Pennsylvania Cuts Welfare Benefits to Thousands

Wednesday, 01 Aug 2012 11:15 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Some 61,000 Pennsylvanians are losing their monthly $200 state assistance checks beginning today because of budget cuts.

Most of those affected by cuts to the General Assitance program are single adult men without children, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette citing the state Department of Public Welfare.

The program, meant to help the unemployed and disabled, actually ended in June, the newspaper reported. But state Democratic lawmakers pressed for an extra month of benefits to continue so that participants could look for another source of replacement income.

Ending the program is expected to save the state about $149 million this year in state funds, according to the Post-Gazette. But a welfare department spokesperson said medical assistance benefits under the same program, which are funded primarily with federal dollars, would still continue for about 47,000 state residents.

Individual caseworkers, meanwhile, will continue to help people who lose their monthly payments identify sources of additional income, which could include in some instances helping them determine whether they can qualify for Social Security.

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