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The Aging Network

Program Instructions

AoA-PI-01-01 January 8, 2001

TO: STATE AGENCIES ON AGING ADMINISTERING PLANS UNDER TITLE III OF THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT OF 1965, AS AMENDED

SUBJECT: State Plan Amendment Procedures for the Older Americans Act, as Amended in 2000

LEGAL AND RELATED REFERENCES: Sections 305, 306, and 307 of the Older Americans Act of 1965, As Amended, and 45 CFR Part 1321, Grants for State and Community Programs on Aging

The Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000 (P.L. 106-501), which President Clinton signed on November 13, 2000, contain a number of significant new provisions. This guidance discusses changes and consolidations in state plan assurances. The provisions that have major and immediate implications for State and area plans require amendments to those plans. Those provisions pertain to:

Section 305, Organization;

Section 306, Area Plans; and

Section 307, State Plans.

The new statutory language for these sections is attached. For ease in reading, the specific changes are in italics. The changes to these provisions require new assurances. Please note that every provision is not a new substantive change, but may be reflective of the reorganization, streamlining and consolidation of the statute.

In keeping with the State plan requirements in 45 CFR Part 92.11, States may provide a single assurance that cites by number the statutory provisions, or may repeat the statutory assurance language. In addition, a State must affirm that it gives the assurances required by those provisions. As required in section 1321.21 of the Older Americans Act regulations, the Governor or the Governor’s designee must sign amendments to a State plan. To expedite the process for the submission of State plan assurances in conformance with the 2000 amendments to the Older Americans Act, I have provided a certification form that can be signed and dated by the Governor or the Governor’s designee. This Assurance Certification Form or other affirmation of your State’s assurances are due to your respective Administration on Aging Regional Office by February 15, 2001.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, State Assurances Due February 15, 2001

ATTACHMENTS:

  1. Listing of Assurances in Need of Updating
  2. Optional Assurance Certification Form for State Official

INQUIRIES: Address inquiries to Regional Administrators on Aging, DHHS Regional Offices.

____________________________________
Jeanette C. Takamura
Assistant Secretary for Aging


ATTACHMENT 1. Listing of Assurances in Need of Updating


Section 305
ORGANIZATION

Sec. 305. (a) In order for a State to be eligible to participate in programs of grants to States from allotments under this title –

(2) the State agency shall --

(E) provide assurance that preference will be given to providing services to older individuals with greatest economic need and older individuals with greatest social need, with particular attention to low-income minority individuals, and older individuals residing in rural areas and include proposed methods of carrying out the preference in the State plan;

(F) provide assurances that the State agency will require use of outreach efforts described in section 307(a)(16); and

(G)(i) set specific objectives, in consultation with area agencies on aging, for each planning and service area for providing services funded under this title to low-income minority older individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas;

(ii) provide an assurance that the State agency will undertake specific program development, advocacy, and outreach efforts focused on the needs of low-income minority older individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas;


Section 306
AREA PLANS

Sec. 306. (a) Each area agency on aging designated under section 305(a)(2)(A) shall, in order to be approved by the State agency, prepare and develop an area plan for a planning and service area for a two-, three-, or four-year period determined by the State agency, with such annual adjustments as may be necessary. Each such plan shall be based upon a uniform format for area plans within the State prepared in accordance with section 307(a)(1). Each such plan shall --

(1) provide, through a comprehensive and coordinated system, for supportive services, nutrition services, and, where appropriate, for the establishment, maintenance, or construction of multipurpose senior centers, within the planning and service area covered by the plan, including determining the extent of need for supportive services, nutrition services, and multipurpose senior centers in such area (taking into consideration, among other things, the number of older individuals with low incomes residing in such area, the number of older individuals who have greatest economic need (with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas) residing in such area, the number of older individuals who have greatest social need (with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas) residing in such area, and the number of older individuals who are Indians residing in such area, and the efforts of voluntary organizations in the community), evaluating the effectiveness of the use of resources in meeting such need, and entering into agreements with providers of supportive services, nutrition services, or multipurpose senior centers in such area, for the provision of such services or centers to meet such need;

(C) legal assistance; and assurances that the area agency on aging will report annually to the State agency in detail the amount of funds expended for each such category during the fiscal year most recently concluded;

(4)(A)(i) provide assurances that the area agency on aging will set specific objectives for providing services to older individuals with greatest economic need and older individuals with greatest social need, include specific objectives for providing services to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas, and include proposed methods of carrying out the preference in the area plan;

