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- Frequently Asked Questions -

Human Services Related

(Includes: Senior, Youth and Veterans Services, Social Services and Water-related)




Human Services Related

(Includes: Senior, Youth and Veterans Services, Social Services and Water-related)

Q.   Who should I contact if I believe that I have been subject to discrimination in credit, education, employment, housing or public accomodations?

Any person who believes that he/she has been discriminated against in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, or credit should contact:
   New York State Division of Human Rights
   8 John Walsh Blvd., Suite 204
   Peekskill, NY 10566
   (914) 788 8050
   InfoPeekskill@dhr.state.ny.us

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Q.   Where can seniors take a refresher course on driver safety?

AARP offers a driver safety refresher course (both classroom and online) for drivers age 50 and older.  The course helps seniors to tune up driving skills, update knowledge about the rules of the road, learn about normal age-related physical changes and how to adapt to allow for these changes, and most importantly, to drive more safely.   Most states also provide for an auto insurance discount for those who successfully complete the course.  Go to the AARP website for more information and to find a driver safety class near you:
http://www.aarp.org/families/driver_safety/
 

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Q.   Where can I find information about long term care services available?

The long term care Resource Directory is designed to assist you in finding long term care services and information available in Dutchess County.

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Q.   How do I find help in obtaining home repairs?

Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Home Repairs:  New York  for a list of programs and resources to help homeowners with home repairs and improvements.

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Q.   How can I obtain copies of my military service and discharge papers?

To obtain copies of your military records, you have two avenues open to you:


  • The Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services will assist you in obtaining your papers.  Contact them at (845) 486-2060 for more information (hours by appointment only).

  • You can order copies of your records from the National Archives and Records Administration; their website provides contact information and order forms.

 

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Q.   What transportation is available to seniors who no longer drive for shopping and social activities?

Transportation available to seniors includes: Dial-A-Ride, the LOOP Bus, volunteer organizations, and churches.  For more information contact Office For The Aging Reception (845) 486-2555. 

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Q.   What programs are available to seniors for socialization?

Friendship centers are located throughout the Dutchess County or contact DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 for information regarding social day care programs.

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Q.   As a senior, how do I get an aide to help me at home?

Office For The Aging or certain Medicaid may be appropriate.  Call DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 for an assessment.

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Q.   What housing is available for seniors? What is Section 8 Housing?

There are several forms of subsidized housing for senior citizens in Dutchess County. Some housing complexes are run by governmental agencies, while others are operated by not-for profit organizations or profit making companies. In addition to housing sites, the Section 8 program also includes housing vouchers and certificates which may be used as payment toward rent in privately owned apartments.  Visit our Section 8 Housing web pages for more information on Section 8 housing income guidelines and a list of available units.

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Q.   Where can a senior citizen get help paying heating costs?

The type of assistance available depends on your income.  The Dutchess County Office For The Aging offers a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) funded through the New York State and Dutchess County Department of Social Services. Call the Dutchess County Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555.  The toll free number is (866) 486-2555.

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Q.   As a senior, how do I get help with my housekeeping?

An assessment of your needs can be made by DUTCHESS NY Connects for Office For The Aging programs and private vendors who offer housekeeping.  Call  (845) 486-2555 for more information.

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Q.   What programs are available to seniors for socialization?

Friendship centers are located throughout the Dutchess County or contact DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 for information regarding social day care programs.

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Q.   How do I donate or obtain a loan of medical equipment?

The Office For The Aging/DUTCHESS NY Connects does not loan or accept donations of medical equipment.  Call the Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555 to obtain phone numbers of area loan closets.

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Q.   Does Medicaid pay for assisted living, adult home or nursing home placement?

Medicaid does not pay for adult home placement.  However, some assisted living residences and most nursing homes accept Medicaid.  Call DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 to determine your needs.

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Q.   I am a senior citizen and need help paying my medical bills. Who can I call?

The type of financial help available depends on your income and the nature of the bills.  Contact Case Assistance at the Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555 for information.

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Q.   What services are available for grandparents who are caregivers for their grandchildren?

