Office for the Aging

Updated May 27, 2016, 12:44 PM


Home Energy Assistance (HEAP)

Program Snapshot: Description of Program: This program provides cash to help pay heating bills for low-income individuals and families. It is administered by local social services departments for people under 60 and by local offices for the aging for people age 60 and over. You can begin applying for HEAP benefits in November each year. HEAP provides grants on a first come first serve basis until the funds provided for each heating season run out.

Goals and Objectives: To provide assitance to low-income seniors so they can afford their heating bills and remain safe in the community.

Eligibility: Low-income individuals and families. Administered by local social services departments for people under 60 and by local offices for the aging for people age 60 and over.

Funding: Allocation Schedules. Federally funded program.

Services Levels: HEAP annual report due June 30

Supporting Materials:

NYS Office of Temporary and Disabilities Assistance

Health Insurance Information Counseling Program (HIICAP)

Program Snapshot: Description of Program: About 500 trained HIICAP counselors located in county offices for the aging across the state are available to answer New Yorkers’ questions about Medicare, Medicare Advantage programs (managed care), Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medigap and other health and long term care insurance. Counseling is also available through a toll-free HIICAP HotLine at 1-800-701-0501. Callers will be prompted to enter their zip code and will then be routed to their local HIICAP program to speak with a trained counselor. In most cases, this local program will be the Area Agency on Aging. There are some AAA’s who subcontract the HIICAP program to community agencies so the calls will be sent directly to them. HIICAP information is also available on the Internet.

Goals and Objectives: HIICAP works directly with Medicare Beneficiaries to educate them about the Medicare Program, Medigap policies, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage Plans, Long-term Care Insurance, Low-Income Subsidy Programs, employer-sponsored insurance, and other health insurance programs that are available in New York State. From January to December of 2009, HIICAP reported almost 117,000 Client Contacts to the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In addition, during 2009, the local HIICAP offices conducted over 3,600 Public and Media Events which included public presentations, television and radio shows, health fairs and other events that reached over 5 million New Yorkers. Our statewide toll-free hotline (1-800-701-0501) records over 30,000 calls per year now that the number appears on the back cover of the Medicare & You Handbook which is distributed to the almost 3 million Medicare beneficiaries in our state.

HIICAP Counselors are trained each year via monthly conference calls, a 2-day annual conference, training for new Coordinators and by 11 regional training sessions each fall. In addition, HIICAP Counselors have access to contractors such as the Medicare Rights Center and National Government Services who provide technical assistance and training during the year. These resources, in addition to the HIICAP Notebook, “Brenda’s Book” Technical Manual and other sources, provide our network with the information and support that they need to work with complex medical insurance issues. NYSOFA HIICAP Staff are available to provide complaint resolutions, access to CMS, information on the plan selections and all training materials which serve to enhance our program and ensure its effectiveness to clients.

07-PI-05 Health Insurance Information, Counseling & Assistance Program (HIICAP) Application and Reporting Requirements: April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008 (May 2, 2007)

Funding: Funding for HIICAP comes from CMS with additional money from the State of New York. Beginning with the 2008-09 program year, applications for HIICAP Funding were moved to the Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) for the AAA’s. This move made the application process much easier for the AAA’s and provided for earlier approval of funding. Of course, additional funding is sometimes received during the year necessitating budget modifications to the program.

Allocation Schedules Federally funded program.
08-PI-25 SFY 2008-09 Revised Final Allocation Schedule for HIICAP which includes an Additional Supplement for Each Local HIICAP Program.(December 23,2008) 

09-PI-17 Annual Implementation Plan for 2010-11 including HIICAP funding.

09-PI-19 SFY 2009-10 Revised Final Allocation Schedule for HIICAP Which Includes Additional CMS Base Grant and Performance Award Funding(December 28, 2009)

Important Reporting Dates: Client Contacts & Public/Media Events -Quarterly Reports
1st  quarter –April 1 – June 30
2nd quarter –July 1 – September 30
3rd  quarter –October 1 – December 31
4th  quarter –January 1 – March 31
Resource Reports (bi-annual)
April 1 – September 30
October 1 – March 31

Supporting Materials:
Health Insurance Information Counseling Assistance Program(HIICAP)
HIICAP Counselor Information
Social Security
Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC)
Elearning Materials

Nutrition Services Incentive Program NSIP

Program Snapshot: Description of Program: The NSIP was established by the OAA (Section 311) in 1974 as the Nutrition Program for the Elderly in United States Department of Agriculture [USDA (for commodities only, and in 1977 for commodities or cash)]. The NSIP was transferred to Administration on Aging in 2003. NSIP provides additional funding to States, Territories and eligible Tribal organizations that is used exclusively to purchase food, and may not be used to pay for other nutrition-related services or for state or local administrative costs. States may choose to receive the grant as cash, commodities or a combination of cash and commodities. For a number of years, all area agencies on aging in NYS have chosen to receive cash grants under this program.

