Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (04/25/1996)

Older Americans Amendments of 1996 - Revises the Older American Community Service Employment Act (OACSE) (renamed the Older American Community Service Employment Act of 1996) and the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) (renamed the Older Americans Act of 1996), of which it is a part, to make the following program reauthorizations, extensions, and other specified changes.

(Sec. 3) Reauthorizes and extends the OACSE program, as modified by this Act, through FY 2001, with revisions in the funding allotment formulae for making grants to eligible States and tribal organizations for authorized program projects employing older individuals. Authorizes appropriations.

Reauthorizes and extends certain current OAA programs through FY 2001, including supportive services programs designed to provide legal, counseling, outreach, health promotion and disease prevention, and other specified assistance to the aged, as well as nutrition services programs which are combined into a single congregate, home, and adult day care nutrition services program funded from a sole authorization. Modifies such programs, among other things, to authorize States to transfer funds, as appropriate, between the two programs. Eliminates other specified federally structured OAA programs, such as: (1) the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program (thus eliminating the need of States to establish a separate office through which to carry out a long-term care ombudsman program); (2) school-based meals for volunteer older individuals and multigenerational programs; and (3) the in-home services program for frail older individuals, in many cases allowing the States to design their own similar programs, such as State long-term care ombudsman programs, to provide corresponding services according to certain specifications. Authorizes appropriations.

Reauthorizes and extends the Administration on Aging (AOA), as modified by this Act, through FY 2001. Authorizes appropriations.

Restructures OAA into four main titles on Federal functions, State and local responsibilities, Native American programs on aging, and a National Senior Volunteer Service Corps (NSVSC) composed of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program for older individuals to contribute to their communities through volunteer service (thus eliminating current titles on training, research, and discretionary projects and programs, and on vulnerable elder rights protection activities, while relocating many of their key components elsewhere within OAA, such as those for the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation).

Eliminates various special offices within AOA, giving the Assistant Secretary for Aging responsibility for administering all OAA programs.

Revises State and local government authority to allow authority in designing and operating their own programs and projects for the aged (such as those for in-home services for frail older individuals).

Abolishes the Federal Council on the Aging, the National Aging Information Center, and the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Redefines "low-income" to mean, for purposes of the OACSE program, income that is not more than 125 percent of the poverty line, and for purposes of NSVSC, such income or income that is not more than 100 percent of such poverty line, as so adjusted and determined after taking into consideration existing poverty guidelines as appropriate to local situations.

Permits States to institute cost-sharing under the State's OAA plan while providing that no older individual will be denied a service under the plan because of inability to pay.

Makes additional funds available to the Assistant Secretary for Aging through the Department of Agriculture for nutrition services for the aged.

Authorizes appropriations.