Tucker, Caputo, Giblin & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Increase Personal Needs Allowance for Residents of Certain State Facilities Clears Panel
Legislation Assembly Democrats Cleopatra Tucker, Ralph Caputo, Tom Giblin and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to ensure that residents of certain state facilities have sufficient funds to purchase small personal items has been advanced by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3084) would increase the minimum monthly personal needs allowance (PNA) for residents of nursing facilities, state or county psychiatric hospitals and state developmental centers who are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The measure would raise the allowance to a minimum of $50 from $35. It would be the first such increase in 30 years, Tucker noted.
"For some men and women who require special attention, long-term care may be the best option, and it's important that residents of these facilities can remain as independent as possible," said Tucker (D-Essex). "By increasing the personal needs allowance and tying it to the cost of living, this bill will help ensure that individuals in state institutions can have the highest possible quality of life."
The bill would also provide for an annual cost-of-living adjustment to the PNA, which may be used to purchase personal items such as clothing, grooming aids, newspapers and other items not regularly provided in the facility.
"Although the cost of living has increased significantly in New Jersey since 1985, the personal needs allowance has not gone up in three decades," said Caputo (D-Essex). "Providing a few extra dollars for a haircut or to buy a birthday card is a small gesture that can go a long way toward improving the quality of life of many residents of state facilities."