HARRISBURG, PA (October 8, 2019) — United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s #IWantToWork campaign is pleased to join Senator Bob Mensch in introducing Senate Bill 890 with support from 19 bi-partisan Senators. Representative Kate A. Klunk announced a co-sponsorship memo in the PA House for companion legislation. The legislation would change the PA Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program, incrementally removing income limits and allowing people with disabilities who are already working to increase their earnings without repercussions. Eleven other states have already adopted similar legislation.
“Changing MAWD will encourage more people with disabilities to seek employment without fear of losing the life-sustaining services they need. For many people with disabilities, like me, support services are necessary to daily activities like getting dressed and traveling to work,” said Dr. Josie Badger, #IWantToWork campaign manager. “This legislation will help thousands of hard-working, capable people with disabilities. We are thrilled with the bipartisan support.”
Senate Bill 890 would allow people who want to earn more to pay more in premiums and taxes without sacrificing their benefits. This would result in a number of positive changes to the existing MAWD program and dynamically impact people with disabilities:
- Incrementally, it will eliminate the MAWD earnings cliff.
- Individuals with disabilities could earn more by accepting raises and promotions.
- People in the MAWD program would be able to save more for the future.
- By removing asset limits, it encourages marriage and stability.
“People with disabilities deserve a real opportunity to be a part of the Pennsylvania workforce, without limits. They deserve to become contributing members of society in their communities,” said Senator Mensch.
“In Pennsylvania, 35% of people with disabilities are working. Only 21% are working full time,” said Senator Mensch. “This legislation would decrease barriers that keep people with disabilities from thriving in the workplace.”
About #IWantToWork—The #IWantToWork self-advocacy social media campaign is powered by young people with disabilities. Organized by United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the campaign focuses on creating and advocating policies to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain jobs in integrated work environments. More information is available at www.IWantToWorkPA.org.