General Assistance

Reinstatement of General Assistance Program

As a result of a Supreme Court decision issued July 18, 2018, the General Assistance cash program will be reinstated in fall 2018.

We are working to update internal systems and train staff to determine eligibility and process General Assistance cash benefits. Eligible Pennsylvanians will start receiving General Assistance as soon as all updates are completed.

Applications for all forms of cash assistance will be accepted either online through COMPASS or on paper at a county assistance office.

Information will be posted in county assistance offices. If you have questions in the meantime, contact your county assistance office or call the DHS Helpline (toll-free) at 1-800-692-7462.


Other available resources

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

  • The Homeless Assistance Program: This program provides case management, rental assistance, bridge housing, emergency shelters and innovative supportive housing services to prevent homelessness and help individuals experiencing homelessness find refuge and care. Learn more about the Homeless Assistance Program. 
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: 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 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 Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation: OVR serves people experiencing disabilities that present a substantial impediment to their employment. Services are provided to individuals who need assistance to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain employment. Call OVR Central Office at 717-787-5244.
  • The United States Social Security Administration: SSA provides Supplemental Security Income to people who have low income, few resources, and are permanently disabled. Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.