(ii) provide assurances that the area agency on aging will include in each agreement made with a provider of any service under this title, a requirement that such provider will--

(I) specify how the provider intends to satisfy the service needs of low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas in the area served by the provider;

(II) to the maximum extent feasible, provide services to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas in accordance with their need for such services; and

(III) meet specific objectives established by the area agency on aging, for providing services to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas within the planning and service area; and

(iii) with respect to the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which such plan is prepared--

(I) identify the number of low-income minority older individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas in the planning and service area;

(B) provide assurances that the area agency on aging will use outreach efforts that will--

(i) identify individuals eligible for assistance under this Act, with special emphasis on--

(II) older individuals with greatest economic need (with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas);

(III) older individuals with greatest social need (with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas);

(C) contain an assurance that the area agency on aging will ensure that each activity undertaken by the agency, including planning, advocacy, and systems development, will include a focus on the needs of low-income minority older individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas;

(5) provide assurances that the area agency on aging will coordinate planning, identification, assessment of needs, and provision of services for older individuals with disabilities, with particular attention to individuals with severe disabilities, with agencies that develop or provide services for individuals with disabilities;

(6) provide that the area agency on aging will--

(C)(i) where possible, enter into arrangements with organizations providing day care services for children, assistance to older individuals caring for relatives who are children, and respite for families, so as to provide opportunities for older individuals to aid or assist on a voluntary basis in the delivery of such services to children, adults, and families; and

(D) establish an advisory council consisting of older individuals (including minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas) who are participants or who are eligible to participate in programs assisted under this Act, representatives of older individuals, local elected officials, providers of veterans' health care (if appropriate), and the general public, to advise continuously the area agency on aging on all matters relating to the development of the area plan, the administration of the plan and operations conducted under the plan;

(7) provide that the area agency on aging will facilitate the coordination of community-based, long-term care services designed to enable older individuals to remain in their homes, by means including—

(A) development of case management services as a component of the long-term care services, consistent with the requirements of paragraph (8);

(B) involvement of long-term care providers in the coordination of such services; and

(C) increasing community awareness of and involvement in addressing the needs of residents of long-term care facilities;

(8) provide that case management services provided under this title through the area agency on aging will--

(A) not duplicate case management services provided through other Federal and State programs;

(B) be coordinated with services described in subparagraph (A); and

(C) be provided by a public agency or a nonprofit private agency that--

(i) gives each older individual seeking services under this title a list of agencies that provide similar services within the jurisdiction of the area agency on aging;

(ii) gives each individual described in clause (i) a statement specifying that the individual has a right to make an independent choice of service providers and documents receipt by such individual of such statement;

(iii) has case managers acting as agents for the individuals receiving the services and not as promoters for the agency providing such services; or

(iv) is located in a rural area and obtains a waiver of the requirements described in clauses (i) through (iii);

(9) provide assurances that the area agency on aging, in carrying out the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program under section 307(a)(9), will expend not less than the total amount of funds appropriated under this Act and expended by the agency in fiscal year 2000 in carrying out such a program under this title;

(10) provide a grievance procedure for older individuals who are dissatisfied with or denied services under this title;

(11) provide information and assurances concerning services to older individuals who are Native Americans (referred to in this paragraph as `older Native Americans'), including--

(A) information concerning whether there is a significant population of older Native Americans in the planning and service area and if so, an assurance that the area agency on aging will pursue activities, including outreach, to increase access of those older Native Americans to programs and benefits provided under this title;

(B) an assurance that the area agency on aging will, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate the services the agency provides under this title with services provided under title VI; and

(C) an assurance that the area agency on aging will make services under the area plan available, to the same extent as such services are available to older individuals within the planning and service area, to older Native Americans; and

(12) provide that the area agency on aging will establish procedures for coordination of services with entities conducting other Federal or federally assisted programs for older individuals at the local level, with particular emphasis on entities conducting programs described in section 203(b) within the planning and service area.

(b) Each State, in approving area agency on aging plans under this section, shall waive the requirement described in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) for any category of services described in such paragraph if the area agency on aging demonstrates to the State agency that services being furnished for such category in the area are sufficient to meet the need for such services in such area and had conducted a timely public hearing upon request.


Section 307
STATE PLANS

Sec. 307. (a )(1) The plan shall--

(A) require each area agency on aging designated under section 305(a)(2)(A) to develop and submit to the State agency for approval, in accordance with a uniform format developed by the State agency, an area plan meeting the requirements of section 306; and

(B) be based on such area plans.

