The budget approved by Pennsylvania legislators last week eliminates $200-a-month general-assistance payments for the state’s poor, disabled, and unemployable residents, reports Bloomberg.
Pennsylvania is the ninth state to reduce or eliminate such aid since last year. The move will save $150-million, according to a spokeswoman for the state Welfare Department.
The program generally supports childless adults who are disabled or the victims of domestic violence. Michael Froelich of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia predicted that the cut would increase homelessness because the general-assistance funds often help people cover rent while awaiting approval of federal disability benefits.
Casey Miller, a Welfare Department spokeswoman, said federal mandates on providing other aid forced Pennsylvania to look to state-funded programs to cut its deficit. “Pennsylvania has its hands tied … and this was one instance we were forced to eliminate” a program, she said.