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WDUQ’s Behavioral Health segment on the PNA raise

WDUQ out of Pittsburgh which is part of the NPR network, has started running a behavioral health segment.  Recently Erica Beras who is new to WDUQ did a segment on the Personal Needs Allowance raise for folks on SSI who reside in personal care homes.  I felt the segment was very well done.,  Here is a link that takes you to the WDUQ Archive page for the behavioral health segments.  http://wduq.org/news/BehavioralHealth/index.html

MHA in PA email release on PNA Raise

In a Wednesday, February 18, 2009 email sent out by the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania (MHA PA) they are asking folks to send their appreciation for making the PNA  raise a reality.  The information below indicates that it did NOT cost the state anything extra to impliment this raise, so it is a win win kind of thing.

Pennsylvania residents of personal care homes living on SSI receive a personal needs allowance (PNA).  Despite an increase in living expenses, this amount has not changed since 1993. Until now.

When the federal government recently raised the SSI benefit for each individual by $37, Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare issued a policy statement allowing individuals living in personal care homes to keep $25 of that money bringing the total amount of the personal needs allowance to $85. 

DPW’s decision does not cost the state more than it currently spends; and personal care homes do not lose any money.

This decision by Estelle Richman, DPW Secretary, was influenced by several lawmakers, notably Representatives Jim Marshall and Phyllis Mundy.

Please send the following email to Governor Rendell and Representatives Marshall and Mundy to let them know you are happy with this decision.

Personal Needs Allowance Raise Celebrations!

There are two celbrations planed to celebrate the successfull increase in the Personal Needs Allowance for folks on SSI in Personal Care Homes.

Pittsburgh …

The Pittsburgh event is to be held … Thursday, February 26, 2009; 10 AM – 12 noon …a PDF file with details is available at …  https://share.acrobat.com/adc/document.do?docid=3e378dfa-a23f-4043-87df-3731b2291d33

 

Harrisburg …

The Harrisburg event to be held … Tuesday, March 10, 2009; 10 AM – 11 AM a PDF file with details is available at … https://share.acrobat.com/adc/document.do?docid=89091900-3788-497d-9282-b633e23cff83

PNA increased from $60 to $85 per month

I have an exciting update for folks.  I have just found out that there is an increase in the personal needs allowance (PNA) for folks on SSI in personal care homes.  The increase isn’t what those of use who were advocating for the increase were hoping for but it is definitely and improvement for those who will be effected by it.  The increase is effective January 1, 2009 bringing the PNA up from $60 to  a new amount of $85

Hats off to all those who worked diligently to make this increase a reality!!

(Edited to remove non-functional links to documents belonging to outside sources and corrected a couple of spelling errors on 4/12/2014  Thank you to the reader who let me know about the issue with the links)

The death of HB2253 … or is it? Part 2

  This is a second email I received from the same source at PMHCA regarding the death and hopefully resurrection of HB2253 offing another way you can help.

Click here to download the booklet mentioned in the following message

 

 

Dear friends – Here’s another way to get our message out about the personal needs allowance.

 

I’m attaching a booklet that tells the real stories of several personal care home residents and their struggles to survive on $60 per month. You can print a copy of this booklet (color is fantastic if you have a color printer!), personalize it with your own message and send it on to the Governor and your legislators.

 

You could even have everyone in your drop-in center, support group, clubhouse, personal care home or other group to write their personal messages. Some people may want to tell what they spend their monthly allowance on. Feel free to add more blank pages that you fill in.

 

You will want to include a cover letter that tells who is sending the booklet to them so they can contact you. Here is what we want the governor and our legislators to know:  

It’s time to give a holiday gift to Pennsylvania’s low income personal care home residents: SPLIT THE SSI RAISE!

Nearly 10,000 seniors and people with disabilities in PA’s personal care homes are struggling to live on a $60 monthly allowance that must pay for medication co-pays, transportation, clothing, phone calls and all personal items. They have not received a raise in their monthly needs allowance since 1993!