(2) The plan shall provide that the State agency will--

(A) evaluate, using uniform procedures described in section 202(a)(29), the need for supportive services (including legal assistance pursuant to 307(a)(11), information and assistance, and transportation services), nutrition services, and multipurpose senior centers within the State;

(B) develop a standardized process to determine the extent to which public or private programs and resources (including volunteers and programs and services of voluntary organizations) that have the capacity and actually meet such need; and

(C) specify a minimum proportion of the funds received by each area agency on aging in the State to carry out part B that will be expended (in the absence of a waiver under sections 306(b) or 316) by such area agency on aging to provide each of the categories of services specified in section 306(a)(2).

(3) The plan shall--

(A) include (and may not be approved unless the Assistant Secretary approves) the statement and demonstration required by paragraphs (2) and (4) of section 305(d) (concerning intrastate distribution of funds); and

(B) with respect to services for older individuals residing in rural areas--

(i) provide assurances that the State agency will spend for each fiscal year, not less than the amount expended for such services for fiscal year 2000;

(ii) identify, for each fiscal year to which the plan applies, the projected costs of providing such services (including the cost of providing access to such services); and

(iii) describe the methods used to meet the needs for such services in the fiscal year preceding the first year to which such plan applies.

(4) The plan shall provide that the State agency will conduct periodic evaluations of, and public hearings on, activities and projects carried out in the State under this title and title VII, including evaluations of the effectiveness of services provided to individuals with greatest economic need, greatest social need, or disabilities, with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas.

(5) The plan shall provide that the State agency will--

(A) afford an opportunity for a public hearing upon request, in accordance with published procedures, to any area agency on aging submitting a plan under this title, to any provider of (or applicant to provide) services;

(B) issue guidelines applicable to grievance procedures required by section 306(a)(10); and

(C) afford an opportunity for a public hearing, upon request, by an area agency on aging, by a provider of (or applicant to provide) services, or by any recipient of services under this title regarding any waiver request, including those under 316.

(8)(A) The plan shall provide that no supportive services, nutrition services, or in-home services will be directly provided by the State agency or an area agency on aging in the State, unless, in the judgment of the State agency--

(i) provision of such services by the State agency or the area agency on aging is necessary to assure an adequate supply of such services;

(ii) such services are directly related to such State agency's or area agency on aging's administrative functions; or

(iii) such services can be provided more economically, and with comparable quality, by such State agency or area agency on aging.

(B) Regarding case management services, if the State agency or area agency on aging is already providing case management services (as of the date of submission of the plan) under a State program, the plan may specify that such agency is allowed to continue to provide case management services.

(C) The plan may specify that an area agency on aging is allowed to directly provide information and assistance services and outreach.

(9) The plan shall provide assurances that the State agency will carry out, through the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program in accordance with section 712 and this title, and will expend for such purpose an amount that is not less than an amount expended by the State agency with funds received under this title for fiscal year 2000, and an amount that is not less than the amount expended by the State agency with funds received under title VII for fiscal year 2000.

(10) The plan shall provide assurance that the special needs of older individuals residing in rural areas will be taken into consideration and shall describe how those needs have been met and describe how funds have been allocated to meet those needs.

(16) The plan shall provide assurances that the State agency will require outreach efforts that will--

(A) identify individuals eligible for assistance under this Act, with special emphasis on--

(ii) older individuals with greatest economic need (with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas);

(iii) older individuals with greatest social need (with particular attention to low-income minority individuals and older individuals residing in rural areas);

(17) The plan shall provide, with respect to the needs of older individuals with severe disabilities, assurances that the State will coordinate planning, identification, assessment of needs, and service for older individuals with disabilities with particular attention to individuals with severe disabilities with the State agencies with primary responsibility for individuals with disabilities, including severe disabilities, to enhance services and develop collaborative programs, where appropriate, to meet the needs of older individuals with disabilities.

(21) The plan shall—

(A) provide an assurance that the State agency will coordinate programs under this title and programs under title VI, if applicable; and

(B) provide an assurance that the State agency will pursue activities to increase access by older individuals who are Native Americans to all aging programs and benefits provided by the agency, including programs and benefits provided under this title, if applicable, and specify the ways in which the State agency intends to implement the activities.

(26) The plan shall provide assurances that funds received under this title will not be used to pay any part of a cost (including an administrative cost) incurred by the State agency or an area agency on aging to carry out a contract or commercial relationship that is not carried out to implement this title.


ATTACHMENT 2. Optional Assurance Certification Form for State Official