66th District
New York City

How to Reach Us:
Call (212) 674-5153
or come in and visit,
Monday through Friday,
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Dear Neighbor,

Retirement may be both the most enjoyable and challenging period of a personís life. After years of working and caring for families, many older adults are able to travel, enjoy the rich culture and arts that the City has to offer or just simply relax. But retirement may present financial and care challenges that even those of us who are solidly middle-age must deal with as we assist our elderly parents, neighbors or friends. While both the State and City governments have developed useful resources and benefits for older New Yorkers, many people may be unaware of them. It is my hope that some of the information in this Neighborhood Update will be helpful to you in meeting your own challenges or those of others, so that these special years may be enjoyed to their fullest.

Best Wishes -

Deborah J. Glick

Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick met with students from JPACís Institute for Senior Action to discuss effective lobbying and advocacy techniques.

New MetroCard ID Bill

ith security tightening around the city, it is becoming difficult to access important locations without a government-issued photo identification card. Since many New Yorkers do not drive or have licenses, many try to get a state-issued Non-Driver License. However, the process and requirements are quite burdensome and may even be impossible for some people to satisfy. In response to this problem, I have proposed a law to allow businesses and government agencies throughout New York State to allow residentsí reduced-fare MetroCards, which include residentsí photographs, to be considered as government-issued identification.

In order to qualify for a reduced-fare MetroCard, applicants must prove their identity, age and other background information to the satisfaction of local government. Therefore, it makes sense to consider government-issued MetroCards as valid documents for identification as well. It will save these citizens the time and expense of having to acquire a Non-Driver License in addition to the MetroCard.

This bill has passed the Assembly but so far has not been acted upon in the State Senate. I will continue working to see that this important legislation passes both houses and is made into law.

Rent Assistance Available
to More Seniors

ven for residents in rent-regulated apartments, increases in rent may be onerous. The State Assembly and Senate passed legislation, which has become law, that increases household income eligibility for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) to $24,000. SCRIE is a city-funded program that protects eligible senior citizens from most rent increases by granting tax credits to landlords, thereby avoiding direct rent hikes.

Prior to this most recent increase, the eligibility levels for SCRIE had not been raised in eight years. This means that each year, seniors who received cost-of-living increases in their pensions and Social Security benefits risked losing their eligibility. By increasing SCRIEís eligibility limit to $24,000, participating seniors can continue saving money. This most recent change will help seniors living on fixed incomes to stay in their homes and communities.

To be eligible for SCRIE, applicants must be over 62 years of age, a head of household living in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment and must spend at least one-third of their income on rent. For more information or to apply for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, call the Department for the Aging at (212) 442-1000 or visit their website:

Prescription Drug Program for
Middle-Income New Yorkers Over 65

he cost of prescription drug coverage is unbearably high for many older adults, including middle-income residents. The Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program, New York Stateís prescription drug program for older residents, helps people meet the cost of their prescriptions. EPIC covers most prescription drugs, including insulin and insulin syringes and both brand name and generic drugs. Also, it can be used at most pharmacies in New York State. Recently the maximum qualifying income for the EPIC program was raised so that more people are now eligible. Fees and co-payments under this program have also been lowered.

Any New York resident age 65 or older who does not receive full Medicaid benefits and has an annual income less than $35,000 for a single adult or $50,000 combined with their spouse may be eligible for EPIC. Even when a senior citizen has some limited prescription coverage or a Medicaid spend-down, EPIC may be used as a supplement.

There are two basic EPIC plans: the Fee Plan and the Deductible Plan. The Fee Plan is for single residents whose annual income is less than $20,000 or married residents with a combined annual income under $26,000. While there is an annual fee and co-payments, there is no deductible to meet.

The Deductible Plan has no annual fee, but rather the enrollee pays the full price of prescriptions until the annual deductible is met, then pays only a co-payment. To qualify for the Deductible Plan, a single enrollee must have an annual income between $20,000 and $35,000, and married enrolleesí combined annual income must fall between $26,000 and $50,000.

To get more information about EPIC or to have an application mailed to you, call the EPIC Help Line at 1-800-332-3742.

Government Resources for Seniors

avigating available resources and assistance for seniors is sometimes quite difficult and confusing. I would like to inform you about two websites that are helpful for seniors and those who are caring for seniors.

There are many types of assistance and benefits that are available to seniors but are not well-known. The New York City Department for the Agingís (DFTA) website is one of the most comprehensive websites, providing assistance and information on a variety of senior-related subjects. The Benefits Quick Check can be especially useful. After inputting a seniorís income and other background information, the website will list the assistance for which the senior may be eligible. For example, a person may be eligible for help with the cost of prescription drugs, phone service or fuel and utility costs, or may benefit from special tax credits. The DFTA website is located at Click on the Benefits Quick Check option on the left side of the page. Information and referrals are also available through DFTA by calling (212) 442-1000.

