First Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 970781.01D DFH
HOUSE BILL 971347
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVE Pankey;
also SENATOR Wham.
WELFARE & INSTITUTIONS
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING IMPLEMENTATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES
TO THE OLD AGE PENSION PROGRAM.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently
Conforms provisions of the law governing the old age pension program to the constitutional amendment to be submitted to the registered electors at the 1998 general election. Takes effect only upon the approval of such amendment by the electors.
Sets the minimum eligibility for the old age pension through a phasedin increase in the minimum age (from 60 to 65 years) for persons who are not totally and permanently disabled, based on federal criteria for disability. Retains the 60year age requirement for persons who meet federal disability criteria. Directs that the minimum age for the old age pension be automatically increased if Congress raises the retirement age for social security.
Under the constitutional authority to set qualifications and resource criteria for the old age pension through legislation:
Prohibits denial of a pension because of the ownership of real property as a residence.
Aligns the eligibility of legal immigrants with the federal welfare reform legislation by barring legal immigrants who arrived in the United States on or after August 22, 1996, from receiving the old age pension for a period of 5 years, unless the person who sponsored the legal immigrant has insufficient income, property, or resources to support the immigrant and is no longer available and able to provide such support without resulting in hardship upon the sponsor.
Eliminates the $10 million cap on the stateonly
health and medical care program for old age pensioners who do
not qualify for medicaid. Eliminates the old age pension stabilization
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 262111 (2), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1989 Repl. Vol., as amended, is amended to read:
262111. Eligibility for
public assistance. (2) Old
age pension. (a) Except as provided in paragraph
of this subsection (2), public assistance in the form of the old
age pension shall be granted to any person who meets the requirements
of subsection (1) of this section and any one of the following
(I) The person has attained the age of sixty years or more and meets the resource eligibility requirements of the federal supplemental security income program AND MEETS THE DISABILITY CRITERIA UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT; or
(I.5) THE PERSON HAS ATTAINED THE AGE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (g) OF THIS SUBSECTION (2) AND MEETS THE RESOURCE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS OF THE FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME PROGRAM BUT DOES NOT MEET THE DISABILITY CRITERIA UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT; OR
(III) The person is an inmate of an institution, not penal in character, maintained by the state or by a municipality therein or county thereof, and the person has attained the age of sixty years or more. The period of confinement as a patient in such institution shall be considered as residence in the state of Colorado.
(b) No person otherwise qualified shall
be denied the old age pension by reason of the fact that relatives
may be financially able to contribute to his OR HER support and
maintenance, but income and property of the spouse of an applicant
or recipient of the old age pension shall be considered in determining
eligibility pursuant to rules
regulations of the state department,
which rules and regulations
shall be based upon and relate to the need of the applicant or
recipient. CONSISTENT WITH REQUIREMENTS FOR SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY
INCOME, THE STATE BOARD OF HUMAN SERVICES MAY ADOPT RULES ESTABLISHING
LOWER GRANT STANDARDS FOR PENSIONS FOR MARRIED COUPLES AND FOR
PERSONS WHO LIVE WITH ANOTHER PERSON.
A LEGAL IMMIGRANT who has resided
ARRIVED in the United States for less
than three years ON OR AFTER AUGUST
22, 1996, shall be granted
BARRED FROM RECEIVING public assistance under the provisions of
this subsection (2) FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS AFTER ENTRY IN
THE UNITED STATES, unless it is shown that the person other
than a relative who sponsored the
LEGAL IMMIGRANT'S entry into the United States and who satisfied
sponsorship financial requirements at the time of initial sponsorship
BY SIGNING AN AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT now has insufficient income,
property, or other resources to meet the needs of the alien
LEGAL IMMIGRANT as determined pursuant to rules and
regulations of the state department
AND IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AND ABLE TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
WITHOUT RESULTING IN HARDSHIP UPON SUCH SPONSOR.
(d) NO PERSON OTHERWISE QUALIFIED SHALL BE DENIED THE OLD AGE PENSION BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT SUCH PERSON IS THE OWNER OF REAL ESTATE OCCUPIED AS A RESIDENCE OR THAT SUCH PERSON OWNS REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY THAT THE STATE BOARD OF HUMAN SERVICES HAS DETERMINED IS EXEMPT IN SETTING THE AMOUNT OF THE OLD AGE PENSION.
