Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and State Senator Andrew Lanza are looking to make the recertification process for elderly Access-A-Ride subscribers easier with a new bill that would quicken the process for those over 80.
According to Malliotakis’ office, current law requires subscribers to go through a recertification at the Access-A-Ride offices every five years, providing paperwork, proof of doctor’s visits, and physicals.
“The current recertification policy has unfairly impacted the elderly who often have trouble navigating the process and scheduling appointments. Individuals are forced to go through the appeals process, visit doctors and assessment centers multiple times, often to be denied and have to go through a cumbersome appeals process,” said Malliotakis. “It is unreasonable to expect that an individual over 80 years of age, who relied on paratransit services for years, would suddenly regain mobility. Requiring these senior citizens whose condition will only deteriorate further as years pass to jump through hoops is not only a waste of time and resources, it is plain cruel.”
The legislation, (A7522/S5556), would remove the “labor-intensive” process by requiring that subscribers only provide adequate correspondence from their doctor, indicating their need for the continued service.
Both Malliotakis and Lanza have had to file appeals on behalf of subscribers who have been denied due to the recertification process.
“Access-A-Ride services are very important for so many of our elderly across Staten Island. For those who are qualified to receive this service, this legislation will reduce the bureaucratic reapplication process,” said Lanza.