Posted 1 year ago on April 15, 2012, 4:17 p.m. EST by GirlFriday
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If you’ve never heard of state-funded General Assistance (GA) programs, you’re hardly alone. A “safety net of last resort” for very poor people—often childless adults—who don’t qualify for other forms of public assistance, there aren’t too many of them still in existence. Not too long ago most states offered them, but in recent decades they have been eliminated or severely restricted. Now, only thirty states maintain GA programs, and the benefit level for most falls below one-quarter of the poverty line, or less than $2,750 per year.
...“Poor, childless adults are becoming even more vulnerable to severe hardship than in the past and are doing so in greater numbers,” write the authors.
One state that still maintains a GA program is Pennsylvania where 68,000 people—or just about one in every 200 residents—receive about $205 per month (five counties offer a little more, twenty-eight counties a little less). But when Republican Governor Tom Corbett released his budget in February he proposed eliminating the program entirely as of July 1. A final budget must be passed and signed by that date, and with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, legal aid lawyer Michael Froehlich of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia says, “It’s not looking good.”
READ the REST HERE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/14-3