For information, call Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555.  For additional resources and services, visit New York State Division of Aging Services's Grandparents and Relatives Raising Children website at:  http://www.aging.ny.gov/

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Q.   How can I get a medical alert button?

A list of Life Line vendors who provide this service as well as other personal emergency response systems (PERS) is available on the Office For The Aging's Reassurance Programs web page or by calling DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   How can I get my senior mother/father to accept help?

Let's talk or visit our caregiver collection at Adriance Library.  Contact DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   Does Medicaid pay for home care for seniors?

A need for Medicaid home care must be determined by a nurse from DUTCHESS NY Connects.  For more information call (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   Where can I find information about the types of property tax exemptions available to senior citizens?

View the Dutchess County Real Property Tax Service Agency's Local Options in Exemption Administration webpage that explains the types of exemption options available to persons over 65.  You can also visit the website of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to access additional information regarding Senior Citizens' exemptions as well as downloadable application and renewal application forms. 

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Q.   Where can I obtain the name, address and telephone numbers of Office for the Aging agencies in other counties?

The Dutchess County Office For The Aging can supply the names, addresses and telephone numbers of out-of-county Department of Aging's or can access the Elder Care Locator.  Call (845) 486-2555 for information.

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Q.   What is a Senior Citizen Discount Identification Card and how do I obtain one?

The card entitles holders to discounts from many merchants and service providers in Dutchess County and beyond.  It is also an acceptable form of photo I.D. for identification purposes for those without a driver's license.  View our Senior Citizen Discount Identification Card webpage for a list of distribution dates and locations.

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Q.   How can I get my senior mother/father to accept help?

Let's talk or visit our caregiver collection at Adriance Library.  Contact DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   I am a disabled senior citizen, what transportation services are available?

The Dutchess County LOOP Bus System operates three (3) types of Paratransit Services that provide curb-to-curb service: an ADA Complementary Paratransit Service, a Dial-A-Ride program, and a Rural Paratransit Service. Each program has its own specific eligibility criteria and regulations.

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Q.   Where can my parent get a hot lunch and socialization?

We have 7 Friendship Centers located around the County.  The current month's mail menu is also available online.

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Q.   As a senior, how do I get an aide to help me at home?

Division of Aging Services or certain Medicaid may be appropriate.  Call DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 for an assessment.

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Q.   Are there any upcoming events in Dutchess County that are geared towards senior citizens?

Visit Office For The Aging's Calendar of Events.

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Q.   How do I locate the senior exercise sites and how do I obtain an application?

Information and applications for the senior exercise program are sent out by Office For The Aging.  Please call (845) 486-2555.   Locations of the classes can also be found online on the webpages of the Office For The Aging.  Visit our senior exercise program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section for additional information.

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Q.   Are there any upcoming events in Dutchess County that are geared towards senior citizens?

Visit Office For The Aging's Calendar of Events.

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Q.   I know a senior who is being abused by their relative. Whom should I call?

Contact Protective Services for Adults. Phone: (845) 486-3300.
For more information on the warning signs of elder abuse, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse Frequently Asked Questions.

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Q.   Where can I find information about respite care for seniors?

Respite care can be provided through private providers and facilities.  Call DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 to discuss your needs as a caregiver.

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Q.   Where can I find information about long term care services available?

The long term care Resource Directory is designed to assist you in finding long term care services and information available in Dutchess County.

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Q.   I am a disabled senior citizen, what transportation services are available?

The Dutchess County LOOP Bus System operates three (3) types of Paratransit Services that provide curb-to-curb service: an ADA Complementary Paratransit Service, a Dial-A-Ride program, and a Rural Paratransit Service. Each program has its own specific eligibility criteria and regulations.

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Q.   My senior mother/father is getting confused. What should I do?

A DUTCHESS NY Connects intake worker can discuss the situation with you and help you to obtain information or make an assessment.  Call (845) 486-2555 for assistance.

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Q.   How can I get my senior mother/father to stop driving?

Contact Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555 for information about the Driver Evaluation Program.

