General Assistance

The General Assistance (GA) cash program ended on August 1, 2012. GA medical assistance is still available to those who qualify.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to protecting and serving Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens while managing our resources effectively. The General Assistance (GA) program is state-funded assistance that provides money and other services for eligible individuals who do not meet the requirements of federally funded programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

All GA recipients are encouraged to work with their caseworker or visit their county assistance office (CAO) or district office to have their cases reviewed to determine if an individual is eligible for other benefits. In addition, cases with records of visual acuity issues were reviewed for eligibility for the State Blind Pension (SBP) program. Individuals with a permanent physical or mental disability have been referred to the Social Security Administration through the Disability Advocacy Program located in local county assistance offices. Additionally, the department’s county assistance offices and district offices maintains a list of other community resources to assist in directing needy individuals towards other programs that may be able to assist them. We encourage those with questions to reach out to their caseworker and talk to them about other help that may be available.

Along with the potential to receive medical and/or other benefits, other resources that are available include:

  • The Homeless Assistance Program (HAP): This program provides case management, rental assistance, bridge housing, emergency shelters and innovative supportive housing services to prevent homelessness and help homeless individuals find refuge and care. Learn more about the Homeless Assistance Program here. 
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): This program helps eligible low-income families pay their heating bills by sending cash grants directly to the utility company. The LIHEAP hotline phone number is 1-866-857-7095.
  • The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV): PCADV provides domestic violence victims with crisis intervention, counseling, accompaniment to police, medical and court facilities and temporary emergency shelter for victims and their dependent children. The PCADV phone number is 1-800-932-4632 and the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.
  • The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR): OVR serves people with disabilities that present a substantial impediment to their employment. Services provide to individuals who need assistance to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain employment. The phone number for OVR Central Office is 717-787-5244.
  • The United States Social Security Administration (SSA): SSA provides Supplemental Security Income to people who have low income, few resources, and are permanently disabled. The Social Security Number is 1-800-772-1213.