Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I go for income tax assistance?

Washoe County Senior Center at 1155 E. 9th Street in Reno has income tax assistance for low income seniors from February through April 12 this year.  Help is available Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am until 11:30 am on a first come, first served basis.  No appointment is necessary.  Bring all of your pertinent paperwork with you.



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Birth and Death Records

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Birth Certificate - How do I get one?

Requests for birth certificates must be done in writing to the state the person was born in.  Fees vary by state, and may require calling to find out current fees.  In some cases a state may require a notarized affidavit; a copy of identification along with personal information such as, full name at birth, date of birth, place of birth (county or city) name of hospital (if the person was born at home, they must state so) sex, mother`s maiden name, and father’s name, relationship to person named on birth certificate, full address and day phone number.  Some states keep vital records as far back as 1870, but others as late as 1931.  Those who were born before that year or if the city does not exist anymore  should contact the county where they were born. Some states provide a link to search for records and others provide a downloadable application.

To find specific requirements for your state you may visit the following address: US Birth Certificates

Persons who were born outside of the United States and need to obtain a naturalization certificate or "Certified True Copy" must write to: 

United States Department of State, Authentication Office
518 23rd Street, NW
Sa-1 Columbia Plaza
Washington, DC 20520
202-647-5002

Authentication Office Website



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General Information

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How old do I have to be to be a "senior"?

Any Washoe County resident age 60 or older can receive assistance through Washoe County Senior Services.



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Other

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Where can I find affordable housing?
We have a list of affordable and income-based housing available on our website - Housing List .  Or you can pick a list up in the lobby at the Reno Senior Center, 9th & Sutro Streets.

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What are Food Stamps and how do I sign up?

The State of Nevada runs the Food Stamp program (SNAP) which assists low-income households in supplementing the purchase of food. To be eligible, applicants must meet income and asset limits.  Informational seminars to assist seniors 60+ in applying are held monthly at the Reno Senior Center.  Please check our newsletter for dates or call 328-2575 or call Nevada State Welfare, 684-7200.



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I need assistance figuring out my checkbook and paying my bills

Case Management provides assistance either in the form of access or care coordination in circumstances where the older person and/or their caregivers are experiencing diminished functioning capacities. Activities of case management include assessing needs, developing care plans, authorizing and arranging services, coordinating the provision of service among providers, follow-up and reassessment, as required. Services include but are not limited to: advocacy, adult daycare, housekeeping, housing, group care placement, medical appointments, nutrition, legal assistance, personal finances, etc.

Anyone who is 60 or over and displays an inability to handle routine life skills may qualify. Since the program is federally funded, there is no formal charge for this service. Contributions for this service are accepted. The suggested minimum contribution is $30.00 per month, however, every case will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Included in this function is our designation as Representative Payee for Social Security, SSI, and Railroad Retiree recipients who have been deemed appropriate for this service.



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What is the Master Plan for Aging Services?

In 2006, a "Strategic Plan for Washoe County Senior Citizens 2006-2016" was created.  It covered a wide range of topics and issues affecting seniors living in Washoe County.  The Master Plan for Aging Services was developed in 2013 with a narrower scope in order to better serve the most vulnerable seniors living in Washoe County.  The Master Plan for Aging Services prioritizes specific topic areas of services, establishes specific goals, and states methods to evaluate the progress of the implementation of the Master Plan.



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I can't afford the Medicare Premium

The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program pays premiums, co-insurance, and deductibles, and the Specified Low-Income Medicare Program (SLMB) pays Medicare premiums only for low income individuals who are over 65 and/or disabled.  Please call 328-2575 or 684-7200 for more information.



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I need help cleaning my home and/or grocery shopping

The Homemaker Program provides assistance in the performance of activities related to housekeeping and with activities of daily living. Routine services include: general cleaning, shop for groceries and prescriptions.

To qualify, a person must be 60 years of age or older and need service due to health conditions. An initial assessment is conducted by a licensed social worker for the purpose of gathering information to determine need and/or eligibility for service. A reassessment of continued need for service is performed at least every three months.

