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Elder Law: Primary Sources

Federal Law

The following statutes can be found in the United States Code (U.S.C.).   The print version of the U.S. C. is located on the 1st floor of Gould Law Library (KF61.A2).  Theses statutes also have corresponding Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) provisions.  The C.F.R.  is also located on the first floor of the Gould Law Library (KF70.A3).  The online version of both the U.S.C. and the C.F.R. can be found at
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §621 et seq., 29 C.F.R. §1625 et seq.
The aim of the ADEA is to prevent age discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA prohibits statutorily qualified employers from discriminating against workers 40 years of age or older based upon their age in terms of hiring, firing, compensation or conditions of employment.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. §1001 et seq., 29 C.F.R. §2509 et seq.
ERISA established minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector. The purpose of ERISA is to protect the interests of employees who participate in such plans.
Medicaid, 42 U.S.C. §1396 et seq., 42 C.F.R. Parts 430-456 
Program operated by the federal government that covers medical expenses for low income persons who are either: elderly, disabled or blind. Every state participates in this program and pays a portion of the medical expenses.
Medicare, 42 U.S.C. §1395 et seq,  42 C.F.R. §400.200 et seq. and 42 C.F.R. §475.100 et seq.
Federally funded health care program for individuals 65 years of age and older. Medicare is comprised of three programs: Part A which covers hospitalization and short term nursing care; Part B which covers doctors’ fees; and Part D which covers prescription drugs. It should be noted that Medicare does not always cover every type of medical cost.
Social Security , 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq., 20 C.F.R. Part 404, et seq.,  20 C.F.R. Part 404, et seq.
Official Name:  Federal Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits
Provides retirement benefits to eligible retirees based upon a retiree’s employment history. It also provides benefits to a retiree’s surviving spouse, and surviving children under the age of eighteen.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 42 U.S.C. §1381 et seq.,  20 C.F.R. Part 416
Is a federally funded welfare program that provides monthly income to certain eligible elderly, disabled or blind individuals who have limited income or financial resources.

New York State Law

The statutory provisions cited below can be located on the second floor of the Library in either McKinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York, KFN 5030.A2 M38, or New York Consolidated Laws Service, KFN5030 1976 .A24.
Elder Law:  Elder Law Article 2
Article 2 contains provisions relative to programs for the elderly and the Office for the Aging.
Guardianship Law:  Mental Hygiene Law Article 81
Provides a system by which an incapacitated person’s personal and/or property management needs can be met, while taking into consideration the wishes and preferences of the individual.
Health Care Proxy:  Public Heath Law Article 29-C
Establishes a means through which an adult can appoint a health care agent to make health care decisions in the adult’s stead should the adult become unable to do so.
Power of Attorney:  General Obligations Law Article 5
Provisions enable a competent individual to grant to another person the authority and power to control almost all of, or conversely, only a small portion of, an individual’s assets.