Not being able to work can be financially devastating and some applicants even become homeless while waiting on a disability hearing. The General Assistance program has been reinstated and we think it may be able to help some of our clients while they are waiting for disability benefits to be approved. The program offers $205 per month for one person and $316 per month for two people to help provide for basic needs. Pennsylvanians can qualify for General Assistance if they are in one of the following situations:
• have a temporary or permanent disability;
• are a child who is not living with a relative;
• are caring for an unrelated child under the age of 13 or are caring for someone who is ill or disabled;
• are victims of domestic violence (benefits are limited to 9 months in a lifetime); OR
• are in a drug or alcohol treatment program that prevents them from working (benefits are limited to 9 months in a lifetime).
In addition, individuals must have less than $205 in income ($316 for two people) and less than $250 in countable assets, or $1,000 if there is more than one person applying. A house and one car do not count as assets.
Residents who believe they are eligible are encouraged to either apply online through the
department of human services (DHS) website http://www.dhs.pa.gov/ or in-person at their local
county assistance office. DHS helpline can be reached by calling toll-free 1-800-692-7462. For
individuals with hearing impairments please call 1-800-451-5886.