Grants to area agencies (reimbursement) are based on the number of eligible meals provided to eligible recipients. In other words, meals must meet the requirements of the OAA and must be served to eligible participants as identifed by the OAA. This requirement extends to restaurant voucher option. In addition, if participants have been charged a fee or made to pay for a meal(s), those meals may not be claimed for reimbursement. Annually the Reporting Unit at NYSOFA conducts the federally-required meal count verification. This process is extremely important and must be completed accurately because the total meal count determines the overall federal grant to NYS. Should an area agency on aging file inaccurate information, the federal government can seek reimbursement of overpayments.

Section. 311.
(a) The purpose of this section is to provide incentives to encourage and reward effective performance by States and tribal organizations in the efficient delivery of nutritious meals to older individuals.

(b)(1) The Secretary shall allot and provide, in accordance with this section, to or on behalf of each State agency with a plan approved under this title for a fiscal year, and to or on behalf of each grantee with an application approved under title VI for such fiscal year, an amount bearing the same ratio to the total amount appropriated for such fiscal year under subsection (e) as the number of meals served in the State under such plan approved for the preceding fiscal year (or the number of meals served by the title VI grantee, under such application approved for such preceding fiscal year), bears to the total number of such meals served in all States and by all title VI grantees under all such plans and applications approved for such preceding fiscal year.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), in the case of a grantee that has an application approved under title VI for a fiscal year but that did not receive assistance under this section for the preceding fiscal year, the number of meals served by the title VI grantee for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed to equal the number of meals that the Assistant Secretary estimates will be served by the title VI grantee in the fiscal year for which the application was approved.

(c)(1) Agricultural commodities (including bonus commodities) and products purchased by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935 (7 U.S.C. 612c), shall be donated to a recipient of a grant or contract to be used for providing nutrition services in accordance with the provisions of this title.

(2) The Commodities Credit Corporation shall dispose of food commodities (including bonus commodities) under section 416 of the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1431) by donating them to a recipient of a grant or contract to be used for providing nutrition services in accordance with the provisions of this title.

(3) Dairy products (including bonus commodities) purchased by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 709 of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1965 (7 U.S.C. 1446a-1) shall be used to meet the requirements of programs providing nutrition services in accordance with the provisions of this title.

(4) Among the commodities provided under this subsection, the Secretary of Agriculture shall give special emphasis to foods of high nutritional value to support the health of older individuals. The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary, is authorized to prescribe the terms and conditions respecting the provision of commodities under this subsection.

(d) (1) Each State agency and each title VI grantee shall be entitled to use all or any part of amounts allotted under subsection (b) to obtain from the Secretary of Agriculture commodities available through any food program of the Department of Agriculture at the rates at which such commodities are valued for purposes of such program.

(2) The Secretary of Agriculture shall determine and report to the Secretary, by such date as the Secretary may require, the amount (if any( of its allotment under subsection (b) which each State agency and title VI grantee has elected to receive in the form of commodities. Such amount shall include an amount bearing the same ratio to the costs to the Secretary of Agriculture of providing such commodities under this subsection as the value of commodities received by such State agency or title VI grantee under this subsection bears to the total value of commodities so received.

(3) From the allotment under subsection (b) for each State agency and title VI grantee, the Secretary shall first reimburse the Secreary of Agriculture for costs of commodities received by such State agency or grantee under this subsection, and shall then pay the balance (if any) to such State agency or grantee. Amounts received by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to this section to make commodities purchases for a fiscal year that are not expended for such fiscal year may be carried over to the next fiscal year to make commodities purchases pursuant to this section.

(4) Each State agency and title VI grantee shall promptly and equitably disburse amounts received under this subsection to recipients of grants and contracts. Such disbursements shall only be used by such recipients of grants or contracts to purchase domestically produced foods for their nutrition projects.

(5) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary to require any State agency or title VI grantee to elect to received cash payments under this subsection.

(e) There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section (other than subsection (c)(1)) such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

(f) In each fiscal year, the Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture shall jointly disseminate to State agencies, area agencies on aging, and providers of nutrition services assisted under this title, information concerning the foods available to such State agencies, area agencies on aging, and provider under subsection (c). (42 U.S.C. 3030a)

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Description of Program: The Senior Community Service Employment Program is a community service and work-based training program for older workers. It provides subsidized, part-time, community service training for unemployed, low-income persons 55 or older who have poor employment prospects. Through this program, older workers have access to SCSEP services and employment assistance through American Job Centers.  Program participants work an average of 20 hours a week and are paid the highest of the federal, state, or local minimum wage.

SCSEP participants are placed in a wide variety of community service activities at non-profit and public facilities, allowing these agencies to enhance and provide needed services and older workers to gain job skills. These community service training assignments promote self-sufficiency; provide assistance to organizations that benefit from increased civic engagement; and support communities. These assignments are intended to serve as a bridge to unsubsidized employment. In turn, regional economies and employers benefit from an expanded pool of experienced, dependable labor in the local workforce.

