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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 29, 2020 10:38 AM
From: Representative Kate A. Klunk
To: All House members
Subject: Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities
People with disabilities, like anyone else, deserve the opportunity to work to their full potential. Unfortunately, private pay insurance does not offer services like home and community based services--such as nursing care that many individuals with disabilities rely on every day to live.

Currently, Medical Assistance for Workers (MAWD) with Disabilities allows individuals with disabilities to earn approximately $61,000 before they would be shut off from important services. At present, they pay in 5% of their income to receive this service.

I am proposing new legislation that will allow individuals to earn more money under a new category under MAWD, called Workers with Job Success (WJS). In this new category, and above present levels, workers will pay 7.5% of their income to the MAWD program toward their health care, and they will pay more payroll taxes for state services. When a worker with disabilities earns the maximum dollars allowed, they will pay 100% of the average cost of the state’s Medicaid premium.

Eleven other states have changed their law to ensure that people with disabilities can earn more money and still receive important services not available in any private pay plans. Pennsylvanians with disabilities will not only be able to earn more but save more under this new law. Currently, the most they can save is $10,000 for the future. Increases in the income limits will adjust every two years increasing the allowable earnings based on the federal poverty limit.

Pennsylvanians with disabilities working to their full potential makes sense -- and earning more income means increased revenue and payments toward the MAWD program, value that can only be realized with a change in legislation.

In Pennsylvania, only 35% of people with disabilities are working. Only 21% are working full time. We should be encouraging more individuals with disabilities to work and accept their hard-earned promotion or raise without the fear of losing the benefits they need to live.

I hope that you will join me and co-sponsor this important legislation. If you have any questions please contact Joani Harlan at: jharlan@pahousegop.com

Introduced as HB1115