The Division of Aging Services was created in the Department of Human Services through SFY2013 budget language that transferred senior supports and services from the Department of Health to the Department of Human Services. The former Divisions of Senior Benefits and Utilization Management and Aging and Community Services are now realigned in a new Division of Aging Services in the Department of Human Services.
The restructuring has established a single point of access for seniors and people with disabilities and their caregivers regardless of Medicaid eligibility. The realignment allows for:
- Creation of a single point of access for seniors and people with disabilities and their caregivers regardless of Medicaid eligibility
- Better coordination of Federal and State funded programs for seniors and people with disabilities, including people who require specialized services for physical or late-onset disabilities
- A continuum of coordinated and integrated disability and long-term care resources
- More opportunity and the ability for aging adults to remain at home with proper supports
The Division of Aging Services administers federal and State-funded services and supports and makes it easier for seniors and caregivers to live in the community as long as possible with independence, dignity and choice. The agency receives federal funds under the Older Americans Act whereby it serves over 500,000 individuals and is the focal point for planning services for the aging, developing comprehensive information about New Jersey’s older adult population and its needs, and maintaining information about services available to older adults throughout the state. According to the 2010 U.S. Census data, New Jersey has 1.6 million individuals age 60 and older – an increase of 15 percent since 2000.
Seniors and adults with disabilities in need of long-term services and supports have information and easy access to community-based alternatives through an enhanced service delivery system known as the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC). The ADRC is a state initiative with the the 21 Area Agencies on Aging who serve as the county lead agencies with other state and local governmental and nonprofit agencies in the aging and disability services networks.
The Division runs two prescription drug assistance programs – Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled and the Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program – the Lifeline Utility Assistance program, and the Hearing Aid Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program.
Information about the programs is also available through various toll-free hotlines.
DIVISION BUDGET: $2.2 billion (federal/state)
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER & INTERIM DIRECTOR: Lowell Arye
DIVISION STAFF: 355