February 15, 2024 – The New York State legislature has introduced a bill, sponsored by Senate Disabilities Committee chair John Mannion, to increase the amount of money New York nursing home residents can keep of their income to use for personal items. The Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) in New York has been stuck at $50 per month for over three decades. The proposed legislation, S7786/A8396, would raise the PNA to a more reasonable and humane $128 for nursing home residents.

The PNA is the only monthly allowance that residents on Medicaid receive for all of their personal expenses. The current allowance falls far short of meeting the basic personal expenses of residents, limiting their ability to maintain dignity and experience a comfortable living environment. Raising the personal needs allowance would enhance the quality of life for our elderly population, providing them with sufficient resources to pay for personal essentials, such as access to a phone or purchase of a birthday card for a grandchild.

At the federal level, the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law set the minimum PNA rate for nursing homes residents receiving Medicaid at $30 per month, but the law allows for a rate of up to $200 per month. Many other states have increased their PNAs over the years. It is time for New York to do so, too.

Support of this legislation, S7786/A8396, would greatly contribute to the overall well-being of nursing home residents. Help us make a difference by contacting your legislators today.