PA CARES FOR ALL
Coalition to Save General Assistance
Elimination of General Assistance Delayed Until August 1
The PA Cares for All Coalition to Save General Assistance today announced that the elimination of the General Assistance program has been delayed one month, until August 1. Until today, all signs had pointed to its elimination on July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year. House Bill 1261, the Welfare Code bill that will be enacted over the weekend to implement the state’s 2012-13 budget, was amended today to eliminate the General Assistance program effective August 1. General Assistance is a safety net program of last resort for over 68,000 Pennsylvanians who are unable to work, providing them access to critical medical care and a small cash grant ($205 a month in most counties) with rigid restrictions.
"On behalf of the hundreds of General Assistance recipients we represent every year, we are heartbroken at the loss of this vital safety net. Nonetheless, we are relieved that individuals who rely on GA for their entire source of income will have advance notice of its elimination,” said Louise Hayes, a staff attorney at Community Legal Services.
"In the midst of our sorrow at the elimination of GA, we are relieved that the community organizations and faith-based groups to whom former GA recipients will turn for help will have some time to prepare for this tragedy," added Liz Hersh, Executive Director of the Housing Alliance.
Liz Hersh, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania 215-576-7044 or (cell) 267-446-3302
Louise Hayes, Community Legal Services, 215-227-4734, or (cell) 484-477-5616
While the budget is now complete, you can still write letters to the editor and contact your legislators about the importance of General Assistance.