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Hoffman proposes ‘Seniors Deserve Dignity’ bill to supplement Medicaid personal needs allowance

To assist seniors who are in a supportive living facility and receive Medicaid and personal needs allowances, state Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) is proposing a monthly supplemental payment to help them with small personal expenses – such as paying for haircuts, clothing, magazines and other purchases.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea)

“Seniors in supportive living deserve the ability to make independent purchases that we often take for granted,” Hoffman said. “Whether it’s having a little extra to buy something for a grandkid or getting something to read, this measure is about improving their quality of life.”

Hoffman’s House Bill 4364 would direct the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to develop a “Seniors Deserve Dignity Program” to provide monthly supplemental personal needs payments to supportive living facility residents who receive Medicaid and personal needs allowances.

If passed, the measure would start with an additional $30 monthly supplemental payment through June 2025, before increasing to $60. From July 2026 onward, the monthly supplemental payment would be adjusted by inflation.

Under federal law, Medicaid-funded nursing home residents receive a Personal Needs Allowance of $30 a month – a figure that has not changed since 1988. States, however, are allowed to increase their own allowance to a higher amount. This past year, the General Assembly, with Hoffman’s support, raised the personal needs allowance at nursing homes from $30 to $60 (Senate Bill 1298).

Hoffman’s supplemental payments in combination with state and federal Personal Needs Allowances would effectively allow residents to keep $120 per month through June 2025 and $150 per month the following year, before future increases are tied to inflation.

“This proposal helps ensure that future increases are not overlooked,” Hoffman said. “I appreciate the advocacy from seniors who want to improve this issue now and moving forward.”

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