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Q.   When and where are driving classes for seniors held?

Classes for the AARP-55 Alive driving program are held at various locations throughout the year.  For information on the next class near you, call toll-free (888) 227-7669.

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Q.   Is there transportation available to seniors for medical appointments?

Some medical transportation is available for seniors.  Medicaid clients should call Medicaid Transportation at (845) 473-0813; a three-day notice is required.  Non-Medicaid clients should call Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   After discharge from the hospital or rehabilitation center what type of help is available to seniors?

A nurse from DUTCHESS NY Connects can help to assess long-term care needs.  Call (845) 486-2555 for assistance.

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Q.   What does Medicare pay for in regards to long-term care?

Medicare does not pay for long-term care, however, an intake worker can evaluate your needs and find out programs that are best suited to your needs.  Call DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   How do I get insurance to supplement Medicare?

The staff at the Office For The Aging Case Assistance can provide you with the most current information.  Please contact Office For The Aging Case Assistance/HIICAP at (845) 486-2555

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Q.   Does Dutchess County provide assistance for me to fix up my home?

The County has a program to help income eligible seniors with home repairs.  See the application on the web or for more info contact: (845) 486-3600. 

Neighborworks Homeownership Center - The Homeownership Center can help current homeowners review their options for home equity loans and refinancing to pay for home repairs.  They can also advise persons over 62 regarding reverse mortgages.  They can be reached at (845) 454-9288.

Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Home Repairs:  New York  for a list of programs and resources to help homeowners with home repairs and improvements.

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Q.   I'm concerned about my elderly neighbor who seems unable to care for him/herself adequately. Who can I call for assistance?

Contact Dutchess County Office For The Aging, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; Voice (845) 486-2555;   Fax (845) 486-2571; Toll Free (866) 486-2555 (outside 845 area code only); our automated response system: Go to Your Dutchess Direct

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Q.   How do I donate or obtain a loan of medical equipment?

The Office For The Aging/DUTCHESS NY Connects does not loan or accept donations of medical equipment.  Call the Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555 to obtain phone numbers of area loan closets.

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Q.   Where can I find information about the types of property tax exemptions available to senior citizens?

View Local Options in Exemption Administration for Persons Over 65 for an explanation of the types of exemption options available to persons over 65.  You can also visit the website of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to access additional information regarding Senior Citizens' exemptions as well as downloadable application and renewal application forms.

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Q.   Where can I obtain the name, address and telephone numbers of Office for the Aging agencies in other counties?

The Dutchess County Office For The Aging can supply the names, addresses and telephone numbers of out-of-county Department of Aging's or can access the Elder Care Locator.  Call (845) 486-2555 for information.  

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Q.   Where can a senior citizen get help paying heating costs?

The type of assistance available depends on your income.  The Dutchess County Office For The Aging offers a Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) funded through the New York State and Dutchess County Department of Social Services. Call the Dutchess County Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555.  The toll free number is (866) 486-2555.

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Q.   How can I find out if I'm eligible for the Dial-A-Ride service?

In order to serve the special transportation needs of the elderly and disabled public, the service is offered only to those who need it.  Locate more information on eligibility requirements and application.

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Q.   Are there any legal services available to seniors who cannot afford a lawyer?

Office For The Aging provides legal services for seniors once a week to help with simple wills, health proxies, etc.  For more information contact Office For The Aging Reception at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   How do I apply to an adult home?

Before applying, an unbiased assessment is needed to determine the level of care needed.  Please contact DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 for an intake worker to assess your needs.  View our list of Adults Home in Dutchess County for  additional information

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Q.   What services are available to the elderly or handicapped who would like to remain in their homes and need homecare?

DUTCHESS NY Connects staff authorizes a number of homecare programs including Medicaid, EISEP, and case management services for those who are eligible.  For more information contact them at (845) 486-2555.  The following links provide access to additional information: 

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Q.   Where can my parent get a hot lunch and socialization?

We have 7 Friendship Centers located around the County.  The current month's mail menu is also available online.