(e) NO PERSON OTHERWISE QUALIFIED SHALL BE REQUIRED, IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A PENSION, TO REPAY OR PROMISE TO REPAY THE STATE OF COLORADO ANY MONEY PAID TO SUCH PERSON AS AN OLD AGE PENSION; EXCEPT THAT THE STATE MAY RECOUP INTERIM ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 262206.
(d) (f) (I) No
person who is a member of a household which
THAT is receiving public assistance under the aid to families
with dependent children program OR ITS SUCCESSOR PROGRAM set forth
in this article shall be eligible to receive public assistance
pursuant to this subsection (2). For the purposes of this paragraph
"household" has the same meaning as "assistance
unit" as used in 45 C.F.R., 205.40 (a) (1), as amended.
(II) (A) The provisions of subparagraph
(I) of this paragraph
(f) notwithstanding, on and after January 1, 1992, a supplemental
payment funded by state and county funds shall be paid to households
THAT have received public assistance payments for the month of
December 1991, under both the aid to families with dependent children
program set forth in this article OR ITS SUCCESSOR PROGRAM and
the old age pension program set forth in this subsection (2).
Such supplemental payment shall be in an amount as will maintain
the household's total income at the same level as in December
(B) Such supplemental payment shall be paid only if the household remains continuously eligible to receive public assistance under both the aid to families with dependent children program set forth in this article OR ITS SUCCESSOR PROGRAM and the old age pension program set forth in this subsection (2).
(g) ANY PERSON WHO DOES NOT MEET THE DISABILITY CRITERIA UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND IS OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE BENEFITS UNDER PARAGRAPH (a) OF THIS SUBSECTION (2) SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SUCH BENEFITS IF SAID PERSON HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF:
(I) SIXTY YEARS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 1999;
(II) SIXTY YEARS AND SIX MONTHS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2000;
(III) SIXTYONE YEARS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2001;
(IV) SIXTYONE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2002;
(V) SIXTYTWO YEARS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2003;
(VI) SIXTYTWO YEARS AND SIX MONTHS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2004;
(VII) SIXTYTHREE YEARS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2005;
(VIII) SIXTYTHREE YEARS AND SIX MONTHS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2006;
(IX) SIXTYFOUR YEARS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2007;
(X) SIXTYFOUR YEARS AND SIX MONTHS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2008; OR
(XI) SIXTYFIVE YEARS; EXCEPT THAT, IF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS INCREASES THE RETIREMENT AGE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS, THE MINIMUM AGE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR THE OLD AGE PENSION SHALL BE AUTOMATICALLY INCREASED BY SIX MONTHS EACH YEAR UNTIL IT IS EQUIVALENT TO THE RETIREMENT AGE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS.
SECTION 2. 262116, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1989 Repl. Vol., as amended, is repealed as follows:
262116. Old age pension
moneys remaining in the old age pension fund after full payment
of basic minimum awards to qualified old age pension recipients
shall be transferred to a fund to be known as the old age pension
stabilization fund, which fund shall be maintained at the amount
of five million dollars and restored to that amount after any
disbursements therefrom. The state board shall use the moneys
in such fund only to stabilize payments of old age pension basic
minimum awards. Moneys in the old age pension stabilization fund
shall be subject to annual appropriation by the general assembly.
SECTION 3. 262117, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1989 Repl. Vol., as amended, is amended to read:
262117. Old age pension
health and medical care fund. Any moneys
remaining in the state old age pension fund after full payment
of basic minimum awards to qualified old age pension recipients
and after establishment and maintenance
of the old age pension stabilization fund in the amount of five
million dollars shall be transferred
to a fund to be known as the old age pension health and medical
care fund, which is hereby created. The state department shall
establish and promulgate rules and
regulations for administration of
a program to provide health and medical care to persons who qualify
to receive old age pensions and who are not patients in an institution
for tuberculosis or mental diseases. The costs of such program
not to exceed ten million dollars
in any fiscal year, shall be defrayed
from such health and medical care fund, but all moneys available,
accrued or accruing, received or receivable, in said health and
medical care fund in excess of ten
million dollars in any AS DETERMINED
BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR EACH fiscal year shall be transferred
to the general fund of the state to be used pursuant to law. Moneys
in the old age pension health and medical care fund shall be subject
to annual appropriation by the general assembly.
SECTION 4. Effective date. This act shall take effect upon proclamation by the governor of the vote of the registered electors at the 1998 general election approving 1997 House Concurrent Resolution Number ____. This act shall not take effect if the registered electors at the 1998 general election disapprove 1997 House Concurrent Resolution Number ______.
SECTION 5. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.