Measure Expands Eligibility for NJ Workability and Personal Assistance Services Programs
Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco that would bolster access to medical and support services for working residents with disabilities was approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
Sen. Anthony M. Bucco’s legislation that would revise eligibility requirements for both the NJ Workability Program and the Personal Assistance Services Program cleared the Senate health committee. (SenateNJ.com)
Bucco’s bill, S-3455, would revise eligibility requirements for both the NJ Workability Program and the Personal Assistance Services Program, enabling more people to qualify for assistance.
“These effective programs can change lives for individuals who would benefit from a little help,” said Bucco (R-25). “This legislation will eliminate some of the obstacles to career development and advancement for individuals with disabilities. More people will have access to programs that will open the door to more productive and rewarding lives and careers.”
The NJ Workability Program is a Medicaid buy-in option for employed, permanently disabled individuals.
Bucco’s bill expands the eligibility for this program, removing the age restriction, providing that any individual 16 or older may qualify. The current age requirement is between 16 and 65 years of age.
The bill also eliminates the program’s existing income eligibility limit of 250 percent of the federal poverty level and explicitly provides that a qualified applicant is not to be subject to any eligibility requirements regarding the earned or unearned income of the applicant or the applicant’s spouse. It also permits an eligible applicant for the program to remain eligible for Medicaid for up to one year if, through no fault of the applicant, a job loss occurs.
The Personal Assistance Services Program is a State-funded program that provides up to 40 hours per week of non-medical personal care assistance to those individuals with permanent physical disabilities who work, seek educational advancement, or volunteer in the community for a minimum of 20 hours per month.
Currently, only individuals 18 through 70 years of age can qualify for the Personal Assistance Services Program, but Bucco’s bill would remove the cap, providing that anyone over the age of 18 may be eligible for these services.
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