Older Americans Act:

Title III Funds Not Distributed According to Statute

HEHS-94-37: Published: Jan 18, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 18, 1994.

Additional Materials:


Sarah F. Jaggar
(202) 512-4561


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO reviewed the Administration on Aging's (AOA) funding formula to distribute Older Americans Act title III grants for state and community aging programs.

GAO found that: (1) the AOA formula does not comply with the statutory requirement that title III funds be allotted to the maximum extent possible in proportion to state elderly populations; (2) AOA calculates state allotments by deducting each state's hold-harmless minimum from the total appropriation, then distributing the remainder in proportion to the state's elderly population and, finally, adjusting the allotments so that no state receives less than 0.5 percent of the total appropriation; (3) the law requires that AOA calculate the distribution of funds based on the elderly population in each state and then adjust the allotments to meet the statutory minimums; and (4) the current allocation formula ensures that the statutory minimums are met, but per capita allotments are not equal in states that are not subject to the statutory minimums and states with rapidly growing elderly populations are underfunded.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency does not agree with the conclusions and the recommendation. No action is planned.

    Recommendation: AOA should revise its current method of calculating state grant funds under title III of the Older Americans Act to allot more funds in proportion to current elderly populations, as required by law, while still satisfying the statutory minimum requirements. Such a revised method should compute title III allotments first on current shares of states' elderly populations, then raise only those state allotments that do not meet the hold-harmless and/or 0.5-percent minimum funding levels, and, finally, lower allotments of nonminimum states proportionally.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services: Administration on Aging


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Aug 10, 2020

Jul 29, 2020

Jul 9, 2020

Jun 17, 2020

May 7, 2020

Apr 13, 2020

Feb 26, 2020

Dec 19, 2019

Dec 4, 2019

Oct 9, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here