Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Can you imagine being denied the right to work to the full extent of your abilities? What if someone put a limit on how much you could earn? Until now, that has been the reality for working Pennsylvanians with disabilities.
For decades, Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) came with strict income and asset limits that prohibited career advancement, the security of a financial safety net, and even marriage. In Pennsylvania, only 21% of people with disabilities work full-time. Though many want to work, the chance of losing life-sustaining Medicaid benefits is too much to risk.
Signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on July 1, Act 69, an update to MAWD, will allow workers with disabilities to receive medical assistance, Medicaid buy-in and/or waiver services without limiting their income or causing them to sacrifice the jobs they love.
Like any change, this took a team. State Sen. Bob Mensch, R-Montgomery, and state Rep. Kate Klunk, R-York, were the prime sponsors of this bill and their leadership cannot be overstated. Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York, Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Mercer, and Sen. Patrick Browne, R-Allentown, were also crucial supporters. Advocacy efforts were led by United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s #IWantToWork campaign.
Disability equality benefits everyone and this legislation is a significant step forward for Pennsylvania.
Campaign manager, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s #IWantToWork