Since the program is federally funded, there is no formal charge for service. Contributions to the program are accepted. The suggested donation is $7.00 per hour of service. The cost to provide the service is $25 per hour.  Please call 328-2604 to refer yourself or someone you know who needs assistance.



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How do I get help paying my telephone bill?

The Universal Lifeline Service program provides a discount on the basic local service charge and on the federal end user charge. Lifeline also provides a 50% discount on some installation charges associated with a move within a Nevada community or start of a new service. Enrollment is available at any time. Applicants must be 60 or over and must meet income requirements.  Please call 1.877.861.1893 for more information.



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I need help paying my power bill

The LIHEA (Low Income Home Energy Assistance) program provides an annual one-time financial assist to offset heating costs.  This is NOT an emergency program.  The funds are sent directly to the heating vendor. The program is available annually. An application form must be completed with copies of requested information attached - proof of current income (limits are - one person $1,471, two people - $1,991), rent receipts, and electric and heating service documentation. Individuals are eligible for a period of one year with annual renewals required.  Applications are available by calling 1.800.992.0900 (you can also schedule an appointment for assistance in filling out the application) or 684.0730 (for just the application).



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Is there a rebate available for sewer fees?

The Cities of Reno and Sparks handle the rebate programs.  Applications started July 1st and continue on a first come, first served basis until funds are exhausted or until August 31st.  Funding for this program is decided on an annual basis by the individual cities.  Applicants MUST be receiving benefits from: the energy assistance program, SSI, SS Disability or VA Disability to qualify.  Tenants of hotels and motels in Reno DO NOT qualify for this program. Reno residents call 334-2365 and Sparks residents call 353-2360.



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What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income is provided by the State of Nevada to those who are 65 and older or blind or disabled and meet income and asset limits.  You can apply at the Aging & Disability Resource Center in the Reno Senior Center, 1.877.861.1893, or at Nevada State Welfare, 684.7200 in Reno and 824.7400 in Sparks.



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Where do I go for the discount on taxi cabs?

The Washoe Senior Ride program is available for Washoe County residents whose household income is below $45,000 and they are either 60+ or qualified to ride RTC Access or a veteran of any age.  You must sign up in person at Central Reception in the Reno Senior Center, 1155 E. 9th Street, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Once registered, you can purchase up to two books of Taxi Bucks per month.  Each book costs $10 and is worth $20.  Call 348-0477 for information.  You can print out the application, fill it in and bring it with you, along with a photo ID.



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Property Taxes

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Can I get a refund on the property tax I pay? What if I rent?

This program is administered by the state, please call 775.687.1741 for information.



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Special Events/Temporary Food

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I need food and groceries, what programs do you have?

There are three programs available in addition to the Congregate Meal Program (Lunch):

USDA Commodities, the Monthly Food Pantry, and the Food Bank Truck (CSFP) -

The Commodities Program provides surplus USDA food for home use to eligible households. Applicants must be residents of Washoe County, at least 60 years of age, and meet specific income requirements (either receiving food stamps or income limit of $1,471.25 for 1 person and $1,991.25 for 2 people). Annual certification for eligibility is required (every July). Commodities are distributed during odd numbered months, please see our Newsletter or call 328-2575 for specific dates and times.

The Food Pantry Program provides a variety of grocery items to those who are income eligible. The food pantry is made available by the Assistance League of Reno/Sparks to a maximum of 300 households per month.  To be eligible, individuals must be 60 or above, Washoe County resident, meet income requirements (gross income, NOT net - before Medicare and/or taxes) 1 person - $1,287 & 2 people - $1,736, and have cooking facilities.  There is a maximum of 1 set of two bags distributed per household per month.  Proof of income and residency are now required.  You must be present to receive your bag.  Distribution starts at 9:00 am on the third Tuesday at the Reno Senior Center, 9th & Sutro Streets.  For the exact dates, please check our Newsletter.

The Food Bank Truck delivers food to eligible seniors in the Multipurpose Room of the Reno Senior Center on the third Thursday from 9:00-11:00 am and at the Sparks Senior Center on the second Tuesday from 11:45 am-12:30 pm.  Sign up at the truck; gross income limits - 1 person - $1,287 and 2 people - $1,736.