral. Nothing herein may be construed
to obligate you to accept employment beyond the initial consultation. You must interview the client and, except in extraordinary situations,
not refer the prospective client to another attorney. If you deem the
situation extraordinary, you must first obtain the HRAP's approval before
referring the client to another attorney. You can receive referrals either
at an office location or by agreeing on the registration form to visit
homebound clients in their homes. Your relationship with a referred client
reflects upon the HRAP and upon Pro Seniors. That's why we ask you to
be professional in every client contact, including, but not limited to,
honoring all fee arrangements.
In addition to fee-paying clients, you gain the benefit
What are the Rules?
- Legal Pamphlets:
You can receive, at no charge, pamphlets prepared by Pro Seniors on
areas of elder law. You can order any of the more than 45 additional
pamphlets on legal and long-term care issues.
- Elder Law Consultations: Call Pro Seniors'
staff attorneys, who practice exclusively in elder law, for technical
assistance on behalf of your HRAP referrals and non-HRAP clients.
- Speaking Referrals: You can receive referrals
to speak to older adult organizations in your geographic area. Indicate
the topics you are able to cover on the registration form.
Panel members agree to:
Failure to Comply with HRAP Rules
- Permit any dispute concerning fees arising
from a referral to be submitted to binding arbitration by their local
- Grant all clients referred by the HRAP an appointment
as soon as practical after the referral is made;
- Make no charge for the first 30 minutes of
consultation at the initial meeting with the client;
- Abide by all rules of the HRAP, and in no event
to hold or claim to hold the HRAP, Pro Seniors, or any of its officers,
members or employees liable for the operation of the HRAP, information
contained in your application, or HRAP activities;
- Complete and return HRAP referral reports as
soon as possible and no later than the deadline given; and
- Annually certify that you have not been suspended
from the practice of law or found to be in violation of the Code
of Professional Responsibility.
- Nothing herein requires you to violate the
You may be denied registration or suspended from
the panel for any of the following:
- Failure to pay any fee due the HRAP;
- Failure to send in any report due the HRAP;
- Failure to carry the required liability insurance;
- Submitting a registration form or making a
report to the HRAP which is untrue in any aspect;
- Failure to abide by the Ohio Code of Professional
- Failure to abide by the HRAP fee schedule (if
participating voluntarily in the reduced-fee or pro bono panels); or
- Failure to maintain a proper office.
The annual membership fee is $75, payable to Pro
Fee Sharing: If
any attorney fees you receive from a full-fee or contingency-fee client
referral is $100 or more, you must pay to Pro Seniors, Inc. 15% of that
fee. Payment is due to Pro Seniors within 30 days after receipt. This
percentage of fee requirement lasts as long as you continue to receive
fees on a referred case.
Client Fees: You
can choose to receive one or more of these fee types: full fee, reduced fee,
contingency fee and/or pro bono clients. Download
reduced fee schedule
form (PDF) for
details. Remember, you must agree to provide the initial half-hour
of consultation at no cost. Please note that the income from the percentage
fee you pay Pro Seniors is used to pay the reasonable operating costs
of the HRAP and to fund public service activities of the HRAP or Pro Seniors.
If you're an attorney in Greater Cincinnati, Pro
Seniors can use your help. Volunteer at the hotline and learn more about
the growing field of elder law. Interested attorneys should contact the
Volunteer Coordinator at (513) 345-4160.
Other Ways to Help
Even if you can't accept referrals right now, you
can still support the hotline by making a tax-deductible contribution
to Pro Seniors. When you make a contribution equal to your hourly billing
rate, you're entitled to the pamphlets and all other support that referral