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General Assistance Program Restored

PURPOSE To announce that the Department of Human Services (DHS) will begin issuing General Assistance (GA) cash benefits on November 19, 2018 and to provide instructions on how to process benefits. BACKGROUND GA Cash is a state-funded assistance program providing cash and other services for eligible persons. The GA Cash program started in 1936 and was eliminated with Act 2012-80 (Act 80) as of August 1, 2012. On July 18, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck Act 80 in its entirety, ruling that the legislative process used to pass the Act did not comply with the Pennsylvania Constitution. The Court’s decision requires DHS to reinstate the GA program. County Assistance Offices (CAOs) have been accepting applications, interviewing applicants, and requesting needed verifications in anticipation of system changes to enable cash assistance payments to eligible individuals to be processed and issued.

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