I have prepared this pamphlet as a special service to you and to the many seniors living in my assembly district. It provides you with basic information about senior benefits programs and lets you know how to find out more about them.
My district office at 3107 Kingsbridge Avenue is there to serve you. If you need help applying for any of the programs outlined in this pamphlet or if you need any other assistance, please contact my office. My office provides free notary service.
If you encounter any difficulty in your search for assistance, or it you are not sure which agency to turn to, please feel free to contact my office at (718) 796-5345.
In November, the Medicare Rights Center and I will be hosting three Enrollment Awareness Events in the community. You’ll learn about programs that can help you pay for your Medicare-related costs.
The Medicare Rights Center will explain Medicare Savings Programs, which will help you pay your Medicare Part B premium and may help with your coinsurance and deductible. They will also explain how to receive Extra Help, the federal government program that helps pay for Part D prescription drug premiums and co-payments. You’ll also learn about prescription drug assistance that is available through New York State’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program.
Keep in mind that November and December is an important time of year for people with Medicare. From November 15 to December 31, people with Medicare can change prescription drug and health plan coverage without restriction.
Medicare Rights counselors will help you choose the health and drug coverage options that will best meet your needs in 2010.
We look forward to see you at the following dates and times:
November 19 at 10:15
Riverdale Senior Services
2600 Netherland Avenue
Bronx, NY 10463
Monthly cash payments based on years of employment and amount withheld from earnings.
Retiree and spouse, if spouse is 62+, or with dependent child. The earliest age for a retiree to receive Social Security benefits is at age 62, at which time they will receive only partial benefits to account for the fact that they will be paid over a longer period of time. In order to qualify for full benefits, the retiree must not retire until they reach the full retirement age, or FRA, which varies by year of birth. For those born in 1937 or earlier, the FRA is 65. For those born later than 1938, the FRA gradually increases—for example, for those born in 1942 the FRA is 65 and 10 months.
Individuals under the FRA may earn up to $13,560 above which $1 will be withheld from benefits for every $2 earned. The individual may earn up to $36,120 prior to reaching the FRA in the year that they reach the FRA, above which $1 will be withheld from benefits for every $3 earned. For individuals above the FRA, there is no limit on earnings.
Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213 or www.socialsecurity.gov
Payments based upon work record of deceased.
Widow/Widower, age 60+ (or 50+ and Disabled); Dependent parents age 62 or older; Widow/Widower of any age with a dependent child (under 16 or disabled).
Same as SS Retirement Benefit.
Payments based upon sufficient work prior to onset of disability.
Disabled individual of any age, with an impairment that is expected to keep him/her out of a customary occupation for minimum of one year, and spouse, if spouse is 62+, or with dependent child under age 16. Work requirements vary by age, but those over 62 must have worked for the equivalent of 10 full years, with 5 of those years falling in the 10 years most recent to the onset of disability.
All same as SS Retirement Benefit.
Monthly cash payment to meet food, clothing and shelter needs financed through general tax revenues, not the Social Security Trust Funds.
People with limited incomes who are over 65, blind, or disabled of any age who have low income and resources. Must be of U.S. citizenship or lawfully admitted permanent resident.
Individuals living alone: $761.00 + $20*
Person living with others, but paying his or her own expenses: $697.00 + $20*
Person living in someone else’s household and receiving support and maintenance: $472.34+$20*
Person living in public general hospital or Medicaid-approved long-term facility: $35.00 or $55.00
Couple living alone: $1,115.00+$20*
Couple living with others, but paying their own expenses: $1057.00+$20*
Couple living in someone else’s household and receiving support and maintenance: $720.00+$20*
*The first $20 of earned (wages) or unearned (monthly benefits, pensions, gifts) income is exempt. An additional $65 is exempt from earned income, then SSI payments are reduced by one-half the remaining earned income in a month.
Individuals: $2,000. Couples: $3,000.
Exemptions: $1,500 per individual for burial fund; home; car up to $4,500; personal and household goods up to $2,000.
Social Security Administration:1-800-772-1213
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some health care. Most people don’t have to pay a monthly payment, called premium, for Part A. This is because they or a spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. If a beneficiary doesn’t get premium–free part A, they may be able to buy it if they (or their spouse) aren’t entitled to Social Security, because they didn’t work or didn’t pay enough Medicare taxes while working.
Persons 65+ who are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, disabled workers of any age after entitlement to disability for 24 months, and persons of any age with chronic renal disease. Those over 65 who are not eligible under any of the above categories may purchase Medicare coverage by paying a monthly premium.
Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213
Optional; partial coverage (80% of approved fee) for physician, outpatient clinic, skilled nursing care and durable medical equipment. There is a $135 per year deductible and a $96.40 per month premium which can be deducted from ones Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service retirement check, or can be billed tri-monthly. For those who do not have their premium payment deducted from their Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service retirement check, the Medicare Part B premium was increased to $110.50.
Same as Medicare Part A.
Same As Medicare Part A.
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.
Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses.
Note: The annual open enrollment period starts on November 15th and ends on December 31st. If you don’t sign up for a plan during this period you may join a Medicare prescription drug plan from three months before you turn 65 to three months after you turn 65. Generally, if you are disabled, you may join three months before and three months after your 25th month of disability.
Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213 or www.medicare.gov
NYC Department for the Aging: 1-212-341-3200.
Pays for Medicare premiums. It can also pay for coinsurance and deductibles if provider also accepts Medicaid.
Persons age 65+ or disabled who have low income and low resources, are enrolled in Medicare Part A and eligible for Medicare Part B.
Individuals receive $887 a month and $4,000 in Resources. Couples receive $1,187 a month and $6,000 in Resources.
Individuals receive $1060 a month and $4,000 in Resources. Couples receive $1,420 a month and $6000 in Resources. 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.
New York City Human Resources Administration: 1-877-472-8411
(Medicaid/Medicare Dual Eligible Program)
Depending on income, Medicaid will pay the monthly premiums for Medicare Part A or B and may pay deductibles and coinsurance.
For Medicare beneficiaries who are not eligible for Medicaid, but need assistance paying for Medicare Part B.
At the following income limits, program pays for Medicare premiums and deductibles.
Income limits for 2008:
QMB (covers premiums, co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance) Individuals: $887/month; Couples: $1,187/month (100% + $20)*
SLMB (recipient must have Part A, covers part B premiums only)
Individuals: $1,060/month; Couples: $1,420/month (120% + $20)*
QI-One (recipient must have Part A, covers Part B premiums only) Individuals: $1,077/month; Couples: $1,444/month (135% + $20)*
QDWI (Includes additional earned income limits, covers Part A premiums only. Must be disabled, under 65, and have lost Part A due to return to work.) Individuals: $1,595/month; Couples: $2,139/month (200% + $20)*
* $20 = amount of the monthly SSI income disregard.
Individuals: $4,000+$1,500 for burial fund; Couples: $6,000+$1,500 for burial fund
Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213
New York State Medicaid Hotline: 1-800-541-2831
Comprehensive coverage for prescription drugs, dental care, hospital, physician, laboratory tests, skilled nursing facility, health related facilities, home attendant care and home health aide care, coinsurance and deductibles for nursing home care, mental health care, medical equipment and appliances such as wheelchairs, and transportation to medical appointments.
Persons 65+, blind, or disabled who meet income and resource eligibility.
Individuals: $767 + $20*/month; Couples: $1,117 + $20*/month.
When one spouse is institutionalized and receiving Medicaid, the other spouse, while not receiving Medicaid, may retain $2,610 in monthly income and $104,400 maximum in assets.
* First $20 income is exempt.
Exempt: Primary residence, car, certain additions for burial.
Medical Assistance Program
Application for Medicaid made at offices throughout New York City.
HRA Hotline: 1-877-472-8411 or
Medicaid coverage as described in Medicaid Full Coverage section, but on a month to month basis after the use of excess income to cover medical costs. Hospital coverage requires spend down of 6 months excess.
Those eligible for this program fall into one of the eligible categories, but have income slightly above the limit. To receive benefits, you must “spend down” by paying the amount of excess income or by showing that your medical expenses are greater than the difference between your income and the limit.
No maximum income, but medical expenses must reduce net income to Medicaid eligible levels or the recipient must pay all excess income.
Same as Medicaid.
HRA Hotline: 1-877-472-8411
Monthly allotment of benefits through a debit card system for purchasing nutritious food items; debit card is used in the place of cash at grocery stores or supermarkets. Dollar value depends on household size and income.
Low income households. If eligible, you will receive Food Stamp Assistance in 30 days. Certain Households, with little income or savings, or with high shelter costs, can receive Food Stamps benefits within five days. You do not have to be out of work to apply for Food Stamps, and you may own your own home and car and still be eligible.
Each case is reviewed individually. If your household is eligible, the amount of food stamps you receive depends on your monthly household income and expenses for such things as: mortgage or rent, utilities, and child care or elder care needed to allow someone to work.
Generally, your household cannot have more than $2,000 in resources (things you own). But, if your household includes a disabled person or a person age 60 or older, the limit is $3,000.
HRA Hotline: 1-877-472-8411
Cash payments for food, rent, moving expenses, utilities, furniture, repairs, etc. in case of emergency.
