The Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force

The Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force

A combined effort of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys & the Florida Bar’s Elder Law Section.

To mail in a form, please click here to download the 2024 Task Force Contribution Form.


The Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force for the Elderly and Disabled works daily on behalf of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens and their families, as well as for the practice of Elder Law, through advocacy and outreach. We are a combined effort of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys and the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar.


Our name is lengthy: “The Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force for the Elderly and Disabled,” but our mission is succinct: We advocate for Florida’s senior citizens and individuals with special needs.

Years ago, leaders of the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA), a chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, envisioned a cohesive organization that combined the strengths of both organizations to advocate for the aging and disabled. With careful planning and dedicated volunteers, the Task Force became the “bridge” between these two organizations and since its inception, has been comprised of members of both groups.

For a full listing of Task Force leadership, please click here.


We legislate and communicate rather than litigate. We propose legislation for the benefit of seniors and individuals with special needs and we communicate with agency leaders to affect regulatory change. However, we will take legal action if legislation and communication fail.

The success of AFELA and the Elder Law Section is directly related to the successful work of the Task Force. Task Force members communicate directly with leaders in government, the judiciary, and leaders of state agencies like the Florida Department of Children & Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration. Our advocacy results in positive change for the clients of all elder law attorneys in Florida and for all of our practices.


2023:  Continued collection of data using the Medicaid Administration Tabulator (MAT), developed by the Task Force in 2022. The MAT allows elder law attorneys to report Medicaid application problems so specific case studies can be reported to DCF.  Free webinar regarding the DCF Escalation Process and the Medicaid Administration Tabulator.  Continued regular meetings with DCF and AHCA senior staff regarding recurring systemic Medicaid issues. This ongoing dialogue helped alert DCF of the need for elder law attorneys to use a single e-mail address for all applications and have a dashboard to view all pending applications without becoming a Community Partner.  Organized a free webinar with presenter Tonyaleah Veltkamp, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency with DCF. The program was designed specifically for and limited to elder law attorneys and their staff regarding how to use DCF’s new MyAccess portal.

2022: The task force worked to successfully pass the Clerk’s Bill that requires compilation of data, but protects individual privacy, about guardianships across the state, particularly those involving professional guardians.  Created the Medicaid Administration Tabulator (MAT) that allows our members to report DCF processing issues they are experiencing in the Medicaid application process.  Continued regular meetings with DCF and AHCA senior staff toward prompt resolution of systemic Medicaid issues, including improving delays that have occurred in applicants obtaining level of care assessments.

2021: Continued to monitor and provide expertise to legislators on guardianship and exploitation in Florida, including advancing Exploiter Disinheritance legislation that became law.  Also maintained support of legislation introduced to prevent “Granny Snatching” and monitored and supported Eldercare Coordination Bills.

2020:  Legislative and advocacy work continued: Protection of Vulnerable Investors and Bank Property of Deceased Account Holder bills passed and were signed into law.  Appeal advocacy successful through Mary L. Wakeman as amicus with DCF position that Coastal Income Properties investment was transfer causing penalty period for Medicaid applicant because investment was not for income-producing property.
2019: Legislative work re: ACCESS software issues and improper NOCA denials; Amicus Curiae role in J.N. vs. DCF; working with legislators regarding proposed bill requiring court approval for DNRO and other guardianship issues related to negative news media regarding professional guardians.

2018: Gets seat at the table regarding the language of electronic legal documents – E-wills and E-notarization.

2017: Develops exploitation injunction legislation.

2016: Monitors bills and rules on non-profits serving as agents under Power of Attorney, Long-Term Care Waitlist, and more Guardianship legislation.

2015: Reaches hard-won compromise on media-frenzied guardianship legislation.

2014: Helps craft and lobby for the nation’s strictest presumption of guilt for the crime of elder exploitation.

2013: Implements campaign to work with legislators to educate on the negative effects (and unforeseen consequences) of implementing legislation affecting personal services contracts and spousal refusal.

2011: Ensures FL elder law attorneys around the state attend public hearings to testify in opposition to mandatory enrollment of seniors in Statewide Medicaid Managed Care.

2010: Work with DCF results in DRA compliant promissory notes being excluded assets,resulting in income only treatment. Promissory notes had been counted as assets since DCF transmittal in 2003-2004.

2008: Members participate in Rule Making Workshops to prevent DCF from eliminating life estate exemption and autos greater than 7 years exemption from FAC 65A-1.1712 (2).

2007: Task Force works with DCF counsel to delay implementation of the DRA until Nov.1, 2007.

2006: Pressure on AHCA to update FL nursing home private pay rate is successful and penalty divisor raised for the first time in years. The Task Force now monitors AHCA so figures adjusted each summer.

To see a sampling of the Task Force Top Five sent to all Task Force Contributors monthly, please click here.


The Task Force employs a lobbyist and an administrative law attorney paid for entirely through contributions by members of AFELA and the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar.  In fact, the Task Force is really a team of “super volunteers”, with nearly all Task Force members contributing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and hours to the cause.  Who reaps the benefits of these super volunteers?  All Florida elder law attorneys, seniors and individuals with special needs.
Work by the Task Force is funded entirely on contributions – your contributions.  You can contribute in a way that fits best for you:
1. Monthly.
2. Weekly.
3. Annually.
4. At a specific event.

Please click here to download the 2024 Task Force Contribution Form. To contribute online, please click here.