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HHS/ACL RIN: 0985-AA18 Publication ID: Fall 2022 
Title: ●Adult Protective Services Functions and Grant Programs  

The proposed rule would create federal regulations for Adult Protective Services (APS) programs as authorized by the Elder Justice Act.  APS programs were originally recognized by federal law in 1975 under title XX of the Social Security Act via the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).  States have wide discretion whether to allocate any funding to APS via the SSBG program, and there are no regulations pertaining to APS under SSBG.  Since 1975, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four territories have developed APS programs in accordance with local needs, structures, and laws.  Historic investments through the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided the very first funding for APS program formula funding to states as authorized by the Elder Justice Act (EJA).  These regulations would promote an effective APS response across the country so that all older adults and adults with disabilities, regardless of the state or jurisdiction in which they live, have similar protections and service delivery from APS systems.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services(HHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: Elder Justice Act (SSA sec. 2042. [42 U.S.C. 1397m-1] (a) Secretarial Responsibilities)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The proposed rule would create federal regulations for Adult Protective Services (APS) programs as authorized by the Elder Justice Act (EJA).  These regulations are critical in establish consistent national requirements and standards for EJA APS program formula funding to states.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Development, promulgation and implementation of this regulation will be carried out consistently with the statute; however, this regulatory action is not required by the statute or a court order.  


ACL considers sub-regulatory guidance, information and education outreach, and voluntary approaches as alternatives to regulatory action.  Prior to the availability of appropriations for formula funding for this program ACL utilized guidance and voluntary approach for the establishment of a national data system and in supporting the establishment and dissemination of program best practices.  However, now that federal funding is available to all states and territories, none of these alternatives are the appropriate option for promulgating and administering the provisions that will be included in the regulations consistent with statute.  Economic incentives and instruments are not an option.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

To be determined.  A regulatory impact analysis is concurrently underway.  


These regulations would establish first ever regulations for APS programs consistent with the Elder Justice Act passed in 2010.  Promulgating this NPRM and obtaining public feedback in order to issue a new final rule will result in decreased risk for administering agencies at the federal, state and local level in ensuring the administration of appropriations for APS programs consistent with the statute, and in also supporting the statute’s programmatic purpose of detecting, preventing and reducing the abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults, including older adults.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Richard Nicholls
Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Community Living
330 C Street SW, Room 1004B,
Washington, DC 20201
Phone:202 795-7415
Fax:202 205-0399