TRENTON, N.J. – A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer would increase the monthly personal needs allowance for residents of nursing homes, state- and county-operated psychiatric hospitals, and state-run developmental centers. It was released from the Assembly Human Services Committee Thursday.
Dancer’s bill (A3035) would increase that allowance for Medicaid and supplemental security income recipients to $100 from $50, following the example of 20 other states including Connecticut and Maryland.
“Studies consistently show that feelings of isolation lead to worse health outcomes,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “My bill aims to enhance the quality of life for these residents. They can use this allowance for phone calls, a meal out with families, personal hobbies and affects, all the things many of us take for granted.”
Medicaid recipients receive their allowance from personal income after medical and housing expenses have been paid, while SSI is paid to low-income residents through state and federal funds.
“Inflation is at a 40-year high. We’re all feeling its effects, but especially those on fixed incomes,” Dancer added. “Our most vulnerable residents should retain some purchasing power and participate in activities that enhance their lives and keep them feeling connected.”