General Public Assistance (GPA)

Last updated: January 25, 2024

The GPA program provides time-limited cash assistance to individuals who are disabled.

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 $100/month for a maximum of 3 months at a time.
  • Individuals who have applied for SSI benefits and who are receiving Medical Assistance (including 19-64 year olds enrolled as “expansion population”) 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.

Hardship Funds: A decision on eligibility is made within 30 days from the date of application.

Bridge Funds: A decision on eligibility is made within 30 days from the date of application.

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 individuals who are denied benefits.

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