Dear Friends,

I have prepared this pamphlet for seniors who reside in my Assembly District to let them know of the many programs that are available to senior citizens in New York State. This pamphlet gives a brief description of these programs and provides you with information on how to contact the agencies that administer the programs. This material has been revised and updated as of March, 2009.

If you have difficulty understanding any of the information listed in the pamphlet or if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to call my office.
Sincerely,
signature

Michael DenDekker
Member of Assembly
DISTRICT OFFICE:
33-46 92nd Street, Suite 1W
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
718-457-0384

OFFICE HOURS:
9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Monday to Friday
Social Security Retirement Benefits
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starBenefits
Monthly cash benefits based on years of employment and amount withheld from earnings.
starEligibility
Full Retirement Age (FRA): 65 IF born before 1938; IF born 1938 and later, gradually rises from 65 to 67. In 2009, FRA for a person born in 1943 is when he/she reaches 66.
starIncome Limits
Earning limit for persons under 65 - $14,160
Individuals FRA - no limit
For persons under 65, for every $2 earned over the limit, $1 withheld from benefits.
A person who attains 66 in 2009 can earn up to $37,680 with no loss of benefits.
For the year persons obtain FRA, for every $3 earned over the limit, $1 withheld from benefits, but only counting earnings before the month you reach the full benefit retirement age.
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
Social Security Administration: 1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov
Survivor Benefits
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starBenefits
Payments based upon work record of deceased.
starEligibility
Widow/Widower age 60+ or 50+ and disabled.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
starGovernment Agency
Same as SS Retirement Benefits.
Disability Benefits
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starBenefits
Payments based upon sufficient work prior to onset of disability.
starEligibility
Disabled individual of any age, with an impairment that is expected to keep him/her out of a customary occupation for a minimum of one year.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
starGovernment Agency
Same as SS Retirement Benefits.
Supplemental Security Income
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starBenefits
Monthly cash benefits to meet food, clothing and shelter needs, financed through general tax revenues, not the Social Security Trust Funds.
starEligibility
Persons 65+, blind or disabled of any age who have low income and resources. Must be of U.S. citizenship or lawfully admitted permanent resident prior to August 22, 1996.
starIncome Limits
Individuals living alone- $761+$20*, Couples $1,115+$20*
Individuals living with others - $697 + $20*, Couples $1,057+ $20*
*First $20 unearned income is excluded
starResources Limits
Individuals: $2,000. Couples: $3,000. Exemptions: $1,500 per individual for burial fund; a car per household, home (primary residence), personal, household goods.
starGovernment Agency
Social Security Administration: 1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov
MedicarePart A - Hospital Insurance Program
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starBenefits
Coverage for acute hospital care and limited coverage for skilled nursing facility, home health care and hospice. $1,068 deductible for 1st through 60th day of hospitalization. Co-insurance payments thereafter.
starEligibility
Persons 65+ who:
a) are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits;
or
b) those who wish to purchase coverage, though they are not eligible for the above benefits;
or
c) disabled workers after entitlement to disability for 24 months;
or
d) persons with chronic renal disease.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
Social Security Administration: 1(800)772-1213
www.medicare.gov
HIICAP: 1(212)341-3978
Medicare Part B - Supplemental Medical Insurance
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starBenefits
Optional; partial coverage (80% of approved fee) for physician, outpatient clinic, skilled nursing care and durable medical equipment; $96.40 premium per month; $135 yearly deductible.
starEligibility
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
starGovernment Agency
Same as Medicare Part A
Medicare Part D - Prescription Drug Coverage
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starBenefits
Covers both brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Medicare prescription drug coverage provides protection for people who have very high drug costs.
