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Advocacy: The act of speaking, acting, or writing in support of a cause or idea in order to defend the rights, needs, and interests of a person or group of people who are disadvantaged by society.

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association provides and participates in individual and systems advocacy for people in Pennsylvania who have, or are recovering from, mental illness.

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Did you know that parity in health insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorder benefits with medical and surgical benefits is the law? Read more ....

SNAP (foodstamp) asset test eliminated!

Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Tom Wolfe and Acting Secretary Ted Dallas, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services eliminated the asset test for foodstamps. Under the asset test program many people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians were removed from the SNAP program and lost much needed foodstamps.

The asset test has been eliminated as of April 27, 2015.

The asset test was adopted in 2012 by the former Gov. Tom Corbett's administration. It restricted the amount of assets families could have to qualify for food stamps, otherwise known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Health Law PA News: A Publication of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project

Posted January 12, 2015

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has provided a newsletter with up to date information that is helpful to people searching for medical insurance coverage.

Most of Pennsylvania’s 1.1 million adult Medicaid recipients will not be adversely affected by the Healthy PA benefit changes that started on January 1, 2015 ... continue reading newsletter.

Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program Saved

Posted July 25, 2014

Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Secretary Beverly Mackereth announced on July 24, 2014 that DPW has shelved the planned elimination of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program. The program was scheduled to end effective January 1, 2015.

PMHCA advocated to maintain MAWD, within our comments against establishment of Healthy PA. PMHCA encourages the PA Department of Public Welfare to expand Medicaid now.

MAWD provides health coverage to over 34,000 working Pennsylvanians with disabilities who don’t qualify for other categories of Medical Assistance, usually due to their earnings. It provides an important incentive for people with disabilities to work and still keep their Medical Assistance coverage. It allows individuals with disabilities to work without fear of losing their critically important health insurance coverage, including personal assistance services and other supports they need to get and keep a job and remain in the community.

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project worked closely with numerous disability organizations and individuals on MAWD to highlight how eliminating this program would have a devastating effect. Our advocacy efforts included drafting and coordinating comments to state and federal officials by many disability organizations and the Consumer Subcommittee of the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee, assisting affected individuals in drafting their own comments, and providing information to stakeholders.

PMHCA applauds the decision by Secretary Mackereth and the Corbett Administration to continue the MAWD program. MAWD provides vital health coverage and community supports for working Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

Say NO to Rep. Murphy's Efforts to Dismantle Recovery Oriented Systems

Many advances made in mental health services and supports are at great risk. Congressman Tim Murphy has introduced legislation that, if passed, would end programs and services that promote recovery and community inclusion for people across Pennsylvania and the U.S. We need your help to shut down Murphy's Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013 before it destroys 30 years of advances to mental health services and programs.

Take action today!

Call your House members and leave the message: "Please do not cosponsor Representative Murphy's the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013." Check www.house.gov for a list of Members. Call 202-224-3121 to transfer to a Member's office if you know the name and not their phone number. Leave the message with the person who answers the phone.

Talking points you can use to support this message are:

In addition, PMHCA and many other consumer advocacy groups oppose the legislation because it would:

The negative aspects of the bill are overwhelming, but there are some positive elements, including provisions that would reauthorize the Garret Lee Smith Memorial Act (Suicide prevention), Mental Health First Aid Act, Children's Recovery from Trauma Act, Excellence in Mental Health Act, Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2013 and the Behavioral Health IT Act.

Please help the Pennsylvania members of the United States House of Representatives understand the enormity of the negative aspects of this legislation.


Membership in PMHCA

One of the benefits of membership in the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association is being included on the membership email list. All members receive emails with timely information on policy and legislative issues and action alerts, notice of trainings, conferences and Mental Health recovery employment opportunities throughout the state. Become a member today.