The state of New York offers a program called Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly or EISEP for short. This program provides non-medical services such as personal care, adult day care, and transportation assistance to seniors who live in their homes, as well as support services, such as case management. One objective of the program is to prevent, or at least delay, the placement of frail, elderly state residents in more expensive Medicaid-funded nursing homes. By providing services for seniors and their caregivers in their homes, the state hopes to both save money and provide the aged and disabled with a higher quality of life, while allowing them to continue to live in the community.
Under EISEP, in some areas of NY, adult children and other relatives can work as paid caregivers to their elderly parents.
In 2011, changes were made to the program to allow for Consumer Directed In Home Services (referred to as CDIS). Consumer direction means the care recipient can select, train, and manage their own care providers instead of the state doing so on their behalf. Participants are able to hire family members and pay them (with the state’s money) for their caregiving services, provided they meet the program’s requirements. Consumer direction varies from county to county, so one should inquire with their local Area Agency on Aging to see about availability.
The EISEP program is designed for low-income seniors, 60 years of age and up, who do not qualify for Medicaid in NY. In addition, program participants must live at home and require assistance with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as mobility, toiletry, bathing, and cooking. However, their care requirements cannot be so severe that the cost of caring for them exceeds the cost to do so in a nursing home. For illustration purposes, individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s would be eligible, but those in the late stages of the disease would more than likely require too much care to remain at home.
EISEP does not have fixed, published income limits. However, the program does have cost-sharing rules. Persons whose income exceeds the maximum cost-sharing threshold receive no financial assistance, so the cost-sharing limits are the effective financial limits for EISEP.
NY EISEP Income / Cost-Sharing Limits for 2019*
State Pays 100% of Cost
State Pays a % of Cost
State Does Not Pay
Income less than $1,561 / month
Income Between $1,561 – $2,602 / month
Income Exceeds $2,602 / month
Income less than $2,114 / month
Income Between $2,114 -$3,523 / month
Income Exceeds $3,523 / month
*Based on the 2019 Federal Poverty Levels
*Important* Individuals whose income exceeds the limit for services at no cost should still pursue assistance from this program. The cost-sharing co-payment EISEP may require is very reasonable and a fraction of the cost of care on the open market.
Benefits and Services
The services provided under EISEP may vary from county to county and with each participating individual. As mentioned previously, the cost for these services is based on a sliding scale, which is determined by the participant’s income level. There may be no charge or a co-payment, up to 100%, may be required. In addition to case management, possible services include:
- Adult Day Care
- Companion Services
- Assistance with ADLs / IADLs – bathing, grooming, dressing, shopping, errands, etc.
- Chore Services
- Housekeeping / Homemaker Services
- Meal Preparation / Home Delivered Meals
- Medication Reminders
- Personal Care
- Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS)
- Respite Care (Non Institutional)
- Transportation Assistance or Escorts
- Ancillary Services – installation of grab bars, bathtub seat, etc.
Did You Know?
NY seniors are eligible for free estimates on bathroom safety modifications, which help them to age in their homes. This includes walk-in tub replacements for dangerous showers.
How to Apply / Learn More
While this program is available throughout the state of New York, it is administered locally by the Area Agencies on Aging. Waiting lists may exist in certain geographic areas. To apply for the EISEP program or to inquire about local wait lists, one should contact their Area Agency on Aging.
The state also maintains a webpage on the program but it provides limited information. A downloadable brochure is available here.