starEligibility
Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses
Note: You may sign up when you first become eligible for Medicare (three months before the month you turn age 65 until three months after you turn age 65). If you get Medicare due to a disability, you can join from three months before to three months after your 25th month of cash disability payments. If you don’t sign up when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a penalty. If you didn’t join when you were first eligible, your next opportunity to join will be from November 15, 2009 to December 31, 2009.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
Social Security Administration: 1(800)772-1213
www.medicare.gov
HIICAP: 1(212)341-3978
Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
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starBenefits
Pays for Medicare premiums. It can also pay for coinsurance and deductibles if provider also accepts Medicaid.
starEligibility
Persons age 65+ or disabled who have low income and low resources, are enrolled in Medicare Part A and eligible for Medicare Part B.
starIncome Limits
Individuals : $867/month Couples : $1,167/month
star(SLMB)
Individuals: $1,040/month
Couples : $1,400/month
At these income limits, program pays for Medicare part B premiums only.
In addition, there are other programs that can help pay all or part of the Medicare Part B premium. These programs are called QI-1 and QWDI. These programs are for people with higher incomes.
starGovernment Agency
New York City Human Resources Administration: 1(877) 472-8411
Medicaid Full Coverage
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starBenefits
Comprehensive health care benefits, including coverage for hospitals, physician, skilled nursing facility, health related facility, home care.
starEligibility
Persons 65+, blind, disabled children under 21 or the caretaker relative of a dependent child who is experiencing deprivation of parental support.
starAccountable Income Limits
Individuals: $767/month + $20*
Couples: $1,117/month + $20*
When one spouse is institutionalized and receiving Medicaid, the other spouse, while not receiving Medicaid, may retain $2,739 in monthly income and $109,560 maximum in assets.
* The first $20 of income is exempt.
starResources Limits
Individuals: $13,800. Couples: $20,100. Exempt: primary residence, car, certain additions for burial.
starGovernment Agency
Medical Assistance Program Application for Medicaid made at offices throughout New York City
HRA Hotline: 1(877)472-8411 or HIICAP: 1(212)341-3978
Medicaid Excess Income Program
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starBenefits
Medicaid coverage as described above, but on a month to month basis after the use of excess income to cover medical costs.
starEligibility
Same as Medicaid Full Coverage except for income levels.
starIncome Limits
No maximum, providing that medical expenses reduce net income to the levels listed above.
starResources Limits
starGovernment Agency
Same as Medicaid
Food Stamps
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starBenefits
Monthly allotment of benefits through a debit card system for purchasing nutritious food items; dollar value depends on household size and income.
starEligibility
Elderly 60+, or disabled.
starIncome Limits
Each case reviewed individually.
starResources Limits
$3,000 per household.
*Note: Clients can own one vehicle of any value
starGovernment Agency
HRA Hotline:
1(877)472-8411
Emergency Assistance for Adults (EAA)
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starBenefits
Cash payments for food, rent, moving expenses, utilities, furniture, repairs, etc. in case of emergency.
starEligibility
SSI-eligible persons or currently receiving SSI with a documented need for assistance.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
Same as SSI
starGovernment Agency
Same as Food Stamps
Lifeline Telephone Service
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starBenefits
Reduces cost of basic telephone service to as little as $1.00 a month.
starEligibility
Persons eligible to receive assistance benefits from at least one of these programs: Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI, HEAP, Veterans non-service related Disability Pension and Veterans’ Surviving Spouse Pension.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
See eligibility.
starGovernment Agency
Verizon: 1(800)555-5000
www.lifelinesupport.org
Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
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starBenefits
Relief from obligation to pay rent increases; landlord is compensated by reduction in real estate taxes.
starEligibility
Persons 62+, who live in rent-controlled, Mitchell-Lama, rent stabilized apartments, and whose rent is one-third of their income or more - not including air conditioning, auxiliary services and utility charges.
starIncome Limits
Combined total household income from all sources must be less than $28,000, including Social Security Income.
