Vázquez: Court ruling brings relief to poor or disabled residents

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 14 – State Rep. Emilio Vázquez, D-Phila., is pleased to announce that as of Monday poor or disabled residents in Pennsylvania can once again apply for the state’s General Assistance program.

“I am pleased that the court has moved to make these benefits available to Pennsylvanians who desperately need them,” Vázquez said. “For many families this could be the difference between making ends meet and falling behind.”

Previously, the program provided $205 monthly to more than 60,000 Pennsylvanians, many of whom had a temporary or permanent disability and were awaiting Social Security benefit approval. Along with people with disabilities, the program also offered cash assistance to people who were unable to work due to enrollment in a drug or alcohol treatment program, victims of domestic violence, children under 18 being cared for by an unrelated adult as well as adults caring for a sick or disabled adult or child.

In July, the state Supreme Court struck down a 2012 law signed by then-Gov. Tom Corbett that had ended the program.

“This decision reverses a wrong that was done to our most vulnerable neighbors,” Vázquez said. “When we help the less fortunate among us, the entire community benefits.”

Applications can be filed either online or at a local county assistance office. Information will be posted online at www.dhs.pa.gov. There is also a toll-free helpline available at 1-800-692-7462.

For more information, constituents can contact Vázquez’s office at (215) 425-5708.