Girgenti Supports Increase In Allowance For Nursing Home Residents

Senator John A. Girgenti, D-Passaic and Bergen, Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, listens to testimony before the Committee.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator John A. Girgenti to increase the monthly personal needs allowance (PNA) of residents in nursing homes was approved by the Senate Health, Human and Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.

According to Senator Girgenti, a PNA is used by individuals in nursing facilities, State or county psychiatric hospitals, or State developmental centers to purchase personal items such as clothing, grooming products and newspapers that are not provided by the facility where they reside.

“The cost of living is increasing for everyone, and for many of our elderly living in nursing homes it’s important that they can still afford the basic personal items that they use each day,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic.

The bill, S-2531, would increase the monthly PNA, from $35 to $50.

According to Senator Girgenti, the State would request the funding increase from the federal government and in the cases where they fail to provide to additional funds, the State would step in to cover the difference.

“The PNA is provided to approximately 35,000 persons who live in nursing facilities and are eligible for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income,” said Senator Girgenti. “This bill would allow the Commissioner of Human Services to administer the increased monthly PNA to those who receive Social Security Income when the federal government would not provide additional funds.”

The bill now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for approval. ###