Report Title:

Aged Persons; Money Management Program; Appropriation


Appropriates funds for fiscal years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 to the Department of Human Services as a grant-in-aid to Catholic Charities Elderly Services to operate their money management program for the elderly.


S.B. NO.












SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there is a growing need of elders for assistance with money management. Many elders find that they have difficulty managing their finances, due to increasing frailty, forgetfulness/confusion, or an inability to pay for professional financial management services. It is especially difficult for elders who have no family to help them, or who cannot afford to pay for financial management services on their limited incomes. These elders can make responsible decisions about financial matters, but may need help with budgeting, going to the bank, paying bills, or balancing their checkbooks. In addition, many elders may need assistance applying for government benefits, such as medicaid, supplemental security income (SSI), and food stamps, or grants to cover some or all of the out-of-pocket cost of hearing aids, cataract surgery, dentures, or other medical procedures and equipment that improve their quality of life. Providing money management assistance to elders can help them remain in the community, thus avoiding premature institutionalization.

In response to this need, in 1992, Catholic Charities Elderly Services in 1992 created the Money Management Assistance to the Elderly Program (MMAE). The program is open to individuals fifty-five years of age or older living on Oahu, and preference is given to those who have no family to help them or who cannot afford to pay for professional financial management services. Clients are charged on a sliding fee scale based on income, but clients that cannot pay are not turned away. Only eighteen per cent of the program's clients can afford to pay their sliding scale fee. The program also receives support from private foundation grants and gifts and Aloha United Way funding. Services are provided on an on-going basis by trained staff in the client's home.

Catholic Charities' MMAE program provides services including: financial counseling, budgeting, and assistance with bill paying; help with applying for government benefits and grants; and advocacy to obtain reduced interest rates from creditors or prevent eviction or foreclosure. The program also provides information and referral to other social service agencies in the community, and educates clients on how to avoid being victimized financially by family and strangers, sweepstakes, and telemarketing scams. In the eleven years since its inception, Catholic Charities' MMAE program has helped many elders address money management issues, allowing them to remain in the community and avoid premature institutionalization, and has helped reduce and prevent financial exploitation and elder abuse.

Because demand for the money management program services exceeds available resources, a wait list exists. Making an appropriation for a grant to Catholic Charities Elderly Services for its MMAE program will help reduce existing wait lists and ensure that money management assistance is available to even more elders in Hawaii.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ , or so much thereof as may be necessary, for fiscal year 2003-2004, and the same amount, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for fiscal year 2004-2005, as a grant-in-aid to Catholic Charities Elderly Services for MMAE expenses. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance of this appropriation as of the close of business on June 30, 2004, and on June 30, 2005, respectively, shall lapse into the state general fund.

SECTION 3. The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.