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
NYC Dept. for the Aging, SCRIE 311 in NYC
(For Mitchell-Lama, call the Dept. of Housing Preservation and Dev.: 1(212) 863-8494)
Senior Citizens Homeowners Exemption (SCHE)
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starBenefits
Sliding scale real estate tax exemption of 5% to 50%. Renewable every second year.
starEligibility
Real estate owners, including cooperatives and condominium owners, 65+, who use the property as their primary residence. Those turning 65 anytime during year are eligible. Applicants can apply at anytime to qualify for benefits for the following July 1st billing period. Those who are eligible for SCRIE are not eligible for SCHE. Those who qualify for SCHE will also automatically receive the Enhanced STAR exemption.
starIncome Limits
Combined total income for all owners from all sources must be less than $36,400. Individuals can deduct documented unreimbursed medical and prescription expenses.
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
311 in NYC or
NYC Department of Finance
Customer Assistance Line:
1(212) 504-4080
www.nyc.gov/finance
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
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starBenefits
Grant or energy credit, depending upon income, household size and type of fuel used.
Renters - $40-50 depending if heat is included.
Homeowners up to $685.
starEligibility
Low income homeowners and renters.
starIncome Limits
Monthly income:
Individuals: $2,454;
Couples: $3,209.
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
311 in NYC
Reduced Fare
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starBenefits
Reduced Fare privileges on NYC owned local route buses and subways 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. MTA express buses are available at all times except during morning inbound peak hours (6 AM to 10 AM) and evening outbound peak hours (3 PM to 7 PM). All passengers can ride NYC DOT Staten Island Ferry for free. Available to customers with one of the following forms of identification: NYC Dept. for the Aging ID card, Access-a-Ride card, Reduced Fare ID card (pre 1995), Medicare card. Reduced Fare Metro Card automatically deducts correct reduced fare, and allows you to transfer free between NYC Transit subways and buses.
starEligibility
Persons 65+ and disabled riders.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
NYC Transit: 1(718)243-4999
or 311 in NYC www.mta.info
Access-A-Ride (AAR)
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starBenefits
Provides transportation for people with disabilities who are unable to use public bus or subway service for some or all of their trips. It offers shared ride, door-to-door paratransit service. MTA New York City Transit administers AAR; private carriers under contract to NYC Transit provide service.
starEligibility
Disabled riders.
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
NYC Transit: 1(877)337-2017
Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC)
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starBenefits
Cuts prescription drug costs.
starEligibility
NYS residents 65 or older; must meet income guidelines.
Not eligible if receiving full Medicaid benefits.
starIncome Limits
Fee Plan: Single: $20,000 or less;
Married: joint income $26,000 or less.
Deductible Plan: Single: $20,001 to $35,000
Married: joint income $26,001 to $50,000
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
EPIC Helpline: 1(800)332-3742
www.nydoctorprofile.com
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starBenefits
Web site created by the NYS Dept. of Health which provides information on practicing physicians. To perform a general search, please type the full name of the doctor where indicated. You may access information on educational background, legal actions, health plans, hospital affiliation, and more. If you prefer to speak to a customer service representative, a toll-free phone number is available below.
starEligibility
starIncome Limits
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
NYS Department of Health: 1-888-338-6999
www.nydoctorprofile.com
School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption
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starBenefits
Exemption from school property taxes for owner occupied primary residences. All New York City homeowners qualify for a basic exemption and senior citizen homeowners can qualify for an enhanced exemption if they meet the below qualifications.
starEligibility
Enhanced: Seniors 65 years of age or older who own and live in a one, two or three family home, condominium or cooperative apartment, whose income is less than $73,000. The benefit reduces property tax approximately $350 a year.
Basic: All residential property owners who live in a one, two or three family home, condominium or cooperative apartment, regardless of age and income. The benefit reduces property tax approximately $200 a year.
starIncome Limits
See eligibility.
starResources Limits
None.
starGovernment Agency
311 in NYC or
New York City Department of Finance Customer Assistance Line: 1(212) 504-4080
www.nyc.gov/finance
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