A Message from Disability Rights Pennsylvania
The United States Senate is preparing to vote NEXT WEEK on the Graham Cassidy Amendment that will mean millions, including many people with disabilities, will lose health insurance.
Graham-Cassidy is more devastating to healthcare than any other proposal. It does not simply reduce the ACA’s commitment to healthcare, it ends it all together. Medicaid Expansion and subsidies for individual insurance? Gone in 2026. What’s also gone? Protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Also eliminated are the standards that ensure everyone has access to high quality health plans. What is the same is that it guts Medicaid and radically reduces care for children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
SNAP recipients may see changes to their benefits beginning October 1, 2017
Harrisburg, PA –The federal government issues adjustments to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s (SNAP) maximum benefit amounts, deductions, and income eligibility standards at the beginning of each federal fiscal year. This year’s adjustments were recently announced.
The changes, which vary by year, are based on an annual Cost of Living Adjustment and take effect on October 1, 2017. This year the maximum benefit amount will decrease, but the income limit will increase. For example, the income limit for a family of four at 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guideline will raise $25 from a monthly net income limit of $2,025 in October 2016 to $2,050 in October 2017.
“SNAP is a federal program that is administered by the state and provides critical benefits to Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable populations,” said Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “These benefits are used to buy food and help eligible low-income households in Pennsylvania have nutritious diets by increasing their food purchasing power at grocery stores and farmers’ markets.”
Public Meetings and Comment Opportunities on 2-Year Modification of VR Services Portion of the Commonwealth's WIOA Combined State Plan
The Department of Labor and Industry (Department), Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), announces a period of public comment on its proposed Year 2 of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Commonwealth's 4-year Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined State Plan (Plan). Given the multi year life of the Plan, states must revisit State Plan strategies regularly, reassess their effectiveness and labor market relevance, and, when needed, recalibrate these strategies to respond to the changing economic conditions and workforce needs of the state. The VR Services Portion is the blueprint for the provision of VR services to persons with disabilities living in this Commonwealth. This notice is provided under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the WIOA of 2014.
The OVR is required to develop and implement its VR Services Portion as part of the Plan, whereas, at minimum, states must submit a modification to the Plan at the end of the first 2-year period of any 4-year plan. These revisions take the form of updates to existing descriptions, previously known as attachments. The Plan from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2020, is currently in effect and is a compliance document on file with the Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration and United States Departments of Labor and Education.
The OVR must obtain public input prior to amending the VR Services Portion of the Plan under 34 CFR 361.20 (relating to public participation requirements). As referenced in 34 CFR 361.20(a), which requires public meetings to be held throughout the state, ''public meeting'' means a gathering of people in a physical or virtual (as in the case of videoconferences or teleconferences) location to gather valuable input from individuals with disabilities, community rehabilitation programs and other stakeholders.
The Pennsylvania 2017-18 State Budget includes:
$26.5 million to serve more people in the community and strengthen support for adults with intellectual disabilities and autism.
Harrisburg, PA – Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced that the Pennsylvania ABLE Savings Program (PA ABLE) has surpassed $1 million in assets since its launch in April of this year. The $1 million milestone has been surpassed in just over 3 months into the program’s existence in Pennsylvania. PA ABLE provides tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with qualified disabilities and their families.
“Pennsylvanians with disabilities have had to remain financially invisible for far too long. After just a few months, PA ABLE account holders have collectively saved more than $1 million and begun participating in a system that used to shut them out. PA ABLE is allowing people with disabilities to build wealth and live independently, often for the first time in their lives. We’re thrilled to keep building this program even further.
This is a proud moment for state elected officials like Rep. Bernie O’Neill and Sen. Lisa Baker, and for Sen. Bob Casey. These public servants have done so much to make the PA ABLE program a reality, and surpassing this milestone is a product of their hard work as well." - Pennsylvania Treasurer, Joe Torsella
Across the Commonwealth, individuals with disabilities face unique financial challenges. Since its launch in April, Pennsylvanians now have the tools to offset the significant, extra costs associated with raising a child or living with a disability, without jeopardizing essential medical assistance or Supplemental Security Income. PA ABLE gives eligible individuals the opportunity to save or invest tax-free, while supporting health, independence and quality of life.