Ohio Elderly Services Program: Non-Medicaid Assistance for the Elderly 

Program Description

The Ohio Elderly Services Program, also referred to as ESP, provides in-home services for seniors who do not qualify for Medicaid due to income greater than the allowable amount, yet they still cannot afford to hire in-home assistance. Services are provided to assist these seniors to remain living independently in their own homes, rather than require nursing home placement. Examples of services provided include assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing, grooming, and dressing, and homemaker tasks, such as shopping for essentials, dusting, and other light housekeeping. Other services may include adult day care, respite care, meal delivery, and more.

There is some room for consumer direction of care services within the program, as clients are able to choose the provider organization that will provide their services. In some instances, family members, such as adult children may even be paid to provide services if they work for the provider organization and qualify to provide the needed services. Spouses and those who have power of attorney cannot be paid to provide care.

The Elderly Services Program is only available in the following four Ohio Counties: Butler, Clinton, Hamilton, and Warren. However, because care can be provided to individuals residing in assisted living or adult foster care, this program is relevant to a wider range of Ohioans as persons living in neighboring counties may elect to relocate to assisted living or adult foster care in one of the counties.

The Elderly Services Program is administered by Ohio’s Council on Aging (COA) and is funded through a county tax levy.


Eligibility Guidelines

Applicants must be Ohio residents and must reside in Butler, Clinton, Hamilton, or Warren Counties. For seniors residing in Hamilton and Warren Counties, they must be a minimum of 60 years of age. For those in Butler and Clinton Counties, individuals must be at least 65 years old. (One exception – Meal delivery is available for seniors who are 60 years of age and older). While there’s not an income limit, on average, applicants have an income of $1,764 / month or $21,168 / year and pay approximately $264 in out of pocket medical expenses. Applicants must also demonstrate a need for assistance with daily activities, such as mobility, toiletry, dressing, eating, and hygiene. The level of care needed may depend on the county.

To be eligible for the Ohio Elderly Services program, one cannot be eligible for Medicaid or a Medicaid Waiver, such as the Assisted Living Waiver or PASSPORT Waiver.


Benefits and Services

While services may vary slightly based on the county of residence, the following benefits and services may be available.

  • Adult Day Care (this service can be used to provide respite for a primary caregiver)
  • Basic Home Modifications / Home Repairs, such as addition of grab bars and ramps, fixing a water leak, etc. 
  • Case Management
  • Home Delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels)
  • Homemaker Services
  • Medical / Non Medical Transportation
  • Personal Care Assistance 
  • Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)
  • Respite Care
  • Independent Living Services, such as assistance with applications pertaining to benefits and organizing personal paperwork
  • Durable Medical Equipment, such as walkers, canes, and bath benches
  • Pest Control / Removal of Waste
  • Mental Health Services

While the majority of seniors do not pay for services, some do pay a co-payment based on a sliding scale. The share of cost is determined by subtracting out-of-pocket medical expenses (prescriptions, supplemental health insurance, dentist bills, hearing aids, incontinence supplies, etc.) from an individual’s monthly income. There is no cost of share for meal delivery.


How to Apply / Learn More

For more information about the Elderly Services Program, click here or download a program brochure.

For questions or to apply, contact COA at 800-252-0155 or 513-721-1025. An initial screening will be conducted over the phone, followed by an in-home assessment for those who meet the initial criteria. For seniors living in Clermont County that need in-home services, contact Clermont County Services at 513-724-1255, as they have a similar program. (This program is for seniors 60 years and older).  For those in all other counties, contact your local Area Agency on Aging to find out what services are offered in your area. Click here to find your local office.

Make note, wait lists may exist for the Elderly Services Program, as there is a program enrollment limit. At the time of this writing, there was no waitlist in any of the four counties. In Clermont County, the average wait time for one to receive services is 1 to 4 weeks.