State Programs for Delivering Title XX Social Services to Supplemental Security Income Beneficiaries Can Be Improved

HRD-79-59: Published: Apr 11, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 1979.

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Seven states were reviewed to determine how states are using programs funded under the Social Security Act to provide social services to Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries. The assessment showed that elderly Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries had unmet needs for social services.

According to state and local officials in some of the seven states, one of the reasons for unmet needs was that the usual outreach method of informally advising elderly persons about social service programs when they apply for Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid did not effectively reach this group. The social services provided in the seven states were directed toward helping elderly improve, maintain, and safeguard their ability to function in their own homes. Legislation gives states latitude to define service in ways best suited to their individual circumstances. Because of this, service definitions varied among the states. However, the largest number of Supplemental Security Income elderly received what was characterized as: health-related services, homemaker/chore services, individual and family counseling services, transportation services, and protective services. Inadequate resources prevented agencies from providing the amount of services they felt clients needed and from expanding services to more clients. Generally, states had not developed standards governing the delivery of adult day care, foster care, homemaker, and meal services.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should have the Office of Human Development Services: (1) encourage states to operate outreach programs for the elderly to assure that they are aware of and can compete for available social services; (2) determine which adult services should be subjected to standards and develop model standards that states can use to develop their own; and (3) improve coordination between programs by adopting policies that encourage state and local governments to make joint efforts. The Secretary should direct the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration to continue pursuing actions to eliminate the barriers that prevent outreach organizations from obtaining the names and addresses of elderly Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries from Social Security records; and to continue to explore the feasibility of releasing the names to outreach programs operated under the Older Americans Act.

    Agency Affected:

 

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