Press Releases

Rep. Wexton Meets with Nursing Home Residents to Discuss Personal Needs Allowance Modernization Act

Leesburg, VA -- Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) visited the Inova Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ILNRC) in Leesburg on Friday morning to meet with residents and staff about the Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) Modernization Act, which Wexton introduced in July.

“Because the Personal Needs Allowance has not been raised in over thirty years, some seniors who I’ve spoken with must choose between paying for personal hygiene products, clothing, or a haircut each month,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “It’s unacceptable that we’re failing to provide this vulnerable population with the funds they need to enjoy some semblance of basic independence; as a result, these costs are typically shouldered by family members--if there are any. My PNA Modernization Act will help restore dignity to the seniors and Medicaid beneficiaries who are struggling to have their basic personal needs met.”

More than 85 percent of residents receiving long-term care at ILNRC are Medicaid recipients and would be positively impacted by the PNA Modernization Act.

Medicaid beneficiaries who are eligible for nursing care, like those at ILNRC, must contribute almost their entire personal income to the cost of the nursing facility. The Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) is the monthly sum of money that nursing home residents may retain to spend on personal expenses like clothing, their preferred hygiene products, adult diapers, and a phone to stay in touch with their family.

The current federal floor of the PNA is only $30 for an individual and $60 for a couple, and has not been raised since 1988. Congresswoman Wexton’s PNA Modernization Act would double the federal floor to $60 for an individual and $120 for a couple and index the amount to inflation.

Congresswoman Wexton introduced the PNA Modernization Act in the House of Representatives on July 18. The bill has been endorsed by Families USA, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, Justice in Aging, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Medicare Rights Center.

Photos from Congresswoman Wexton’s visit may be found here and are available for use by press.