An effort is being made to give nursing home residents their first raise in thirty years.
Missourians in long-term care facilities are allowed to keep thirty dollars of their social security checks for personal needs. The rest of the check helps pay for their care.
Senator Norma Champion of Springfield proposes a gradual increase in that allowance to fifty dollars a month. She says the current limits have been on the books for three decades, and says even nursing home clients face inflationary costs for personal need items.
The increase will be taken from social security funding increases and is limited to five dollars in any one year. She tells senator Joan Bray it will take several years, therefore, to get the personal expense figure up to 50 dollars a month.
"These residents have increasing costs of living, too," says Champion. A supporter of the bill, Joan Bray of St. Louis, calls the situation "embarrassing."
Champion says Missouri is at the bottom of the list—that some states have increased the personal allowance to 90-dollars, in fact. The senate approved her bill two weeks ago. The House has yet to hold a hearing on it or move it to the floor for a vote.