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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2007

Governor's News Release 07-172

Senior Benefits Program to Take Effect August 1, 2007

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Anchorage , Alaska - Governor Sarah Palin today signed Senate Bill 4 to continue support for low-income older Alaskans by adopting the Senior Benefits Program.

“This program continues important assistance to Alaska seniors,” Governor Palin said. “I promised that seniors would not go hungry, and we worked with the Alaska Legislature to address this critical need.”

In a special session June 26, 2007, legislators passed the Senior Benefits Program, which begins August 1, 2007, with payments ranging from $125 to $250 a month, depending on a senior’s income level.

Because of the short turnaround time required for implementing the program, current beneficiaries will continue to receive $125 a month, followed by supplemental payments to those seniors eligible for higher benefit levels under the new program as soon as applications can be processed.

The department expects about 10,700 seniors will likely qualify for the new program. About 6,700 low-income seniors were enrolled in SeniorCare when the program ended June 30, 2007. To ensure a seamless transition for seniors already enrolled in SeniorCare, the Department of Health and Social Services is working diligently to make sure they apply for the new benefit. New applicants are also encouraged to apply.

Seniors may apply by calling the Senior Benefits Office at 1-888-352-4150 statewide, or 352-4150 in Mat-Su, or seniors may apply using the application available online at www.seniorbenefits.alaska.gov

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Fact Sheet: Senior Benefits Program helps Alaska seniors (PDF 39 KB)

Fiscal Note: Senior Benefits Program, 6-25-07 (PDF 37KB)