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Q.   Where can I find a list of senior housing developments in Dutchess County?

The Long Term Care Resource Directory provides contact information and other details for senior citizen housing developments within Dutchess County.  Click on the following link to view Housing/Residential Choices Contact Information.

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Q.   How can seniors get help with health insurance questions and problems?

Dutchess County's Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP) can assist seniors with health insurance questions.  Office For The Aging also offers seminars on Medicare and other related problems.  Call Office For The Aging (Nina Lynch) at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   My senior mother/father is getting confused. What should I do?

A DUTCHESS NY Connects intake worker can discuss the situation with you and help you to obtain information or make an assessment.  Call (845) 486-2555 for assistance.

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Q.   Are there any legal services available to seniors who cannot afford a lawyer?

Office For The Aging provides legal services for seniors once a week to help with simple wills, health proxies, etc.  For more information contact the Office For The Aging Reception at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   My home heating costs have increased because my home is not properly insulated. As a senior citizen, where can I find help?

The Weatherization Referral and Packaging Program (WRAP) is designed to help senior citizens with energy related problems or needs.  If you are experiencing a cold, drafty house during the winter, or if your heating bills are skyrocketing out of sight, contact the Community Action Partnership of Dutchess County, 77 Cannon Street, Poughkeepsie NY, 452-5104 Ext. 130 to see if you can get help with your energy troubles.

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Q.   How do I apply to a nursing home for seniors?

Before applying, an unbiased assessment is needed to determine the level of care needed.  Please contact DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 for an intake worker to assess your needs.  View our list of Nursing Homes in Dutchess County  for additional information.

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Q.   How do I apply to an assisted living facility?

Before applying, an unbiased assessment is needed to determine the level of care needed.  Please contact DUTCHESS NY Connects at (845) 486-2555 for an intake worker to assess your needs.  View our list of Assisted Living Facilities in Dutchess County for additional information.

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Q.   As a senior citizen, is there any type of financial assistance available to help me with the cost of home repairs?

The Dutchess County Senior Citizen Owner-Occupied Property Rehabilitation Program is available to low and moderate-income senior citizen households to help them with the cost of home repairs.  For more information and the application, see the Forms webpage under Planning and Development or call (845) 486-3600.

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Q.   Is there a lien on my house if I receive a loan through the Senior Citizen Owner-Occupied Property Rehabilitation Program?

A lien is placed for a loan or deferred payment loan amount to ensure that the conditions of the county/owner agreement are met.

For more information contact: (845) 486-3600.

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Q.   What services are available for grandparents who are caregivers for their grandchildren?

For information, call Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555.  For additional resources and services, visit New York State Division of Aging Services's Grandparents and Relatives Raising Children website at:  http://www.aging.ny.gov/

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Q.   Where can seniors get help paying for prescriptions?

New York State's Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program is a prescription plan for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions.  Medicare-approved drug discount cards are also available.  Contact HIICAP at the Dutchess County Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555.

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Q.   What types of nutrition services are available for seniors who are homebound?

The Office For The Aging offers Home Delivered Meals to homebound seniors.  Home visit assessments are made by personnel from the Nutrition Program to determine each person's eligibility. For more information contact the Office For The Aging Nutrition Department, (845) 486-2555, toll free (866) 486-2555 (outside 845 area code only). 

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Q.   I am a senior citizen and need help paying my medical bills. Who can I call?

The type of financial help available depends on your income and the nature of the bills.  Contact Case Assistance at the Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555 for information.

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Q.   I am responsible for taking care of my elderly parents. Where can I go for advice/moral support?

Caregiving is often stressful and tiring.  Visit Tips for Caregivers  to access helpful tips and resources for caregivers.

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Q.   What is a Senior Citizen Discount Identification Card and how do I obtain one?

The card entitles holders to discounts from many merchants and service providers in Dutchess County and beyond.  It is also an acceptable form of photo I.D. for identification purposes for those without a driver's license.  View our Senior Citizen Discount Identification Card webpage for a list of distribution dates and locations.

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Q.   Where can I find a list of senior housing developments in Dutchess County?

