Learn about General Assistance Applications

Certain low-income Pennsylvanians can now apply for General Assistance again. On July 18, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in a unanimous decision, found that Act 80 of 2012 was enacted in a manner that violated the Pennsylvania Constitution.  Act 80 did many things, including eliminating the General Assistance (GA) cash assistance program.  General Assistance provides a small monthly grant–approximately $200–to qualified individuals.

Who is eligible to receive General Assistance? Because of a recent court decision, some individuals with very low income can now get Cash Assistance from the welfare office.

You can qualify for General Assistance (GA) if you:
● have a temporary or permanent disability;
● are a child under 18 who is not living with a relative, or are under age 21 and in high school;
● are caring for an unrelated child under the age of 13 or are caring for someone who is ill or disabled;
● are a victim of domestic violence (GA benefits limited to 9 months in a lifetime); or
● are in a drug or alcohol treatment program that prevents you from working (GA benefits limited to 9 months in a lifetime).

The maximum GA cash grant for people in most Pennsylvania counties with no other income is $205/month for 1 person, or $316/month for two people. If you have more income than this, you cannot get GA.

Families with children and pregnant women can also get cash assistance if they have very low incomes. Their cash assistance is called TANF.

More information is available at  or this Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.


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