 

In January 2009, all citizens on SSI will receive a generous 5.8% cost of living raise, $37 per month – the largest raise in 25 years. PA’s PCH residents will not receive ONE CENT of the raise unless DPW decides lets some of it go to them. We advocate that the raise be split evenly between the residents and the owners, as it was for Dom Care.

Please ask DPW to “Split the SSI raise” so that some of our most vulnerable residents can better meet their own needs!

 

Send to:

1. Governor Edward Rendell

225 Capital Building

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Or governor@state.pa.us

 

2. Your PA state legislators – You can find your legislator at www.congress.org. Type your zip code into the box beside “find your officials”. Send your message to your State Legislators.

The Death of HB2253 …. Or is it?

I received the following info in an email from a friend of mine at PMHCA.  The links at the end of this post will take you to a place you can download the files Rachel mentions in her update.

Dear friends – I’m writing to update you on our fight to Raise the $60 Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) for residents of personal needs allowance and to thank you for all your help over the past year on this struggle. Here’s what we know:

Ø  House Bill 2253- The bill to raise the PNA will quietly die at the end of the 2008. We will work to get it reintroduced in the new session and will need your help in 2009 for that!

Ø  SSI Cost of Living Adjustment (raise) – We were excited to learn that people on SSI will be receiving a $37/month raise from Social Security starting January 2009. This is the largest raise in SSI since 1982!! However: Unless the Department of Public Welfare changes the amount of the personal needs allowance to reflect this raise, the personal care home residents will not receive ONE CENT of their raise.

It will all go to the owners of the personal care homes. We understand that the owners’ costs are also rising; they have received many raises over the past 15 years to address this. Residents have not received a raise for 15 years!

We are asking for DPW to support a split in the $37/month raise: $18.50 to the residents, $18.50 to the owners – this just seems fair and in fact, it’s what the Department of Aging does in their Dom Care Homes.

 

Here’s what we need YOU to do:

       Contact the governor’s office and your legislator to ask that DPW “Split the SSI Raise” between personal care home residents

       Here’s a message you can use:

It’s time to give a holiday gift to Pennsylvania’s low income personal care home residents: SPLIT THE SSI RAISE!

Nearly 10,000 seniors and people with disabilities in PA’s personal care homes are struggling to live on a $60 monthly allowance that must pay for medication co-pays, transportation, clothing, phone calls and all personal items. They have not received a raise in their monthly needs allowance since 1993!

 

In January 2009, all citizens on SSI will receive a generous 5.8% cost of living raise, $37 per month – the largest raise in 25 years. PA’s PCH residents will not receive ONE CENT of the raise unless DPW decides lets some of it go to them. We advocate that the raise be split evenly between the residents and the owners, as it was for Dom Care.

Please ask DPW to “Split the SSI raise” so that some of our most vulnerable residents can better meet their own needs!

 

Have a letter writing table at your holiday party! You can use the attached postcards to send your message – just print them up on card stock.

 

Send to:

1. Governor Edward Rendell

225 Capital Building

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Or governor@state.pa.us

 

2. Your PA state legislators – You can find your legislator at www.congress.org. Type your zip code into the box beside “find your officials”. Send your message to your State Legislators.

 

Click here to download Christmas Postcards to get your message out to Pennsylvania State government Officials

PAMHI signs on to support HB2253

  Pennsylvana Mental Health Issues has officially signed onboard as a supporting organization of HB2253.  For folks who don’t know what this bill is, I have included information below that covers the reasons behind HB2253 and why it needs to be passed, along with a contact person to gain more information, or to sign on as an organization supporter of HB2253.

 

COULD YOU LIVE ON $60 PER MONTH?!

 

Please, raise the monthly $60 personal needs allowance for 9,000 personal care home residents on SSI!

 

·         Everyone on SSI who lives in a personal care home in Pennsylvania pays their entire SSI check ($623.00), plus a state supplement of $439 each month for room and board – about $1000 per month.

