Assembly Bill 1754, a bill I authored to protect vulnerable seniors and dependent adults, passed the Assembly Floor and will now head to the Senate.
AB 1754 will help elder and dependent adult victims of financial crimes deal with the severe emotional and financial trauma that can result from these crimes.
AB 1754 sets up a pilot program in San Diego County to help these victims pay for mental health and financial counseling that may be necessary for their recovery. Victims will be reimbursed up to $3,000 from the California Victim Compensation Program, partly financed through federal matching funds, and from restitution, fines and penalty assessments ordered by the courts and paid by the criminals themselves.
The Department of Social Services reports that throughout California, as many as 1,600 cases of elder and dependent adult financial abuse are under investigation in any given month. In San Diego County alone, the Adult Protect Services agency has confirmed 1,148 unique cases of elder and dependent adult financial abuse over the past year.
When a trusting senior loses their life savings, there are no assistance programs outside of the court process to help them. Many have no recourse and resort to depression and even suicide. Helping seniors find resources and support to rebuild their lives is the intent of my bill.
Simply stated, elder abuse cannot be tolerated – its victims must be protected. AB 1754 will help seniors regain their dignity and receive necessary assistance to help restore their independence and self-respect.