Older Americans Act

In 1965, in response to concern by policymakers about a lack of community social services for older persons, Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA). 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.

CLICK HERE for links to an unofficial compilation of the OAA, an outline of changes made to the OAA at the most recent reauthorization (2006), a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the OAA and other related sources of information/data.


Current status: The Older Americans Act (OAA) is now over three years late in being reauthorized. On October 30, 2013, the Senate HELP Committee voted to send S. 1562, a bipartisan reauthorization bill, to the Senate floor. Two bills have been introduced in the House – a bill from Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, H.R. 4122, which would strengthen the Act along the lines of the Senate bill, and H.R. 3850, which would simply reauthorize the Act with no changes.

Resolved: NANASP supports S. 1562 and H.R. 4122.  They are bills that would expand and modernize the Act for the next 5 years but preserve the separate titles for congregate and home delivered nutrition and maintain voluntary contributions for participants. We are aware that the process is currently deadlocked.  As a last resort, NANASP would also support the straight reauthorization bill, H.R. 3850

Leadership Council on Aging Organizations (LCAO)'s Consensus Recommendations for the 2011 Older American's Act Reauthorization - Adopted April 6, 2011

March 17, 2016 - NANASP's letter of support to House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline and Ranking Member Bobby Scott on March 18, 2016 for the 2016 House OAA reauthorization. Read Letter