SCSEP participants also receive a variety of services including Individual Employment Plan development, orientation, community service placement, training specific to an individual’s community service assignment, and other training as necessary. Supportive services, annual physicals, assistance in securing unsubsidized employment, and access to local American Job Centers are also available.

Goals and Objectives: The goal of SCSEP is to enhance employment opportunities for older job seekers and promote older workers as a resource for businesses seeking a trained, qualified, and reliable workforce.

Eligibility: Program participants must be at least 55 and have a family income of no more than 125% of the federal poverty level. Enrollment priority is given to individuals who are veterans; are over age 65; have a disability; have limited English proficiency or low literacy skills; reside in a rural area; have low employment prospects; or are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Individual participation is limited to 48 months, unless an extension is authorized based on statutory requirements.

Funding: NYSOFA receives $5,707,438 in federal funding from the United States Department of Labor for the program. An additional match is provided by NYSOFA and local programs, totaling $6,024,518 in combined funding.  Seventy-five percent of funds ($4,490,495) must be used for participant salaries and fringe benefits and taxes.

NYSOFA funds 29 AAAs to administer the state SCSEP program that includes 589 positions.  Additionally, there are 7 National SCSEP programs operating in NYS that include an additional 2,238 positions.  Combined there are 2,827 SCSEP positions that cover every county in NYS.

Laws, Regulations and Standards: SCSEP is authorized in Title V of the Older Americans Act and is administered by the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

Older Americans Act, 2006 amendments
SCSEP Final Rule (2010)
WIOA Final Rule


Links to Any Other Related Information (AoA, Medicare, News Articles):
Data Collection Handbook
New Measure on Volunteerism Revision to Handbook
Definition of Family Handbook Revision
Charter Oaks: For the latest information on the SCSEP data collection system, the data collection forms, and related issues.

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program


The LTCOP program advocates for nursing home, board and care (assisted living and adult home), and family type home residents by investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents; promoting the development of resident and family councils; and informing government agencies, providers and the general public about issues and concerns impacting residents of long-term care facilities.

Description of Program: The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is administered by the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) under provisions of the federal Older Americans Act. It is a coordinated system of state and local advocacy services that receive, investigate, and resolve complaints and concerns of residents in long-term care facilities.

About this program:

· There are currently 15 regional ombudsman programs designated by the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. These regional programs are sponsored by local offices for the aging, independent living centers, and not-for-profit agencies;

· There are over 700 certified ombudsman volunteers, serving more than 160,000 long-term care residents in New York State;

Goals and Objectives: To ensure quality of life for long-term care residents by:

  • Receiving, investigating and resolving complaints on behalf of long-term care residents;
  • Providing services to assist residents in protecting their health, safety, welfare and rights;
  • Analyzing, commenting on and monitoring the development and implementation of federal, state and local laws and regulations and other governmental policies and actions pertaining to residents of long-term care facilities;
  • Promoting the development of resident and family councils to protect the well-being and rights of residents;

Eligibility: Resident of a skilled nursing, board and care (assisted living and adult home), or family type home in New York State.

Funding:The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is supported by both federal and state funds.

Laws, Regulations and Standards: The federal Older Americans Act forms the basis for the legal structure that supports the authority of this office. Additional enhancement to this structure is provided by New York State Elder Law.


Links to Other Related Information:

Budget Forms and Guidelines:

LTCOP Budget [Excel]

LTCOP Subcontractor Budget [Excel]

LTCOP Budget Guidelines [pdf]

LTCOP (Budget) Modification Summary [Word]

Claiming Forms and Procedure:

LTCOP Claiming Forms [Excel]

LTCOP Claiming Procedure [doc]

Additional MWBE information:

The Older Americans Act (OAA), originally enacted in 1965, supports a range of home and community-based services, such as meals-on-wheels and other nutrition programs, in-home services, transportation, legal services, elder abuse prevention and caregivers support. These programs help older individuals stay as independent as possible in their homes and communities. In addition, OAA services help older adults avoid hospitalization and nursing home care and, as a result, save federal and state funds that otherwise would be spent on such care.

The OAA authorizes a range of services and supports that help older Americans remain as independent and productive as possible in their own homes and communities. The OAA consists of seven titles.

Title III – Grants for States and Community Programs on Aging – covers supportive services such as case management, senior center services, in-home services, transportation, and information and referral. Also included under Title III are nutrition programs, such as meals-on-wheels and senior center group meals; family caregiver support; and health promotion and disease prevention services. Funds for Title III programs are distributed based on a state’s proportionate share of either the age 60 or older population or, in the case of caregiver support programs, the age 70 or older population. Each state then has its own formula for allocating OAA funding to area agencies on aging which enables the delivery of services to local areas.