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Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Announces New Emergency Assistance Program

May 13, 2020

On Friday, May 8th, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services announced a new, temporary cash assistance program for low-income families to help them get back on their feet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the Program?

Eligible families will receive a one-time payment based on their family size. For example, a family of three may receive a payment ranging from $730 to $842, depending on their area.  The cash will be issued through EBT cards.

Income requirements are listed below:

Who is Eligible?

Families are eligible if they meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • They are pregnant or have kids under 18.
  • At least one family member was working on March 11th and experienced an hour or wage reduction of at least 50% for at least two weeks or lost employment entirely due to the public health crisis.
  • They have an income below 150% of the poverty line.
  • They have assets or savings of less than $1,000.

How do I Apply?

Families can apply beginning Monday, May 11th through the state’s benefits application website, COMPASS, or by a paper application submitted to the local County Assistance Office. County Assistance Offices are closed to the public, but families can drop off an application in a secured mailbox where it will be reviewed.

Families should be prepared to submit all necessary documentation with their application to expedite processing and avoid having to apply again.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply?

  • Proof of income (one month’s worth of employment, rental, or self-employment income; unemployment benefits award letter; SSDI benefits award letter; pension or retirement income; withdrawals from IRA, dividends or investment income; etc.)
  • Most recent checking or savings account statements
  • State ID
  • Proof of address (a bill or another form of mail addressed to the applicant)

Applications will be accepted through Friday, June 12th, or until grant money runs out.