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is very difficult for families, as is choosing a safe and appropriate home. The New York State Department of Healthís website ( can be very helpful in this area. The website contains a listing of all nursing homes in New York State, along with important information, such as facility size and the results of the most recent Department of Health inspections. You may visit the nursing home section of the website directly at and click on any borough to see a listing of nursing homes there. For each listing, you can click on either the Facility Characteristics or the Survey Summary Report to learn more. You may also call the Department of Health at (212) 268-6689 for nursing home information.

Domestic Partnership Legislation

nmarried persons who reside together and are responsible for each otherís welfare are discriminated against in almost every area of public policy. This year I will once again sponsor important legislation that will provide legal status for domestic partnerships and extend to domestic partners certain provisions of laws that currently apply only to spouses or next-of-kin. The legislation is an important tool for both younger and older residents in planning their familiesí health coverage and financial future.

Specifically, the legislation would grant equal access to group health and accident policies for some workers so that registered domestic partners and other immediate family members are eligible for health coverage and continue to receive these benefits even in the event of the workerís death. In addition, under this law the domestic partner would be authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of a patient in certain circumstances, and their partner and their partnerís children would be allowed to visit them in a health facility. People would also be granted the right to designate a domestic partner and the partnerís children as survivors and would make their partner eligible to collect death benefits.

I will continue to work hard to get this important legislation passed so that the security that follows from full access to health coverage and other important benefits is not denied to anyone based on their family structure.

Property Tax Relief for Homeowners

here are several property-tax relief programs that are available to help homeowners who are older, disabled or a veteran. The chart below provides basic criteria for these programs, which are administered through the New York City Department of Finance. For more specific eligibility guidelines or to get an application go to or call the Department of Finance Customer Assistance line at (718) 935-9500.

Program Eligibility
STAR School Tax Relief Homeowners of any age whose property is used as their primary residence.

Enhanced STAR School Tax Relief Homeowners 65 years of age or older whose property is their primary residence and whose houseold income is $63,750 or less.

The Disabled Homeowners Property
Tax Exemption
Disabled homeowners with household incomes below $29,900.

Veteranís Propery Tax Exemption Homeowners who have themselves served in the United States Armed Forces during a time of war or whose spouse served.

SCHE Senior Citizens Homeowners Homeowners 65 years of Property Tax Exemption age or older whose household income is less than $29,900 per year.

MetroCard Bus Schedule

or the disabled and senior members of our community, it can be difficult to get around town. In an effort to provide more accessible service, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has a mobile outreach program designed especially to cater to the needs of these community members.

Through the MTAís Service Center-on-Wheels program, specially-equipped MetroCard buses park at set locations throughout the city and offer an array of services to customers. All customers may purchase and/or refill MetroCards, report a lost or stolen card, or may be able to have a damaged MetroCard replaced on-site. In addition, residents over the age of 65 and disabled customers may apply for a reduced-fare MetroCard at these locations. Please note that a senior applying for a reduced-fare MetroCard will need to bring at least 2 of the following types of identification to the MetroCard bus: Medicare Card, Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, Driver License, or Non-Driver License. A notary public and photographer are available on MetroCard buses so that you may complete your application on-site, free of charge. Disabled passengers can get an application on-site, which they must then have completed by their physician, acknowledging their disability.

For your convenience, the scheduled December MetroCard bus locations in my district are:

12/9/03: 14th Street and Broadway, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Eighth Avenue at 14th Street, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
14th Street and First Avenue, 11:30 AM - 1:30 AM

12/23/03: 14th Street and Broadway, 9:30 - 10:30 AM
Eighth Avenue at 14th Street, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
14th Street and First Avenue, 11:30 AM - 1:30 AM

* Since this schedule is subject to change, I suggest that you call the MTAís MetroCard Customer Service line at (212) 638-7622 to confirm scheduled stops. You may also call this number for additional questions about MetroCards sales or busses or for future MetroCard bus schedules.

Holiday Fun for the Young and Old

uring the holiday season, train enthusiasts have a variety of places where they can see their beloved choo-choos in miniature form. The most well known of these is The Station at the Citicorp building at East 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue. From Thanksgiving through January 2nd, you can catch the model train display in the lower atrium of the building. Follow the trains as they wind through intricate models displaying New York Stateís history and the four seasons. This exhibit is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m., and is closed on Christmas and New Yearís Day. For more information, you may call (212) 559-5350.

For more holiday train fun, visit the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and see the 12th Annual Holiday Train Show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservancy. From November 21st to January 11th, the train show will exhibit more than 100 replicas of historic New York buildings, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The most unique feature of the show is that all of the landscapes are made from real plants, flowers, and other natural materials. Admission for this exhibit is $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens, and $5 for children ages 2Ė12. To learn more about this holiday display, call (718) 817-8700.