May 16, 2015 |
A state audit of three county welfare agencies - in Burlington, Camden, and Passaic - found them lacking in proper documentation for benefits and urged closer attention to verification of recipients. The audit, performed by the Office of the State Comptroller, pertained to General Assistance, which provides state-funded monthly grants to eligible single adults or couples without children. The recipients are supposed to work, be actively looking for work, or participate in an approved work activity, including community service.
October 25, 2014 |
If elected governor, Tom Wolf plans to end the asset test, a measure that ties federal food stamp benefits to people's bank accounts and car ownership. The Democrat would also work to reestablish General Assistance (GA), which used to pay $205 a month to people who were both poor and disabled. Both moves would reverse initiatives by Gov. Corbett, who saw the asset test as a way to cut down on fraud and waste, and GA as an unnecessary institution from the 1930s whose elimination has saved the state $150 million a year.
February 24, 2013 |
Nearly 55,000 fewer Pennsylvanians were getting medical assistance in December 2012 compared with July, according to a new state Department of Public Welfare report, in many cases as an apparent side effect of the elimination of another program. The numbers represent the third major drop in public insurance rolls since Gov. Corbett took office three years ago. The precise reasons for the latest decline are unclear. Several changes in the state-funded program took effect simultaneously in August, although a Welfare Department spokeswoman said Friday that none of them pushed people off insurance.
October 25, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Unable to work for a year because of her disabilities, Billie Washington of Philadelphia has relied on the kindness of her grandmother and $200 a month in cash assistance to help cover her rent and other living expenses. Now, since the Department of Public Welfare acted in August to eliminate the monthly stipend for 67,000 people, many awaiting admission to the federal Medicaid disability program, Washington fears she may end up on the street. "I'd have to go to a shelter," Washington testified in Commonwealth Court on Tuesday when asked what might happen to her if she receives no further assistance.
October 14, 2012
John Rowe is executive director of the Utility Emergency Services Fund in Philadelphia When the Census Bureau released its annual sampling of three million people in September, the number of people living in poverty in Philadelphia was up yet again and the city's income was the second-lowest among the 25 largest cities in the country (behind only Detroit). The Inquirer published a front-page story by Al Lubrano that highlighted one frightening statistic after another, including that 40 percent of city children were living in poverty in 2011, an increase of 3 percentage points from the previous year.
October 3, 2012 |
Advocates for the disabled on Monday sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, demanding the restoration of the state's cash assistance program. The lawsuit, filed in Commonwealth Court, was filed on behalf of three former recipients of General Assistance, which had paid $205 a month to poor disabled people. Gov. Corbett and the legislature eliminated the program in June to save $150 million a year. In the filing, Billie Washington, the lead plaintiff, said she had been receiving General Assistance since last fall because rheumatoid arthritis and other illnesses had left her unable to continue working as a home health care attendant.
October 3, 2012
THREE Philadelphians with disabilities joined several advocacy groups in filing a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court on Monday challenging Gov. Corbett's elimination of the state-funded $149 million general-cash-assistance program. The plaintiffs - Billie Washington, 52; Tina Smith, 36; Opal Gibson, 58, and various organizations - are calling for a preliminary injunction to quash Act 80, which eliminated general assistance on July 31 and created a pilot block program that combined funding for several human-service programs in the state budget and gave counties the ability to allocate funding.
September 29, 2012 |
The Corbett administration has provided no help or alternatives for those hurt by the governor's decision to cut funding that paid for medication and other critical needs, the poor and their advocates told state officials Thursday. On Aug. 1, Gov. Corbett ended the state's General Assistance program, which had provided $205 a month to 70,000 Pennsylvanians. Since then, former recipients have been going without medication for diseases such as HIV and can't pay for basic needs, advocates told state officials in a meeting at the Department of Public Welfare Offices in Center City.