Bill S2337-2013

Requires certain persons to report financial exploitation of the elderly; repealer

Requires various persons (similar to child abuse) to report financial exploitation of the elderly (sixty-two or older) to a social services official; directs the commissioner of children and family services to develop rules for the conduct of investigations and the protection of the exploited.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO AGING
  • Jan 16, 2013: REFERRED TO AGING

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2337

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law and the banking law, in relation to protection of the elderly against financial exploitation; and to repeal title 13 of article 5 of such law relating to state heating fuel crisis assistance

PURPOSE: This legislation would require various persons L6 report, financial exploitation of the elderly as such term is defined in social Services Law section 473(6).

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Creates a new title 13 of article 5 of the social services law, which requires certain persons and officials to report when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a person aged sixty-two or older coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of financial exploitation as such term is defined in Social Services Law section 473(6). The persons and officials required to make such a report include the following: medical, dental, podiatric and mental health professionals; hospital or nursing home personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of patients; Christian science practitioners; social workers, counselors and social service workers; police officers and other law enforcement officials; district attorneys, assistant district attorneys and investigators employed by their offices; lawyers; accountants; tax preparers; and certain banking institutions.

Reports shall be made to the local social services official of the district in which the reporting person gains knowledge of the illegal activity or in which the elderly person resides. The commissioner of children and family services shall promulgate rules providing for the conduct of investigations of reports made pursuant to this section and for the implementation of measures to protect victims against such financial exploitation when it is found.

Section 2: Amends Banking Law section 4(3)so that no banking organization which reports suspected instances of elder abuse shall be liable to any other- person for the disclosure of such suspected incidence of elder abuse.

Section 3: Provides for an effective date of the 270 days after this act shall become a law.

JUSTIFICATION: Persons over age 65 are the fastest growing segment of the American population. While senior citizens constituted only 4% of the total population in 1900, by 1994 the proportion of seniors in the united States had grown to 12.5%. By 2050 almost 25% of all Americans will be over age 65. This dramatic shift in population distribution has produced tremendous upheavals in family structure and in our societal response to the senior population. One problem faced by many seniors today is how to care for themselves when their traditional network of support, their children and grandchildren, are occupied with raising their own families and often spread out over a wide geographic area.

Evidence suggests that it is possible that a surprisingly high percentage of seniors are mistreated by family or institutional caregivers or neglected in their basic needs. This maltreatment can take many forms, ranging from physical and psychological abuse 'and neglect to financial abuse and exploitation. While physical abuse and neglect would seem to be a more immediate concern for the elderly than protecting their financial assets from potential theft or conversion by relatives and caregivers, the loss of one's financial assets can have as severe a long-term impact on a senior's wellbeing and quality of life as a physical injury.

A 1990 congressional report also concluded that elder abuse is far less likely to be reported than child abuse, estimating that only 1 in 8 cases of elder abuse, as compared with 1 in 3 cases of child abuse, is ever reported to the authorities. Mandatory reporting of suspected abuse and neglect has been a significant legislative response to the problem of mistreatment and exploitation of the elderly. Currently, 42 states and the District of Columbia have statutes requiring various professionals (typically health care professionals, psychologists and social workers) to report known and suspected incidents to prescribed public officials.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.7529 of 2000 - Referred to Aging A.2264 of 2002 - Referred to Aging S.2697-A of 2006 - Motion to Petition - Lost S.2256 of 2008 - Referred to Aging S.1838 of 2010 - Reported to Codes S. 1028 of 2012 - Referred to Aging

