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General Assistance

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NEWS
March 5, 1992 | by Robin Palley, Daily News Staff Writer
Gov. Casey's plans to trim the state's general assistance program perhaps won't harm women and children, but thousands of others stand to be clobbered by the proposed cuts, city officials say. "I am more determined than ever to shield our children from the economic storms that are raging around us," Gov. Casey said in his budget message last month. And he announced plans to increase aid to some children and families. But the proposed changes in general assistance could force the financially troubled city government to pick up much of the tab for care of the newly homeless, social services to the poor, and health care at already overburdened district health centers.
NEWS
July 12, 2012 | By PHILLIP LUCAS and Daily News Staff Writer
AFTER OPENING a letter from the state Department of Public Welfare on Wednesday afternoon, Alexander Fink was left wondering how he'd pay for even the simplest of necessities next month.   The Port Richmond man and more than 35,000 other Philadelphians are being cut off from the state-funded general-assistance public-welfare program, which is being terminated July 31 as part of Gov. Corbett's austere budget. "With that cash, you pay for your basic needs, your toiletries, a bill — I'm on lifeline for my telephone company, and my co-pays for my prescriptions," said Fink, who is disabled.
NEWS
April 28, 1994 | By Frederick Cusick, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Jo Ann Engard figures the cuts Gov. Casey has proposed for Pennsylvania's general-assistance welfare program are going to generate a lot more business for her. Engard runs the Hospitality Center in Norristown. It's a daytime center for the area's homeless - a place where they can wash up, pick up their mail or leave their bags while out on job interviews. A lot of her clients get general assistance, the state's basic welfare program. Those between 18 and 44 are dubbed "transitionally needy" and given about $200 per month, three months a year, plus some medical benefits.
NEWS
October 23, 2012 | By Amy Worden, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
August 2, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
In Nicetown, Marie White is wondering how she will continue to feed a 10-year-old neighbor for whom she has become a surrogate mother. In North Philadelphia, Linda Oliver does not know how she will pay her gas and water bills. And at Recovery King in Germantown, employees are asking if they will have to turn away recovering addicts. Those worries have festered for months, since Gov. Corbett announced the end of General Assistance (G.A.), a program that helps 70,000 of Pennsylvania's poorest and sickest residents.
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 28, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
November 19, 1996 | By James M. O'Neill, INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
Gov. Whitman's plan to cut off welfare assistance after five years and require that recipients work won approval from key state Senate committees yesterday, but endured major tinkering that does not sit well with the governor. The most radical elements of Whitman's welfare overhaul were not challenged and drew little debate during two days of hearings, principally because they are being required under recently enacted federal laws. The package of four bills received bipartisan support, after Whitman staff negotiated changes over the summer with Sen. Wayne Bryant (D., Camden)
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 25, 2014 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
February 24, 2013 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 25, 2012 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
September 29, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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