We are delighted to announce that on January 10, 2022, Governor Murphy signed A5262/S3455 into law. This legislation provides important improvements to NJ WorkAbility Medicaid for individuals with disabilities! The Arc of New Jersey was a very strong supporter of this legislation when it was heard in committees in both the General Assembly and the State Senate and in urging the Governor to sign it.
These are the key aspects of the newly enacted NJ WorkAbility Medicaid legislation:
1. Some individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who are employed are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from a parent's work record. Previously, if SSDI from a parent's work record exceeded a threshold amount ($1,074/month in 2021), the individual with IDD would not have been eligible for NJ WorkAbility because that SSDI was viewed as "unearned" income. The new legislation permits a person with "unearned" SSDI income, who is employed, to be eligible for NJ WorkAbility.
2. Previously, if employment ended for a person with IDD who had NJ WorkAbility, their Medicaid coverage could have terminated quickly. The new legislation allows a person receiving NJ WorkAbility, whose employment ends, to be covered by Medicaid for up to a year, while seeking new employment. Important note: During the COVID pandemic, no one should be terminated from NJ Medicaid.
3. Previously, at age 65, if a person with IDD was employed and had NJ WorkAbility, their Medicaid was terminated. The new legislation has no age-related NJ WorkAbility termination date.
Before this new law is implemented, it is required that the Commissioner of the NJ Department of Human Services adopt the necessary rules and regulations, and receive federal approval for a state plan amendment. The Arc of New Jersey will advocate for an implementation process that is as fast as possible.
On behalf of everyone with IDD who will benefit from the improvements in NJ WorkAbility Medicaid, we extend our gratitude to all of the legislators who supported this important bill, with particular appreciation to the legislative sponsors who led the way, and to the Governor for signing it into law.
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Director, Mainstreaming Medical Care
The Arc of New Jersey
985 Livingston Avenue
North Brunswick, NJ 08902