Benefits and Programs for Elderly New Yorkers, Pt. 2

The first part of this article explained that there are many programs and benefits available to seniors that live in New York. The second part of the article continues to explain various services that are available to the state’s elderly population.

Temporary Assistance

This program provides cash benefits for senior citizens with limited income for essential food, clothing, and shelter items. You can be any age to apply, but people over the age of sixty do not have to meet the program’s work requirements. The resource limit for an individual is $2,000 and $3,000 if any household member is ages sixty or older. Employed applicants may be able to disregard some of their earnings and still qualify for the program. There is a sixty month limit on this program, and it applies for the lifetime of the applicant.

Elder Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC)

This program is available specifically for New York residents 65 years old or older and covers more than one-half of the cost of most prescription drugs after the Medicare Part D deductible. There is no limit on resources, but the limit on income is $35,000 for an individual ($50,000 for a couple) including Social Security benefits. This program can only be used at EPIC approved pharmacies but it does cover insulin and syringes.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

This service applies to seniors at any age and provides food stamps that can be used like cash at certain retail food stores. There is no limit on resources for an applicant, but there is a $1,915 limit on income for an individual ($2,585 for a household of two) for a household that has an elderly or disabled member.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

This service provides eligible families and seniors help by reducing their heating and cooling costs as well as improve their home’s safety through energy efficient measures. You can apply at any age, and there is no limit on resources. In terms of income, any household that is at sixty percent or below of the state median income is eligible for the service. Priority is given to senior citizens, families with children, and people with disabilities.

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)

This program exempts rent-controlled or rent-stabilized housing and hotel tenants from certain rent increases. It is available for seniors ages 62 and older, and there is no limit on resources. For seniors living in New York City, the income limit is $29,000 per year and outside of the city you must check to see if your community has adopted the program. SCRIE covers increases for renewals on leases, maximum base rent increases, fuel, landlord hardship, and major capital improvements.

New York State School Tax Relief Program (STAR)

This program provides an exemption from the school portion of property taxes for owner-occupied primary residences. It applies to all New York residents who own their one, two, or three family homes, condominiums or cooperative apartments, mobile homes, or farms in the state. You can apply at any age, and there is no limit on resources. The annual household income must be less than $500,000 and for senior citizens STAR exempts the first $30,000 of the primary home from school property taxes.

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