NEW LAWS: Protecting Persons with Disabilities

New laws effective January 1, 2015 affecting persons with disabilities:

Protecting the Disabled from Fraud and Abuse. Beginning January 1, it will be a Class C misdemeanor to knowingly and falsely represent oneself as the legal guardian or public guardian of a disabled individual.

Appointment of legal guardians of disabled adults. Codifies case law to make sure that the best interest and well-being of the disabled person is taken into consideration when selecting a legal guardian.  Requires the same information collected in court forms to be included in an actual report.  Information such as the name, business address, and business telephone number of all persons who performed the evaluations upon which the report is based.

Helping the disabled seek legal action. In the occurrence where an individual wants to seek legal action against another individual or entity, but in the process becomes legally disabled, the statute of limitations is paused until they recover.  Prior, if they did not recover in less than two years, statute of limitations would not allow them to seek legal action.

Disability Sport Fishing Licensing Exemption. Blind or disabled residents in Illinois will once again be able to fish with commercial fishing devices without holding a sports fishing license. Last year, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources inadvertently removed the fishing exemption for individuals with a disability with the passage of related legislation.  This law includes veterans who are at least 10% disabled with service-related disabilities or in receipt of total disability pensions, provided their respective disabilities do not prevent them from fishing in a manner that is safe to themselves and others.

Eases requirements for disabled veteran parking placards. This law removes a requirement that a disabled parking placard or decal which has been issued to a veteran must be renewed every four years. The new law states that once a disabled parking placard or decal has been issued to a veteran who has been permanently disabled, that veteran does not have to keep coming back to the Secretary of State’s office for a renewal every four years.