General Public Assistance (GPA)

The GPA program provides time-limited cash assistance to individuals who are disabled. To be eligible for cash assistance, an individual must first be found eligible for Medical Assistance (see Health Care – Medical Assistance).

Who Qualifies?

  • Individuals having a physical or mental disability that will last longer than 30 days and prevents the person from working. These individuals may receive GPA “Hardship Fund” benefits of up to $200/month for a maximum of 3 months at a time.
  • Individuals who have applied for SSI benefits and who are receiving Medical Assistance through the Department of Human Services are entitled to receive $200/month in “Bridge” payments.  Payments continue until a decision on eligibility for SSI is made. If ineligible, repayment is not required. If found eligible for SSI, the total amount of the payment is refunded to DHS out of the person’s retroactive SSI check.
  • Must be a citizen or legal immigrant. Lawful permanent residents (green card), refugees, persons granted asylum, persons granted conditional entry or paroled into the U.S. are eligible.

Income and Resource Limits

The resource limit is $400. The home in which the person lives is not counted. A car worth less than $4,650 and a car that is specially equipped/designed to transport a person with a disability are not counted.

The income limit is $327/month for an individual and $449/month for a couple.

How to Apply

Apply at the local DHS office. To find the nearest office contact DHS, (401) 462-5300.

A decision on GPA is made within 30 days from the date of application. If found eligible for GPA, the recipient can request “Hardship Funds.” A decision on Medical Assistance is made within 90 days from the date of application.  If found eligible for MA, the individual can request “Bridge” payments.

If the request for Hardship Funds is denied, there is no appeal. If the request for Bridge payments is denied, the applicant has 30 days to file a written request for an appeal.

RI Legal Services (1-800-662-5034) may provide assistance to families that are denied benefits.