The Long Term Care Resource Directory provides contact information and other details for senior citizen housing developments within Dutchess County.  Click on the following link to view Housing/Residential Choices Contact Information.

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Q.   How can I get my senior mother/father to stop driving?

Contact Office For The Aging at (845) 486-2555 for information about the Driver Evaluation Program.

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Q.   As a senior, how do I get help with my housekeeping?

An assessment of your needs can be made by DUTCHESS NY Connects for Division of Aging Services programs and private vendors who offer housekeeping.  Call  (845) 486-2555 for more information.

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Q.   When and where are driving classes for seniors held?

Classes for the AARP-55 Alive driving program are held at various locations throughout the year.  For information on the next class near you, call toll-free (888) 227-7669.

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Q.   What transportation is available to seniors who no longer drive for shopping and social activities?

Transportation available to seniors includes: Dial-A-Ride, the LOOP Bus, volunteer organizations, and churches.  For more information contact Office For The  Aging  Reception (845) 486-2555. 

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Q.   What housing is available for seniors? What is Section 8 Housing?

There are several forms of subsidized housing for senior citizens in Dutchess County. Some housing complexes are run by governmental agencies, while others are operated by not-for profit organizations or profit making companies. In addition to housing sites, the Section 8 program also includes housing vouchers and certificates which may be used as payment toward rent in privately owned apartments.  Visit our Section 8 Housing web pages for more information on Section 8 housing income guidelines and a list of available units.

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Q.   I'm concerned about my elderly neighbor who seems unable to care for him/herself adequately. Who can I call for assistance?

Contact Dutchess County Office For The Aging, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; Voice (845) 486-2555;   Fax (845) 486-2571; Toll Free (866) 486-2555 (outside 845 area code only); our automated response system: Go to Your Dutchess Direct

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Q.   What are the eligibility criteria for the Community Solutions for Transportation Program?

The eligibility criteria for the Community Solutions for Transportation Program are:

  • the applicant must be financially responsible for a minor child who is under the age of 18 or under the age of 19 and attending secondary school or an equivalent level of vocational or technical training, and
  • the applicant must be in receipt of Family Assistance through the Department of Social Services or have income less than 200% of the poverty level, and
  • the applicant must have a have a work-related transportation need.

Generally, minor-age children without children of their own are not eligible for TANF services.  The best thing to do is to apply for the CST service and the program administrator will determine your eligibility.

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Q.   If I am under 21 can I choose to leave foster care?

Yes, after age eighteen you may choose to sign yourself out of foster care.  However, you may be encouraged to stay in foster care even after age 18 so that you may continue your education while in a safe structured setting and perhaps save some money to give yourself the best start possible when you do leave foster care.  Once age twenty-one is reached, you must leave foster care.  Youth between the age of 18 and 21 who remain in foster care must be in an educational, vocational or work program.

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Q.   I’ve heard that there are certain job-training programs available for people who are TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) eligible. How can I find out more about these programs?

Yes, there are certain TANF funded job training programs available for people who are TANF eligible.  You can find out about the current programs being funded by contacting Dutchess County BOCES, and the New York State Department of Department of Labor. 

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Q.   How do I get medical and dental care if I don’t have any money?

You can apply for Medicaid, or someone can apply for you on your behalf, at:
    Dutchess County Department of Social Services
    60 Market Street
    Poughkeepsie, NY  12601

Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 – 10:30 AM.

You can also apply at Dutchess County Community Action Partnership. The offices are open 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.  (Closed for lunch from 12 noon to 1:00 PM). An appointment is required. Call (845) 437-0222 to schedule an appointment at a Branch office near you.

POUGHKEEPSIE
84 Cannon Street

RED HOOK
44-46 E. Market Street    

DOVER PLAINS
3414 Route 22       

BEACON
544 Main Street

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Q.   If I am under 21 am I eligible to receive Medicaid?