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 270th day after it shall become a law; provided that the commissioner of children and family services is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations necessary to implement this act on its effective date on or before such date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2337 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 16, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the social services law and the banking law, in relation to protection of the elderly against financial exploitation; and to repeal title 13 of article 5 of such law relating to state heating fuel crisis assistance THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Title 13 of article 5 of the social services law is REPEALED and a new title 13 is added to read as follows: TITLE 13 REPORTING OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY SECTION 370-AA. REPORTING OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY. S 370-AA. REPORTING OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY. 1. THE FOLLOWING PERSONS AND OFFICIALS ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT OR CAUSE A REPORT TO BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION WHEN THEY HAVE REASONABLE CAUSE TO SUSPECT THAT A PERSON AGED SIXTY-TWO YEARS OR OLDER COMING BEFORE THEM IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL OR OFFICIAL CAPACITY IS A VICTIM OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (G) OF SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER: ANY PHYSICIAN; LICENSED PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT; SURGEON; MEDICAL EXAMINER; CORONER; DENTIST; OSTEOPATH; OPTOMETRIST; CHIROPRACTOR; PODIATRIST; RESIDENT; INTERN; PSYCHOLOGIST; REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL NURSE; HOSPITAL OR NURSING HOME PERSONNEL ENGAGED IN THE ADMISSION, EXAMINATION, CARE OR TREATMENT OF PERSONS; SOCIAL SERVICES WORKER; SOCIAL WORKER; MENTAL HEALTH PROFES- SIONAL; SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR; ALCOHOLISM COUNSELOR; POLICE OFFICER; DISTRICT ATTORNEY OR ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY; INVESTIGATOR EMPLOYED IN THE OFFICE OF A DISTRICT ATTORNEY; OR OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL; LAWYER; PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT OR CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT; INCOME TAX
PREPARER; OR BANKING INSTITUTION, AS DEFINED IN SECTION NINE-F OF THE BANKING LAW. WHENEVER SUCH PERSON IS REQUIRED TO REPORT UNDER THIS SECTION IN HIS OR HER CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF A MEDICAL OR OTHER PUBLIC OR PRIVATE INSTITUTION, FACILITY OR AGENCY, HE OR SHE SHALL IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF SUCH INSTITUTION, FACILITY OR AGENCY, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNATED AGENT, WHO THEN ALSO SHALL BECOME RESPONSIBLE TO REPORT OR CAUSE REPORTS TO BE MADE. HOWEVER, NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED TO REQUIRE MORE THAN ONE REPORT FROM ANY SUCH INSTITUTION, FACILITY OR AGENCY. 2. (A) THE REPORTS REQUIRED TO BE MADE BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE MADE TO THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT IN WHICH THE REPORTING PERSON GAINS KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OR IN WHICH THE ELDERLY PERSON RESIDES. (B) UPON THE RECEIPT OF SUCH A REPORT, SUCH SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL SHALL INVESTIGATE SUCH REPORT AND TAKE SUCH ACTION AS MAY BE WARRANTED PURSUANT TO THE RULES OF THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES PROMULGATED THEREFOR. (C) THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SHALL PROMULGATE RULES PROVIDING FOR THE ACCEPTANCE AND PROCESSING OF SUCH REPORTS, AND FOR THE CONDUCT OF INVESTIGATIONS OF REPORTS MADE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION AND FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MEASURES TO PROTECT PERSONS AGED SIXTY-TWO YEARS OR OLDER AGAINST SUCH FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION WHEN IT IS FOUND. SUCH RULES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, NOTIFYING THE APPROPRIATE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, OR OTHER APPROPRI- ATE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OF ILLEGAL CONDUCT AND NOTIFYING THE NON-IMPLICATED NEXT OF KIN, ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, OR GUARDIAN OF SUCH PERSON. S 2. Subdivision 3 of section 4 of the banking law, as amended by chapter 601 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: 3. No financial institution which discloses information pursuant to subdivision two of this section, or discloses any financial record to the state office of temporary and disability assistance or a child support enforcement unit of a social services district for the purpose of enforcing a child support obligation of such person, shall be liable under any law to any person for such disclosure, or for any other action taken in good faith to comply with subdivision two of this section. NO BANKING ORGANIZATION WHICH REPORTS INSTANCES OF SUSPECTED ABUSE OR MISTREATMENT OF ANY PERSON AGED SIXTY-TWO YEARS OR OLDER TO THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING OR A DESIGNATED AGENCY, PURSUANT TO THE ELDER LAW, SHALL BE LIABLE TO ANY PERSON FOR SUCH DISCLOSURE, OR FOR ANY OTHER ACTION TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUCH CHAPTER. S 3. This act shall take effect on the two hundred seventieth day after it shall have become a law; provided that the commissioner of children and family services is authorized to promulgate rules and regu- lations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effec- tive date on or before such date.

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