A Special Message for
Assemblyman Michael DenDekker
SENIOR CITIZENS
from
Assemblyman
Michael DenDekker
2010 Edition

NYS Seal

Dear Friends,

Spring is right around the corner!

It’s my pleasure to provide this updated informational newsletter to the senior citizens of the 34th Assembly District. It’s my hope that it will provide you with guidance on the many programs that are available to assist senior citizens in New York State.

This newsletter provides a brief description of these programs, and provides you with information on how to contact the agencies which administer these programs. This material has been revised and updated as of March, 2010. Please keep it in a handy place for quick and easy reference.

My office provides Free Legal Counseling to all residents of the 34th Assembly District. This service is available every other Tuesday, from 6-8 p.m., in my district office. Please note that the district office is open Monday-Friday, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – please feel free to stop by!

If you have further questions on the information listed in the newsletter, or if you need further assistance, please feel free to contact my office.

Sincerely,
signature
Michael DenDekker
Member of Assembly


Social Security Retirement Benefits

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Benefits

Monthly cash benefits based on years of employment and amount withheld from earnings.

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Eligibility

Full Retirement Age (FRA): 62 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.

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Income Limits

Earning limit for persons under 65- $14,160

Individuals FRA- may vary

For persons under 65, for every $2 earned over the limit, $1 withheld from benefits.

A person who attains 66 in 2010 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.

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Resources Limits

None.

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Government Agency

Social Security Administration:
1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov


Survivor Benefits

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Benefits

Payments based upon work record of deceased.

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Eligibility

Widow/Widower age 60+ or 50+ and disabled.

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Income Limits

None

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Resources Limits

None

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Government Agency

Social Security Administration:
1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov


SSA Disability Benefits

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Benefits

Payments to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

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Eligibility

Payments to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

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Income Limits

None

Resources Limits

None

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Government Agency

Social Security Administration:
1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov


Supplemental Security Income

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Benefits

Monthly cash benefits to meet food, clothing and shelter needs, financed through general tax revenues, not the Social Security Trust Funds.

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Eligibility

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.

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Income Limits

Individuals living alone-$761+$20*, couples $1,115+$20* only for unearned income in the household, for wages and self-employment.

CHILDREN IN HOUSEHOLD (dependents under 18 years): your income limit increases by $337 for each child not receiving benefits.

*First $20 unearned income is excluded.

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Resources 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.

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Government Agency

Social Security Administration:
1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov


Medicare Part A - Hospital Insurance Program

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Benefits

Coverage for acute hospital care and limited coverage for skilled nursing facility, home health care and hospice. $1,100 deductible for 1st through 60th day of hospitalization. After 60th day, hospitalization is $275 per day.

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Eligibility

Persons 65+ who:

  1. are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits; or

  2. those who wish to purchase coverage, though they are not eligible for the above benefits; or

  3. disabled workers after entitlement to disability for 24 months; or

  4. persons with chronic renal disease or Lou Garrett’s disease (in which you are eligible before 24 months)

**If uninsured and married, can get benefits from spouse who is insured**

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Income Limits

None
(However, may need to pay higher premium if higher income)

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Resources Limits

None

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Government Agency

For New Enrollment:
Social Security Administration:
1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov

For Coverage Questions:
Medicare: 1(800)633-4227


Medicare Part B - Supplemental Medical Insurance

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Benefits

Optional; partial coverage (80% of approved fee) for physician, outpatient clinic, skilled nursing care and durable medical equipment; $110.50 monthly premium for new enrollees; $96.50 monthly premium for previous enrollees; $155 yearly deductible.

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Eligibility

Same as Medicare Part-A

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Income Limits

None.

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Resources Limits

None

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Government Agency

For New Enrollment:
Social Security Administration:
1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov

For Coverage Questions:
Medicare: 1(800)633-4227


Medicare Part D-Prescription Drug Coverage

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Benefits

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.

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Eligibility

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, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

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Income Limits

None

Resources Limits

None

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Government Agency

Social Security Administration:
1(800)772-1213
www.socialsecurity.gov


Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

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Benefits

Pays for Medicare premiums. It can also pay for coinsurance and deductibles if provider also accepts Medicaid.

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Eligibility

Persons age 65+ or disabled who have low income and low resources, are enrolled in Medicare Part A and eligible for Medicare Part B.

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Income Limits

Individuals: $923/monthCouples: $1,235


Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)

Individuals: $1,040/monthCouples: $1,400/month

At these income limits, program pays for Medicare part B premiums only.


QI-1

Another program that can help pay all or part of the Medicare Part B premium.

This program is for people with higher incomes.

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Eligibility

Cannot be on Medicaid

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Income Limits

$1239/month for individuals and $1,660/month for couples.

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Government Agency

New York City Human Resources Administration: 1(877)472-8411


Medicaid Full Coverage

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Benefits

Comprehensive health care benefits, including coverage for hospitals, physician, skilled nursing facility, health related facility, home care.

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Eligibility

Persons 65+, disabled or blind individuals between the ages of 21-64, parents who are 19 or 20 years old

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Accountable 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.

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Resources Limits

Individuals: $13,800.Couples: $20,100.

Exempt: primary residence, car, certain additions for burial
(Please call for specific instructions).

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Government 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 (Surplus Program)

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Benefits

Medicaid coverage as described above, but on a month to month basis after the use of excess income to cover medical costs.

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Eligibility

Same as Medicaid Full Coverage except for income levels.

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Income Limits

No maximum, providing that medical expenses reduce net income to the levels listed above.