Individuals under 21 are eligible to apply for Medicaid.  If they are under 21 and living with their parents, their own income and their parents’ income and resources would also be taken into account.  If they are NOT living with a parent only their own circumstances would be used to determine eligibility.  However, they would be required to file for Medical Support against each parent.

For the new (10/02) Family Planning Benefit Program, (FPBP) if an individual under 21 years of age does not have access to parental financial information or doesn’t want their parents to know about the application for this program, the Department will determine eligibility based on the child’s income.  The Department of Social Services (60 Market St., Poughkeepsie, NY) will NOT require the applicant to file for medical support against his/her parents.

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Q.   If I have no place to stay and need emergency housing, where can I go?

You may apply for assistance at the Dutchess County Department of Social Services 60 Market Street Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Your situation will be evaluated and a decision made on your eligibility.

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Q.   What are the “6 points of ID” I need to be eligible for public assistance?

When you apply for public assistance you will be asked to provide proof or verification of several identification factors. They include:

  • Identity (one form of photo ID if available, otherwise 2 forms of non-photo ID - For example, notarized statements from people who can identify you),
  • age,
  • social security number,
  • citizenship and
  • marital status.

 

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Q.   How do I know if I am eligible for Family Health Plus, Child Health Plus or Medicaid?

The Medicaid eligibility worker at the Department of Social Services will determine if you are eligible for any Medicaid program including the FPBP.  Be sure to notify your interviewer at Social Services if you need the application to remain confidential and designate an alternate mailing address if you don’t want correspondence to go to your home address.

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Q.   My child is rebellious and refuses to go to school. Where can I get help?

The Dutchess County Division of Youth Services's Youth Services Unit (YSU) provides free, confidential short term counseling for youth residing in Dutchess County from ages 4 up to 21 years.  For more info contact: The Dutchess County Division of Youth Services's Youth Services Unit at 845-486-3665.

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Q.   Where can I find free recreational after school programs for my child?

Your local town or city recreation department can give you information on available after school programs.

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Q.   How do I get information on the DC Youth Council?

On the Division of Youth Services Department web page, click on Forms, then click on DC Youth Council Application.

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Q.   If I am being abused or neglected by my parent, guardian, or another family member (or want to call to report suspected child abuse) can I make a Child Abuse Report? Where can I get help?

Yes, you can.  The toll free hotline telephone number to make a report is 1-800-342-3720.  Anyone (including the victim) can make a report and the Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  When you call the Hotline you will be asked some questions about the abuse or neglect which has occurred.  You do not have to reveal your name.  A report can be made on behalf of any youth under the age of 18 years.  Once a report is made, it is transmitted to the county (ies) in which the youth and family reside.  An investigation into the allegations on the report commences within 24 hours.  If you are not sure that what has happened is considered abuse or neglect, make the call anyway.  The staff at the Hotline are trained to take the information and make this determination.

There is help available for youth who are being abused or neglected.  In addition to making a hotline report, other options include going to the police or going to a trusted adult such as a family member, teacher, counselor or therapist, doctor, foster parent, friend or case manager for help.  If you are in imminent danger call 911 or call your local police department for help.

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Q.   Can children get an influenza shot at Dutchess County Department of Health influenza immunization clinics?

 No, but children can get influenza shots at Dutchess County Department of Health Children’s Immunization Clinics in Poughkeepsie, NY. Call 845.486.3535 for eligibilty screening and appointment.

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Q.   My child has an elevated blood lead level. What do I do?

The Dutchess County Department of Health can help you and your child’s health care provider by providing a range of services that might include any of the following:  health information, reminder letters, child development assessment, nutritional information, environmental assessment.  For more information call (845) 486-3419.  Visit the New York State Department of Health's website for more information on elevated blood lead levels in children:  http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2594/.

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Q.   If I’m under age 21 and have children of my own, does it change the eligibility for TANF, Emergency Assistance, Emergency Housing or Medicaid?

You would be eligible for TANF funds rather than Safety Net funds. Otherwise, the same eligibility criteria apply. You would also be expected to file a support petition against the father of each of your children.

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Q.   I’m an adopted child. Is there anyone who can help me find my biological parents? Do I have the right to have contact with them if I want to?