SSI-eligible persons or currently receiving SSI; with a documented need for assistance.
Same as for SSI.
Same as for SSI.
HRA Hotline: 1-877-472-8411
Reduces cost of basic telephone service to as little as $1.00 a month for basic service.
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, Safety Net Assistance, Family Assistance. The person receiving aid from one of the above programs must be the one whose name appears on the phone bill, and must be 18+.
Verizon Telephone: 1-800-555-5000 www.lifelinesupport.org
Delivers hot or frozen meals to homebound elderly.
Those over 60 with a chronic disability such that they cannot shop for and prepare their own food, who do not have a home attendant, and are receiving only limited Medicaid services.
For information contact RAIN (Regional Aid for Interim Needs): 718-824-0400.
Provides emergency financial assistance and supportive services to crime victims over the age of 60. This program offers counseling, crisis intervention, advocacy, referrals to the appropriate agencies for help in replacing important documents, limited financial assistance, and installation of security devices, as well as presentations with speaker and relevant literature.
Over 60 years of age based upon need and an assessment.
Department for the Aging Dial 311 or
1-212-NEW-YORK if outside the five boroughs.
Relief from obligation to pay rent increases; landlord is compensated by reduction in real estate taxes.
Persons 62+, who live in rent-controlled, rent-regulated, or rent-stabilized apartments, or in Mitchell-Lama or other Federally assisted co-ops, and whose rent is at least one-third of their income, not including air conditioning, auxiliary services, and utility charges.
Combined total household income from all sources must be less than $29,000, including Social Security Income. After July 1, 2008, the amount will increase to $28,000.
New York City Dept. for the Aging,
SCRIE, 2 Lafayette Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10007
Information and Referral: 311
For Mitchell-Lama call: Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development: 1-212-863-8494
Sliding scale real estate tax exemption of 5% to 50%; sliding scale reduction in maintenance fees for co-ops. New applications accepted yearly; must be renewed every two years if already enrolled.
Real estate owners, 65+ or disabled at any age, who use property exclusively as legal residence. The property must be a 1-, 2-, or 3-family house, condominium unit, or co-op apartment. Those turning 65 anytime during the year are eligible. Applicants may apply for the exemption at anytime to qualify for benefits for the following July 1st billing period. Those who are eligible for SCRIE are not eligible for SCHE.
Combined total income for all owners from all sources must be less than $35,400. Individuals can deduct documented non-reimbursed medical and prescription expenses.
NYC Department of Finance Customer Assistance Line: 1-212-504-4080 www.nyc.gov/finance
Renters/homeowners may receive $40-$540 to help with cost of home energy. If heat is included in rent: $40 or $50. Grant or energy credit, depending upon income, household size, and type of fuel used.
Low income homeowners and renters, 60+. Those who participated in the program last year will automatically be mailed a new application this year.
Monthly income: Individuals: $1,963; Couples: $2,567
Department for the Aging: 1-212-442-1000 or 311 in NYC
Cash payment tax credit of up to $375.
Homeowners (house market value no higher than $85,000); renters (no higher than $450/month after deductions) who spend sizeable percentage of income on property taxes or rent. NYS residents 65 or older. Public housing tenants are not eligible.
Yearly household income: $18,000.
Taxpayers Assistance Bureau (NYS Department of Taxation & Finance):
1-800-225-5829 or www.nystax.gov
Reduced Fare privileges on NYC owned buses, subways, and the Staten Island Ferry 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Reduced Fare benefits are also available on NYC Transit and some private express bus lines during non-rush hours. Available to customers with one of the following forms of identification: Reduced Fare Metro Card or Medicare Card. Reduced Fare Metro Card automatically deducts correct reduced fare, and allows you to transfer for free between NYC Transit subways and buses.
Persons 65+ and disabled riders.
For application: 1-718-243-4999 or 311 in NYC
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.
NYC Transit: 1-877-337-2017 or 311 in NYC
Provides some prescription drug coverage to low-income elderly; extent of coverage is determined on a sliding scale linked to income.
NYS residents 65 or older; must meet income guidelines. Not eligible if receiving full Medicaid benefits.
Single: $20,000 or less;
Married: joint income $26,000 or less
Single: $20,001 to $35,000
Married: joint income $26,001 to $50,000.
E.P.I.C. Helpline: 1-800-332-3742
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.
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 $70,650. The benefit reduces property tax approximately $375 a year.
Basic: All residential property owners who live in a one, two or three family home. The benefit reduces property tax approximately $201 a year.
NYS Department of Taxation & Finance:
NYC Department of Finance:
Call 311 or www.nyc.gov/finance