 

They get back a $60 personal needs allowance out of the $1062 that they pay to the personal care home owner to use for all of their needs beyond room and board.

 

The state decides how big the allowance should be; it is 100% state money.

 

·         It can be given to them in what ever installments the owner chooses: $2/day; $15/week or $60 for the month.

 

·         The allowance has been $60 per month since 1993; due to inflation, what cost $60 in1993 now costs approximately $83

 

·         Residents must now cover with their medication co-pays and over the counter meds with the $60 monthly allowance, as well as co-pays for doctor visits

 

·         They must also pay for toll telephone calls, clothing and shoes, bus fares, haircuts, cigarettes, snacks and entertainment, as well as other personal needs 

 

·         It is clear that the PCH residents are not getting enough of their own money to meet ongoing expenses. 

 

·         When the state provided an increase to the Dom Care Supplement in 2005, one half of the increase went directly to the residents.  None of the 2006 state PCH supplement increase went directly to increasing the personal needs allowance

 

·         We are asking you to rectify this injustice! 

For more information contact Rachel Freund, PA Mental Health Consumers’ Association  412-621-4706 or rfreund@verizon.net

“Living on $60 is no joke!”

  I recieved another link to a video relating to the “Personal Needs Allowance” for folks on SSI in personal care/boarding homes in Pennsylvania.  This video is of the actual rally held on the Rotunda of the Capital building in Harrisburg, PA.  For those who don’t understand the quote I used as the title of this post, you will if you watch the video.

http://media1.pahousegop.com/video/asx_generator.asp?videoname=386986910.wmv

You will need Windows Media Player or other software capable of viewing *.wmv video files.

“Marshall Bill Will Help Personal Care Home Residents on SSI Meet Basic Needs” (Article and link to Video)

Representative Jim Marshal is spearheading a bill to try and increase the monthly personal needs allowance from $60 per month up to $120 per month.  Below is an article found on Marshall’s website about HB2253, which ius also located on his website at … http://www.repmarshall.com/?sectionid=3&parentid=1&sectiontree=3&itemid=104 

He also has a video interview from a newscast where he discusses the bill as well for those who might prefer listening over reading …. http://media1.pahousegop.com/video/asx_generator.asp?videoname=962918073.wmv  You will need Windows Media Player or other software that can handle *.wmv files

Marshall Bill Will Help Personal Care Home Residents on SSI Meet Basic Needs

Proposal increases monthly needs allowance to $120
Pennsylvanians residing in personal care homes and living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) would get an increase in their “personal needs allowance” under legislation sponsored by Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Big Beaver).
The bill would increase the allowance to not less than $120 per month. Currently, it is just $60.
“It’s hard to imagine living on $60 a month, especially when you consider that most people in this situation have medical issues so they are spending a lot on medications and copayments for their doctor visits,” Marshall said. “That would not leave very much left over for clothing, telephone calls, bus fare and other day-to-day needs. This increase is long overdue.”
Marshall said he got the idea for his legislation from a constituent who described the situation and said the allowance amount had not been increased in 15 years.
“This is exactly how the people’s government should work,” Marshall said. “I would not have known about this problem if my constituent hadn’t talked to me about it. Now, we have the opportunity to help thousands of people who really need it.”
In the Commonwealth, there are more than 9,200 SSI recipients residing in personal care homes that would be affected by this legislation, and the estimated cost of the increased personal needs allowance is approximately $6.66 million.
Marshall noted the money amounts to just.064 percent of the proposed DPW budget for 2008-09.
“Given the substantial increases in welfare funding in recent years, I believe the department should be well positioned to absorb the cost of this measure,” he said.
House Bill 2253 was championed at a press conference and rally Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda organized by the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association. The bill has 38 co-sponsors and was referred to the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee for consideration.
Rep. Jim Marshall
14th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(724) 847-1352
(717) 260-6432
Contact: Diane Moore
(717) 772-9844
Member Site: www.RepMarshall.com 
Caucus Site: www.PAHouseGOP.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2008
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