Adoption and birth records are confidential but there is a New York State Adoption Information Registry at the New York State Department of Health, PO Box 2602, Albany NY 12220 (518) 474-9600.  Click Here to visit their web site which can provide some assistance for an adoptee who was born and adopted in New York.

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Q.   I'm having problems with my child's school/school district. Where can I get help in dealing with them?

The Youth Services Unit of the Dutchess County Division of Youth Services provides advocacy services.  For more info contact: The  Dutchess CountyYouth Bureau at 845-486-3665.

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Q.   What if I’m not literally homeless, but I’m not living in a good situation or if things are so bad at home that it feels like there could be a major blow up at any minute. As a minor, is there any place I can go?

Stay with a friend temporarily and attempt counseling. Resources available to you depends on your age.  Call the Department of Social Services at (845) 486-3000 to discuss your needs.

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Q.   How can I start a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Chapter in my community?

Visit the SADD website to view more information on starting a chapter in your area as well as upcoming SADD events.  You can also contact your local school district.

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Q.   Where can I find statistics on such things as the number of youth in Dutchess County, the number of school age children in Dutchess County, and the number of children by school district/municipality?

See the Health and Well-being of Children, Families and Adults in DC Select Data Indicators (.pdf).

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Q.   Where can I get immunizations needed for my children?

   Children’s Immunization Clinics are held for children aged 18 years and younger meeting eligibility requirements.  Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Please call (845) 486-3535 for an appointment and eligibility.

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Q.   Where can I find information about the types of property tax exemptions available to veterans?

View Dutchess County Real Property Tax Service Agency's Local Options in Exemption Administration webpage that explains exemptions available to veterans.  More information on exemptions, defined times of war, and allowable maximums can be found in the New York State Office of Real Property Service's (NYSORPS)  publication Veterans Exemption  Q & A.

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Q.   Who do I call to get my water tested?

Contact the Dutchess County Department of Health's Environmental Laboratory at (845) 486-3411 for water testing and for more information.

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Q.   What should I do if I find bacteria in my well?

Disinfect your well.  Find more information and instructions on our Well Information web page.

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Q.   What contaminants are likely to be found in well water?

Bacteria are the most common.  Bacteria are normally present in the air, soil, and water.  Most of these bacteria are beneficial or harmless.  Bacteria can enter the well through improperly installed or damaged equipment.


  • Nitrates (dangerous for infants) from sewage systems or fertilizers have been found in some wells.
  • Sodium and chloride (salty taste) from water softeners or road salt have been found in some wells.
  • Iron and manganese (brown or black staining) are found in some of the bedrock and are found in some wells.
  • Certain wells have contaminants from fuel spills or spills of other industrial or agricultural chemicals.

Click Here for Dutchess County Department of Health's Environmental Health Services contact information.

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Q.   What should a well be tested for?

DCDOH recommends testing for bacteria yearly. See the Department of Health's webpage titled Environmental Water Laboratory for more information.

Your eyes and nose are very sensitive. If you notice a change in the water quality, you should consider testing. Suggested test parameters depend on the nature of the change.

Other chemical tests should be done if there are specific problems in you area.  Click Here for information regarding Environmental Health Services contacts. 

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Q.   Where do I call to get a water reading?

Water systems in Dutchess County can be owned and operated by a variety of public and private entities. Each system has its own set of requirements for readings and you must contact the entity that operates the system that provides service to your property to determine their requirements. Generally the local municipal (Town, Village or City) office will be able to provide the information regarding which system services which properties in their municipality as long as they have a specific address or tax parcel number.  To get a water useage reading from one of the systems that is owned and operated by the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority that is outside the normal scheduled cycle, for such purposes as property closings, call the Billing Department at (845) 486-3640, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The systems owned and operated by the Authority include: Chelsea Cove Wastewater System, Hyde Park Water System, Rokeby Water System, Staatsburg Water System, Schreiber Water System, Valleydale Water and Wastewater Systems, Zone D Water System, Dalton Farms Water System (Zone H), and Dalton Farms Wastewater System.

