Reporting Financial Elder Abuse in San Francisco
Elder abuse, including financial elder abuse, is unfortunately much more common than most people realize. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that for every reported incident of financial exploitation against the elderly, there are 44 unreported incidents. While that discrepancy is staggering, reporting financial elder abuse is crucial because it can help alleviate financial harm to its victims and form part of the evidentiary basis for legal recovery efforts. To maximize the impact of a financial elder abuse report, please consider working with a California financial elder abuse attorney.
Where Should You Report Financial Elder Abuse in San Francisco?
The first place to report known or suspected financial elder abuse in San Francisco is Adult Protective Services (APS), a division of the San Francisco Human Services Agency. The agency accepts and responds to reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and self-neglect of older adults and adults with disabilities. To submit a formal report of known or suspected financial elder abuse, reporters should fill out and file form SOC 341, which asks for the following information:
- The victim’s identity, contact information, and status (i.e., elderly or disabled)
- The suspected abuser’s identity, contact information, and relationship to the victim
- The reporter’s identity, contact information, and relationship to the victim
- The reporter’s observations and beliefs concerning the alleged abuse, as well as statements by the victim (if available)
- The place the incident(s) occurred (including nursing homes and other long-term care facilities)
- The type of abuse alleged (i.e., physical, sexual, financial, neglect, etc.)
- The names, contact information, and relationship to the victim of any other people believed to have knowledge of the abuse
- The name and contact information of anyone responsible for the victim’s care
While APS is a first stop for reports of financial elder abuse, reports may also be made to local law enforcement, and, when applicable, to the Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. It is not legally necessary to hire a lawyer to report elder abuse, but you nonetheless may want to consider speaking with a California financial elder abuse lawyer prior to making a report. Reporting financial elder abuse to any agency will not assist you in getting damages and other relief against the perpetrator which working with counsel can pursue.
What About Mandated Reporters?
Certain individuals are required by law to report known or suspected elder abuse, including care custodians, healthcare practitioners, employees of county welfare departments, police officers, social workers, members of the clergy, and anyone who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody. The officers and employees of financial institutions are also mandated reporters and are required to complete and file form SOC 342 if they observe, suspect, or have knowledge of financial elder abuse within the scope of their employment. Failure to make a report of financial elder abuse when mandated is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Report Financial Elder Abuse With the Assistance of a San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Attorney
Reporting financial elder abuse is the most effective way to begin the process of seeking justice for its victims. To get started, please contact a San Francisco financial elder abuse lawyer at the Evans Law Firm, Inc., by using our online contact form or calling 415-441-8669 or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).