The 1975 Amendments to the Older Americans Act:

Little Effect on Spending for Priority Services

HRD-78-64: Published: Mar 6, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1978.

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The 1975 amendments to the Older Americans Act established four priority services for the elderly: transportation, home services, legal and other counseling, and residential repair and renovation. The amendments also established minimum spending requirements for the priority areas for States.

All of the eight States visited in a review of the effect of the 1975 amendments were meeting the spending requirements. Although spending for priority services increased in most States visited, State officials believed that increased spending was not attributable to the 1975 amendments. The States believed that the 1975 amendments had little effect on spending for priority services because States have generally viewed the priority areas as necessary services for the elderly. Every State visited was spending more for priority services than the amendments required. In addition, each of the four priority areas is subject to wide interpretation, and there were many services the States considered as priority services. State and local program officials resent the 1975 amendments because they have infringed on the local planning philosophy of the Older Americans Act.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: Congress should continue to emphasize the four priority services but should explore the desirability of removing the minimum funding requirements for priority services mandated in the 1975 amendments.


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