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#112 Legal Services: Mental health, disability & healthcare

mp3 #112 Mental Health, Disability & Healthcare (mp3 file)

This message contains information about legal services for mental health, disability, and healthcare problems, including public healthcare benefits. This message lists several legal services agencies, in alphabetical order, and then lists some general healthcare resources. Unless otherwise indicated, to qualify for these services, clients must meet specific low-income guidelines and reside in Los Angeles County. It is important to call these legal service agencies first; many of them do not accept walk-in clients. Okay, here is the list in alphabetical order:

Agency #1. BET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES provides assistance for Medi-Care and Medi-Cal Issues. Their phone number is (213) 939-0506.  San Fernando Valley residents may call the branch office at (818) 769-0136. They are also online at

Agency #2. The CENTER FOR HEALTH CARE RIGHTS provides legal assistance in the following areas of law: HMO’s, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance (or, "Medigap"), and other senior health care issues. Legal assistance is free to Los Angeles County residents with Medicare-related problems. Their toll-free telephone number is (800) 824-0780.  Or call (213) 383-4519.

Agency #3. LOS ANGELES REGIONAL RESOURCE CENTER FOR CAREGIVERS OF BRAIN IMPAIRED ADULTS provides legal assistance for durable powers of Attorney, estate planning, long-term care, Medi-Cal, Medi-care, and separation of assets. Their toll-free telephone number is (800) 540-4442.

Agency #4. MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY PROJECT provides legal assistance for employment, government benefits, housing, juvenile justice, patient's rights, public assistance and special education to persons involved in mental health or developmental services systems who meet income guidelines. Their telephone number is (213) 484-1628.

Agency #5. PATIENT'S RIGHTS ADVOCATE serves all individuals of all ages under psychiatric care in L.A. County facilities who have complaints concerning the type of care they are receiving by the healthcare profession, hospital or other healthcare facility. Also, they represent clients at administrative hearings. Their telephone number is (213) 738-4888.

Agency #6. PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY assists with disability rights and entitlements for developmentally disabled and mentally ill children and adults. Cost of attorney's time is free. Donations are accepted. Their telephone number is (800) 776-5746.

Agency #7. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY NEIGHBORHOOD LEGAL SERVICES provides assistance with MediCal, Medicare, and in-home supportive services. Services are free to residences of San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Antelope Valley, Agoura, Sunland-Tujunga, La Crescenta, Lancaster, Glendale and Burbank who qualify under low-income guidelines. Their telephone number is (818) 896-5211.

Agency #8. WESTERN LAW CENTER FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS provides legal services for government benefits, housing, physical and sensory accessibility, discrimination in public accommodations and against recipients of public monies. Services are free to persons with physical or mental disabilities and who have legal problems arising from their disabilities. Reimbursement for court filing fees and other out-of-pocket expenses may be required. Their telephone number is (213) 736-1334 and their TDD number is (213) 736-8310. They are also online at

The following information relates to general healthcare resources.

If you have a complaint or a question regarding care in hospitals. clinics. or nursing homes call: the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services at their toll free number (800) 427-8700. They have staff that speaks Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, and Armenian. Or call the Department of Aging, Ombudsman Long-Term Care Medical Board at their 24-hour toll-free number (800) 231-4024. You will be referred to the appropriate district office for further assistance. Also, you may call the Licensing and Certification Program at (916) 445-2070.

If you have a complaint about services you received from a medical doctor. call: the Los Angeles County Medical Association at (213) 683-9900 or visit them online at They can also answer questions about ethics and insurance problems, and provide referrals to physicians. Or call the Medical Board of California at their toll-free number, (800) 633-2322. Their number is (916) 263-2322. Staff speaks Spanish. You can also visit them online at

If you are having a problem with your health insurance call: the California Insurance Commissioner at their toll free consumer hotline number (800) 927-4357, or in Sacramento, the number is (916) 263-2322. And call the Los Angeles County Medical Association at (213) 683-9900. If you have questions about Medi-Gap Supplemental Insurance and MediCare Insurance call: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Financing Administration at their toll-free number, 1-800- MEDICARE.

If you need information about senior citizens agencies and legal services, review messages 168 and 106.

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