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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.

“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
April 1, 2008
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