RE: SF 1272 (Hoffman) MA-EPD Income and Asset Limits increased
ATTN: Minnesota Senate Human Services Committee
FROM: The Minnesota Council on Disability
DATE: February 13th, 2023
Honorable Chair Hoffman and Members of the Committee,
The Minnesota Council on Disability urges members of the committee to support SF 1272, a bill that would eliminate income and asset limits for Minnesotans with Disabilities who receive Medical Assistance for Employed People with Disabilities (MA-EPD). Currently, the income and assets limits are far too low, which forces people with disabilities to forgo income increases or lose their medical assistance benefits. For most people with disabilities, opportunities for increased income do not compensate the value of benefits lost once they cross the arbitrary income and asset limit threshold. This means wages for Minnesotan with disabilities are suppressed and economic advancement opportunities are lost, forcing many to stay in a cycle of poverty, despite being fully employed.
The Supreme Court Olmstead decision guarantees the right for people with disabilities to live and work in the communities of their choice. However, health care is incredibly important, if not a lifeline for Minnesotans with disabilities. With current asset limits for those receiving MA-EPD, the choice to live and work in the community they want is out of reach. The Minnesota Council on Disability supports any bill that helps people with disabilities live independent lives in the communities of their choice. It takes a lot of effort and energy to overcome the barriers that society puts in front of Minnesotans with disabilities, and rather than being rewarded for receiving a higher paying job or being fiscally responsible, Minnesotans with disabilities are punished for doing something that helps them live economically independent lives.
Supporting SF 1272 means supporting Minnesotans with disabilities who want to work and be independent. It means investing in the disability community while also providing a medical lifeline. It means removing barriers that have historically kept people with disabilities from earning a livable wage. Supporting SF 1272 means removing the arbitrary barrier that society has placed on people with disabilities who want to work.
Thank you, Chair Hoffman and members of the committee, for your support of SF 1272. Sincerely,
Public Policy Director