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STATE OLD-AGE PLANS

Sec2[42 U.S.C. 302] (a) A State plan for old-age assistance must—

(1) except to the extent permitted by the Secretary with respect to services, provide that it shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, be mandatory upon them;

(2) provide for financial participation by the State;

(3) either provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to administer the plan, or provide for the establishment or designation of a single State agency to supervise the administration of the plan;

(4) provide (A) for granting an opportunity for a fair hearing before the State agency to any individual whose claim for assistance under the plan is denied or is not acted upon with reasonable promptness, and (B) that if the State plan is administered in each of the political subdivisions of the State by a local agency and such local agency provides a hearing at which evidence may be presented prior to a hearing before the State agency, such local agency may put into effect immediately upon issuance its decision upon the matter considered at such hearing;

(5) provide (A) such methods of administration (including methods relating to the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards on a merit basis, except that the Secretary shall exercise no authority with respect to the selection, tenure of office, and compensation of any individual employed in accordance with such methods) as are found by the Secretary[5] to be necessary for the proper and efficient operation of the plan, and (B) for the training and effective use of paid subprofessional staff, with particular emphasis on the full-time or part-time employment of recipients and other persons of low income, as community service aides, in the administration of the plan and for the use of nonpaid or partially paid volunteers in a social service volunteer program in providing services to applicants and recipients and in assisting any advisory committees established by the State agency;

(6) provide that the State agency will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the Secretary may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Secretary may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;

(7) provide safeguards which permit the use or disclosure of information concerning applicants or recipients only (A) to public officials who require such information in connection with their official duties, or (B) to other persons for purposes directly connected with the administration of the State plan;

(8) provide that all individuals wishing to make application for assistance under the plan shall have opportunity to do so, and that such assistance shall be furnished with reasonable promptness to all eligible individuals;

(9) provide, if the plan includes assistance for or on behalf of individuals in private or public institutions, for the establishment or designation of a State authority or authorities which shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining standards for such institutions;

(10) if the State plan includes old-age assistance—

(A) provide that the State agency shall, in determining need for such assistance, take into consideration any other income and resources of an individual claiming old-age assistance, as well as any expenses reasonably attributable to the earning of any such income; except that, in making such determination, (i) the State agency may disregard not more than $7.50 per month of any income and (ii) of the first $80 per month of additional income which is earned the State agency may disregard not more than the first $20 thereof plus one-half of the remainder;[6]

(B) include reasonable standards, consistent with the objectives of this title, for determining eligibility for and the extent of such assistance; and

(C) provide a description of the services (if any) which the State agency makes available (using whatever internal organizational arrangement it finds appropriate for this purpose) to applicants for and recipients of such assistance to help them attain self-care, including a description of the steps taken to assure, in the provision of such services, maximum utilization of other agencies providing similar or related services; and

(11) provide that information is requested and exchanged for purposes of income and eligibility verification in accordance with a State system which meets the requirements of section 1137 of this Act.

(b) The Secretary shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a), except that he shall not approve any plan which imposes, as a condition of eligibility for assistance under the plan—

(1) an age requirement of more than sixty-five years; or

(2) any residence requirement which (A) in the case of applicants for old-age assistance, excludes any resident of the State who has resided therein five years during the nine years immediately preceding the application for old-age assistance and has resided therein continuously for one year immediately preceding the application, and (B) in the case of applicants for medical assistance for the aged, excludes any individual who resides in the State; or

(3) any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United States.

At the option of the State, the plan may provide that manuals and other policy issuances will be furnished to persons without charge for the reasonable cost of such materials, but such provision shall not be required by the Secretary as a condition for the approval of such plan under this title.

(c) Nothing in this title shall be construed to permit a State to have in effect with respect to any period more than one State plan approved under this title.


[5]  P.L. 91-648, §208(a)(3)(D), transferred to the U.S. Civil Service Commission, effective March 6, 1971, all powers, functions, and duties of the Secretary under subparagraph (A). Functions of the Commission were transferred, effective January 1, 1979, to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management by section 102 of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978.

[6]  See Vol. II, Appendix K, Income and Resource Exclusions, for a list of provisions from Federal laws regarding exclusions from income and resources.