Page Reviewed / Updated – June 21, 2023

Program Description

New York’s Community Services for the Elderly (CSE) program is a state-funded program for New Yorkers who wish to continue living in their homes, but who require assistance and support services to do so safely. Program participants receive a variety of different supports and non-medical care specifically selected to meet their needs. Typically, this includes personal care at home and / or in adult day care, transportation assistance, and meals delivered to the home.

The program strives to prevent the unnecessary placement of elderly residents in Medicaid-funded nursing homes. Thereby benefiting both program participants through an improved quality of life and the state from a budgetary perspective.

Services are provided through New York’s network of 59 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). The AAAs sub-contract out services to approximately 1,500 different local providers and serve more than 125,000 elderly New Yorkers each year. In most areas of the state, the AAA is a local county office, but in some cases, several counties are grouped together under a single AAA. One can find their local New York AAA here.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

  • Participants must be residents of New York and at least 60 years old.
  • Priority is given to residents who have a disability, those who live alone and those who are over 75.

Financial Requirements

A candidate’s income and financial assets are not considered for program eligibility, but they are factored into what one is required to pay as their cost share. An individual’s cost share can be as low as 5% and as high as 100%.

Benefits and Services

Case managers at the local AAA level identify the services that are available to eligible seniors. Benefits vary among the municipalities based on need and budget. Some persons may be required to pay a share of cost. Services traditionally include, but are not limited in scope to:

  • Adult Day Care
  • Case Management
  • Companionship Visits
  • Home-Delivered Meals / Congregate Meals
  • Minor Residential Repairs
  • Personal Care (assistance with grooming, bathing, dressing, etc.)
  • Home Health Aide
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)
  • Respite Care
  • Telephone Reassurance
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Nutrition Education / Counseling

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How to Apply / Learn More

To apply for assistance from the Community Services for the Elderly Program, one should contact their local New York Area Agency on Aging. Additional program information can be found here.