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Resources Limits

Same as Medicaid

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Government Agency

Same as Medicaid


Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC)

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Benefits

EPIC is a New York State program that helps seniors pay for their prescription drugs. EPIC enrollees are saving an average of 90 percent of the cost of their medicines. Most enrollees have Medicare Part D or other drug coverage, and use EPIC to lower their drug costs even more by helping them pay the deductibles and co-payments required by their other drug plan. EPIC also helps members pay for Medicare Part D premiums.

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Eligibility

NYS residents 65 or older; with an annual income under $35,000 (single) or $50,000 or less (married).

Not eligible if receiving full Medicaid benefits.

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Income Limits

Fee Plan: Single--$20,000 or less; Married (combined income)--$26,000

Deductible Plan: Single--$20,001 to $35,000; Married (combined income)--$26,001 to $50,000

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Resources Limits

Case by case.

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Government Agency

EPIC Helpline: 1(800) 332-3742


Food Stamps

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Benefits

Monthly allotment of benefits through a debit card system for purchasing nutritious food items; dollar value depends on household size and income.

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Eligibility

Elderly 60+, or disabled.

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Income Limits

Individuals: $1,174
Couples: $1,579
(For more than two people, please call).

Resources Limits

60+ or disabled $3,000
For liquid and non liquid $2,000
The household may own one vehicle with a fair market value of $4,650 if used for general purpose

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Government Agency

HRA Hotline: 1(877)472-8411


Emergency Assistance for Adults (EAA)

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Benefits

Cash payments for food, rent, moving expenses, utilities, furniture, repairs, etc. in case of emergency.

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Eligibility

SSI-eligible persons or currently receiving SSI with a documented need for assistance.

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Income Limits

Must be eligible for SSI.

Resources Limits

Same as SSI.

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Government Agency

Same as Food Stamps.


Lifeline Telephone Service

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Benefits

Lifeline is a government program that offers qualified low income households a discount on their monthly local telephone bill. You will save up to $13.30 on your basic monthly bill. These benefits apply to your local telephone service charges that you purchase as measured service (including local usage), or as flat rate service.

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Eligibility

Persons who are eligible to receive benefits from one or more of the programs listed below but are not currently receiving benefits from that program are eligible for Lifeline:

Medicaid, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), persons with a non-service related disability and receiving Veterans Disability, Pension or Veterans Surviving Spouse Pension.

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Income Limits

Total household income at or below an amount determined by eligibility criteria for the programs listed above.

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Resources Limits

Your benefits will be discontinued when you no longer meet the eligibility requirements or when proof of eligibility is not received.

For information:
Verizon: 1(800)483-2000
www.lifelinesupport.org


Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)

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Benefits

Relief from obligation to pay rent increases; landlord is compensated by reduction in real estate taxes.

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Eligibility

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.

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Income Limits

Combined total household income from all sources must be less than $29,000, including Social Security Income.

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Resources Limits

None.

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Government Agency

NYC Dept. of Finance. 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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Benefits

Sliding scale real estate tax exemption of 5% to 50%.
Renewable every second year.

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Eligibility

Real estate owners, including cooperatives and condominium owners, 65+ who use the property as their primary residence. 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.

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Income Limits

Combined total income for all owners from all sources must be less than $37,400.
Individuals can deduct documented non-reimbursed medical and prescription expenses.

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Resources Limits

None.

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Government Agency

311 in NYC or
New York City Department of Finance Customer Assistance Line: 1(212) 504-4080
www.nyc.gov/finance


School Tax Relief Exemption (STAR)

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Benefits

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.

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Eligibility

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 combined 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.

Apply before March 15th.

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Income Limits

See eligibility

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Resources Limits

None.

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Government Agency

311 in NYC or
New York City Department of Finance Customer Assistance Line: 1(212) 504-4080
www.nyc.gov/finance


Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

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Benefits

Grant of energy credit, depending upon income, household size and type of fuel used.

Renters- $40-$50 depending if heat is included.

Homeowners up to $685.

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Eligibility

Low income homeowners and renters.Individuals 60+ (for Seniors)

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Income Limits (for Seniors)

Monthly income:
Individuals: $2,030
Couples: $2,654

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Resources Limits

None.

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Government Agency

311 in NYC
www.nyc.gov/Aging


Reduced Fare

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Benefits

Reduced-fare benefits are available on: MTA New York City Transit subways and local buses, MTA Bus, NYC Transit and MTA Bus express buses offer reduced fares during non-rush hours only, MTA Long Island Bus, MTA Long Island Rail Road and the MTA Metro-North Railroad anytime except weekday rush hours to New York City terminals.

Reduced-fares are also available with any of the following forms of identification: NYC Department of the Aging ID card, Medicare card (Medicaid card not accepted), Access-A-Ride ID card, MTA Reduced-Fare ID card (pre-1995).

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Eligibility

65 years of age or older or have a disability that qualifies

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Income Limits

None.

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Resource Limits

None.

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Government Agency

NYC Transit: 1(718) 243-4999 or
311 in NYC
http://www.mta.info/


Access-A-Ride (AAR)

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Benefits

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.

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Eligibility

Disabled riders.

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Income Limits

None.

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Resources Limits

Case by case.

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Government Agency

NYC Transit: 1(877) 337-2017
http://www.mta.info/


www.doctorprofile.com

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Benefits

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.

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Eligibility

None

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Income Limits

None

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Resources Limits

None

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Government Agency

NYS Department of Health:
1(888) 338-6999
www.nydoctorprofile.com

ALBANY OFFICE:
Room 326 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4545

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

dendekkerm@assembly.state.ny.us


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