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Q.   How do I hook up to a public water service or sewer system?

There are many different entities that provide water and sewer service in Dutchess County. Each system has its own set of requirements for hook-ups and you must contact the entity that operates the system that has the ability to provide service to your property to determine their requirements. Generally the local municipal (Town, Village or City) office will be able to provide the information regarding which system services which properties in their municipality as long as they have a specific address or tax parcel number.

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Q.   How can I find out about health issues relating to a particular water supply, lot, restaurant, regulated facility, etc.?

Most Dutchess County Department of Health records are available to the public through the Freedom of Information Law procedures.  Please submit a specific request.  An Application to Access Records (.pdf) can be found on on our Forms web page.

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Q.   Is my well protected?

The Sanitary Code provides some protection (chiefly by regulating development) for individual wells.  The well owner should check the well and water system to ensure that all equipment is maintained and operated properly.   The Dutchess County Department of Health is working with several agencies to increase the protection of wells and the public.

Click Here to find related links to sanitary codes; click Here to find additional information regarding wells; click Here for more Environmental Health Services contact informaiton.

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Q.   Where can I find information regarding public water supplies in Dutchess County?

You can find information about public water supplies in Dutchess County in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS.)  Click HERE to access the SDWIS database.

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Q.   What water supplies are regulated?

Water served to 25 people per day at least 60 days out of the year is regulated under the State and County Sanitary Codes. Certain other supplies are also regulated. Check out the definition of Public Water Supply in Part 5-1 (see the Laws, Regulations and Codes webpage). There are some other criteria as well.  See the Dutchess County Department of Health's Environmental Health Services contacts web page for contact information.

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Q.   What is tested by Public Water suppliers?

Public water supplies test for coliform bacteria at least quarterly.  Larger supplies may test for inorganic, organic, and radioactive compounds.  For exact details, you can look up Part 5-1 tables 1 through 12 elsewhere on this site.  Your water company should be sending a yearly report on their water quality.  Click Here to find related links; click Here for Environmental Health Service contact information.

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Q.   Who can I call when I have problems with my water?

If you have your own well, you can call the Dutchess County Department of Health for advice. The Department of Health does not regulate individual wells. You may also wish to call a well driller or plumber.

If you receive your water from a Public Water Supply, you should call the owner or operator of the supply.  If they do not solve your problem, you may then call the Department of Health's Environmental Health Services division with any health and safety questions.

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Q.   Where do I call about a problem with my water bill?

To resolve problems with a water bill call the municipality or water company that provides your water service.    For services from a water or wastewater system that is owned and operated by the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority, call the Billing Department at (845) 486-3640 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The systems owned and operated by the Authority include: Chelsea Cove Wastewater System, Hyde Park Water System, Rokeby Water System, Staatsburg Water System, Schreiber Water System, Valleydale Water and Wastewater Systems, Zone D Water System, Dalton Farms Water System (Zone H), and Dalton Farms Wastewater System.

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Q.   How can I get my water tested?

Effective March 1, 2011, the Dutchess County Department of Health's Environmental Water Laboratory was closed. For information about water testing services and contacts, please click HERE

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Q.   How come my water is white or milky?

If a glass of water appears milky, watch it for awhile.  If the milkiness clears at the bottom first and gradually goes away, the milkiness was caused by air in the water.  This condition has no health significance.  Air in the storage tank or pressure tank (or well) has dissolved into the water.  When the pressure drops (from in the pipe to in your glass) the air comes out (undissolves) and forms tiny bubbles that float to the top and rejoin the atmosphere.  This condition is more likely to occur during the colder months (because the solubility of gases in water increases as the temperature decreases).  Click Here for Environmental Health Services contact information.

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Q.   Is my well contaminated?

The best way to check for contamination is to test your well.  The Dutchess County Department of Health  can assist your efforts with specific advice on test types.   Call (845) 486-3404 for assistance.  Click Here to view more information regarding wells.  For Environmental Health Services contact information, click Here.

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