Illinois seniors and the disabled will be better protected from financial abuse under legislation signed
into law Wednesday by Governor Rauner. State Representative Tom Bennett, the measure’s chief House Sponsor, said it allows victims and their families to promptly proceed in court with a civil case, and increases the damage awards they may recover.
“It’s an unfortunate reality that thieves and scam artists often target those that them believe will be most vulnerable – the elderly and the disabled. To make matters worse, criminal prosecution is often difficult because of the very high burden of proof,” Representative Bennett said. “A constituent whose family member was targeted brought to my attention the need to put better protections in place.”
The new law, House Bill 1588, allows elderly or disabled victims of financial exploitation or abuse to immediately proceed in court with a civil case, and increases the damage awards they may recover. It is supported by AARP and the Illinois Elder Financial Justice Clinic.
“These are significant changes that will help those victimized get the justice they deserve, and their finances restored. They also put the thieves on notice – if you try to take advantage of the elderly or disabled, you will pay,” Representative Bennett said.