Take Action to Protect General Assistance
After years of advocacy and a ruling by the PA Supreme Court last September, the General Assistance program is now up and running. This is a tremendous win for low-income people in Pennsylvania, many whom have been living with no income since 2012 when the program was eliminated.
However, General Assistance is already at risk. Legislation has been introduced to eliminate General Assistance again.
As Sister Mary Scullion and Reverend Sandra Strauss note in their op-ed, “Eliminating GA again -- ripping support again from a small number of our most distressed citizens -- is both unconscionable and short-sighted.”
What is General Assistance? Here's what you need to know:
- General Assistance provides a small amount of cash support - about $200 per month - to a small, targeted population of Pennsylvanians in need of immediate help. If you know someone who would like to apply, here is more information about the application process.
- This support goes only to specific populations who need immediate and urgent assistance, like people with disabilities who cannot work and may otherwise become homeless, people facing domestic violence, people who are being treated for drug or alcohol use disorder, and children who are being cared for by friends or neighbors.
- General Assistance is used to help people meet basic needs, like paying rent, buying a winter coat, fleeing an abusive situation at home, or covering co-pays that allow them to get medical treatment.
- General Assistance typically functions as a loan. Many who qualify are ultimately approved for Social Security Disability; when this happens, the state is paid back for GA payments.
General Assistance Makes Financial Sense
These small cash payments can keep people out of shelters, hospitals, and foster care by meeting their most urgent needs. GA benefits are spent locally, benefitting communities across PA. Because the state is often reimbursed for these payments, it costs relatively little.
Pennsylvania Can't Afford to Eliminate GA! Take Action NOW!
General Assistance is a lifeline to populations that need temporary help to keep them out of more expensive programs and dangerous situations. Please contact your Pennsylvania elected officials TODAY to urge them to preserve this critical program.
Click here to take action.