Talking Points: Opposing Elimination of General Assistance

Thank you for being willing to call your legislator about the importance of General Assistance in Pennsylvania!

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Why General Assistance is so important:

  • This critical program provides a small amount of assistance to several thousand of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents, typically during a short period of crisis before other support services can be accessed.
  • Eliminating a program that costs the state a very modest amount of money each year is a cold-hearted attack on our at-risk neighbors
  • The $200 or so a month provided by General Assistance to these Pennsylvanians is often the difference between someone being able to pay rent and wash clothes, or ending up in a more costly shelter or hospital.
  • The assistance is usually provided for a short period of time, often as people are applying for Social Security benefits and other programs, and waiting for the applications to be processed.
  • In fact, the Social Security Administration reimburses Pennsylvania for the GA costs after the recipient has been approved.
  • General Assistance dollars pay for essential items that can’t be covered by SNAP and other programs – things like toilet paper, toothpaste, & other hygiene products.
  • Thousands of vulnerable Pennsylvanians from across the state rely on this assistance to get back on their feet; we should protect this vital lifeline for our neighbors.