Older Americans Act

Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 in response to concern by policymakers about a lack of community social services for older persons. The original legislation established authority for grants to States for community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging. The law also established the Administration on Aging (AoA) to administer the newly created grant programs and to serve as the Federal focal point on matters concerning older persons.

Although older individuals may receive services under many other Federal programs, today the OAA is considered to be the major vehicle for the organization and delivery of social and nutrition services to this group and their caregivers. It authorizes a wide array of service programs through a national network of 56 State agencies on aging, 629 area agencies on aging, nearly 20,000 service providers, 244 Tribal organizations, and 2 Native Hawaiian organizations representing 400 Tribes. The OAA also includes community service employment for low-income older Americans; training, research, and demonstration activities in the field of aging; and vulnerable elder rights protection activities.

Older Americans Act provides services such as information, legal assistance, caregiver, in-home services, transportation, and nutrition programs to older individuals. Services are offered on a free or contribution basis, depending on the service.

  • Eligibility Guidelines - 60 Years of Age or older (Family Caregiver Support Program guidelines are different).
  • To learn more about the Federal Regulation, click here.

Locating Assistance

Information about the Older Americans Act can be found by calling 855-200-2372 and you will be directed to assistance in your area.  For description of the programs that are part of the Older Americans Act click on any of the topics below.  Program availability varies by location.

  • Information and Assistance

  • Supportive Services

  • Nutrition Programs

  • Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Services

  • Family Caregiver Support Program

  • Legal Assistance Program