General Assistance Program

Program info

The General Assistance (GA) Program helps people without children pay for basic needs. It provides money to people who can’t work enough to support themselves, and whose income and resources are very low. People who get GA are also eligible for help with medical and food costs through Medical Assistance (MA) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).


To qualify for GA, you must meet income and asset limits listed below. Also, you must be unable to work enough to support yourself because you:

Are ill or have a disability (permanent or temporary)

Are taking care of someone with a disability or illness

Are in a mental, physical, or drug rehabilitation facility

Are determined unemployable by a vocational specialist and the county

Are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or waiting on an SSDI or SSI appeal

Are over 55 and can’t get a job because of your age

Have a learning disability

Have a drug or alcohol dependency

Are in a domestic violence shelter for women

Are a displaced homemaker who is a full-time student

Are doing court-ordered services that prevent you from working at least four hours a day

Are over age 18, attending high school, and English isn’t your first language, or

Are under age 18 and not living with your family.

The monthly income limits, after subtracting allowed expenses, are:

• $203 for one person

• $250 for a child under 18 not living with his or her family

• $260 for a couple.

The asset limit is $1,000 per person.

If you qualify, you also must apply for other benefits that you may be able to get, such as:

• Worker’s Compensation

• Social Security Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI)

• SSI.


The maximum monthly benefit is:

• $203 for a single adult

• $250 for a child under 18 not living with his or her family

• $260 for a couple.

Emergency funds may be available if you cannot pay for basic needs, such as shelter or food, and your health or safety is at risk because of this.


You can apply:

• Online at

• On paper using the Combined Application Form (DHS-5223) (PDF). Mail or bring the completed form to your local county human services agency.

Characteristics of GA households described in survey

More information on GA program active cases and eligible people is on the department’s CountyLink website under the County Reports/Results area.

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