Archive for June 4th, 2007

Alaska Senior Care special session

Due to strong media attention and public pressure, legislators are calling themselves back to hold a special session focused on Senior Care to be held Tuesday, June 26th in Anchorage. This is a good indication that legislators intend to work towards finding a long-term authorization for the Senior Care program that benefits about 7,000 older Alaskans over the age of 65 who earn less than $16,133 for a single and $21,641 for a couple annually. Most Senior Care recipients use their benefits to help pay for food, rent, utilities, and other necessities. Without Senior Care, many recipients may slip through the holes of the social service “safety net.”

The House Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday, June 6th, at 4 pm at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. The hearing will be teleconferenced statewide and the public is invited to testify. Currently, SB4 is the only bill on the agenda. This bill reauthorizes the needs-based Senior Care Program with an eligibility limit of 150% of the Alaska poverty level, no asset test, and a tiered benefit program tied to income ($175 monthly for households at 100% FPL; $150 monthly for households 100 to 135% FPL; and $100 for households 135 to 150% FPL). Please testify at this week’s hearing and encourage others, especially those who are Senior Care recipients, to testify and tell why this program is important for them. The Senior Care Program is scheduled to sunset on June 30th, 2007. Please call your local Legislative Information Office and ask if they are open for this special hearing on June 6th.

Lastly, we are building a public awareness campaign to put a face on the Senior Care program that will be used to educate legislators and the public. We are in the process of collecting stories from Senior Care recipients – no names or other personal information will be disclosed. We want to impress upon legislators and the public that the Senior Care program makes a real difference for those who receive the benefit.

Please send us any stories you may have concerning persons receiving Senior Care benefits, their circumstances, how they use the benefit, what they plan to do if the Senior Care Program is discontinued. This special session is a golden opportunity for us to advocate together for the best Senior Care program possible for those most in need, hopefully to extend beyond what the current program provides. Please feel free to call me for more information. Thank you. Denise

Denise Daniello, Executive Director
Alaska Commission on Aging
150 3rd Street, Suite 103 / P.O Box 110693
Juneau, AK 99811-0693

907-465-4879 (phone)
907-465-1398 (fax)
email: Denise_Daniello AT health DOT state.ak DOT us
www.alaskaaging.org


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June 2007
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