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Welfare General Assistance Program Ends Today

file photo(Credit: Mike DeNardo)

file photo(Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Effective today, a cash safety net for needy Pennsylvanians is gone.

The state welfare department’s general assistance program gave $200 cash payments to those with addictions, the disabled and others.  But now, the program, which has been around since the Depression, is gone — cut from Governor Corbett’s budget.

Recipient Linda Oliver says she’s losing a lifeline.

“The money that we get a month is what we pay for our rent.  And here, you’re going to take that from us and say it’s okay for us to go out and live on the street?”

But welfare department spokeswoman Donna Morgan says eliminating general assistance will save the state $150 million a year.

“We had programs that were growing at a faster rate than taxpayers could afford.”

Morgan says people who were getting general assistance payments should apply for food stamps and other programs.

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