Office for the Aging


Testimony of Corinda Crossdale, Acting Director
New York State Office for the Aging

Joint Legislative Budget Hearing

Conducted by Senate Finance Committee

Assembly Ways & Means Committee

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hearing Room B

Legislative Office Building

Empire State Plaza

Albany, New York

Good afternoon Chairman DeFrancisco, Chairman Farrell, distinguished members of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees and Chairperson Millman. My name is Corinda Crossdale and I am the Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging.

The New York State Office for the Aging promotes and administers programs and services for New Yorkers who are 60 years of age and older. NYSOFA's core mission is to help older adults remain independent for as long as possible. In carrying out this mission, NYSOFA provides leadership and direction to 59 county based Area Agencies on Aging, a network of over 1,200 public and private organizations which serve and help empower older adults and their families, and leveraged over $237 million in additional funding to provide services to 700,000 older adults.

Governor Cuomo's 2014-2015 Executive Budget ensures that those we serve continue to receive cost-effective, high quality services that support independence and prevent more costly services. As such, the Executive Budget maintains funding for key programs including the Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP), which provides non-medical in-home services, case management, respite and ancillary services to frail older adults, most of whom are low-income but not eligible for Medicaid; the Wellness in Nutrition Program which funds home delivered and congregate meals and provides nutrition counseling and education to frail older adults who are unable to prepare meals for themselves; the Community Services for the Elderly Program (CSE), which is designed to improve the ability of communities to assist older adults who need help in order to remain in their homes and to participate in family and community life, our continuing outreach and education efforts to combat instances of elder abuse and NY Connects: Choices for Long Term Care, a statewide, locally based "no wrong door" that provides one stop access to free, objective and comprehensive Information and Assistance (I&A) on long term services and supports for individuals of all ages.

The 2014-2015 Executive Budget also ensures that older New Yorkers at nutritional risk understand, apply for and receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) services. The Executive Budget allows NYSOFA to expand access to Social Adult Day Services Programs (SADS), expand access to non-medical, non-emergency transportation and expands the scope of the elder abuse education and outreach program.

NYSOFA has, through a variety of strategic partnerships and with our county area agency on aging and other partners accomplished a lot in 2013. New York was ranked first in the nation in meeting the nutritional needs of seniors and fifth in providing in-home care, transportation and legal services. We also made significant progress in making more information available on-line. A statewide data portal was launched where individuals can locate evidence based health promotion interventions, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs, and register using the link at as a result of the partnership between NYSOFA, DOH and SUNY. Further, this collaboration, along with numerous community partners continues to increase the availability of these proven interventions in more communities across the state. We have also created a web-based quality review system, an online portal for County Area Aging Agencies to submit applications and employed webinars to conduct statewide trainings.

Some other examples of NYSOFA's major accomplishments over the last year include:

  • Assisted over 144,000 Medicare beneficiaries in New York State through the Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP). Additionally, helped over 13,200 consumers apply for and receive over $66 million in federal and state benefits that assist them in paying for their Medicare premium in addition to out-of-pocket prescription drug costs such as co-pays, premiums and deductibles through the collaborative efforts of NY Connects and HIICAP.
  • Launched the Legal Services Initiative in partnership with the New York State Office of Court Administration, the New York State Bar Association, and the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to promote awareness among older adults, people of all ages with disabilities, and informal caregivers of their legal rights and increase access to affordable legal services.
  • Increased consumer directed in-home services within state and federal programs and funding streams.
  • Increased NYSOFA MWBE utilization percentage for the four quarters ending 1/31/13 by 71%, far exceeding our goal of 29%.

As you can see from these examples, NYSOFA continues to be proactive in working to improve our services and advocacy for older adults by increasing partnerships and integrating our work with other agencies and entities to maximize the utilization of resources. We look forward to continuing down this path to create systems that are seamless for the consumer and their families.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my comments. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.