We all hope that if we face a job loss or become disabled, we will have the support we need and the opportunity for a good quality of life. Strong public systems like General Assistance for the Unemployable (GAU), which is in the process of being renamed the Disability Lifeline, ensure all people can meet their basic needs when times are tough, as well as lay the foundation for economic recovery.
GAU/Disability Lifeline is more than just a social service program for people unable to work due to physical and mental disability. It is the assurance that, if something terrible happens that inhibits your ability to work, you will have some support. The $339 monthly cash grant and medical coverage that this program provides is often the difference between housing and homelessness, between a meal and going hungry. Currently, 21,000 people rely on GAU/Disability Lifeline to pay rent, cover critical medications, and pay for basic needs. Despite all of this, both the Governor and the Senate have proposed to drastically cut this much-needed program.
In their proposals, both the Governor and the Senate limit the amount of time a person can receive GAU, and the Senate reduces the already small monthly grant to a $50 stipend. This is outrageous. Now is not the time to make such drastic reductions to this crucial program. With less than one week left in the legislative session and legislators debating their budget proposals as I type, we must act NOW! We must urge our legislators to raise more revenue to protect GAU and the other critical programs that help people meet their basic needs.
Email your lawmakers or call them toll-free at 1-800-562-6000 and urge them to raise more revenue to protect the Disability Lifeline, formerly GAU, and other crucial programs. If you or someone close to you would be personally affected by the elimination of GAU or any other crucial program, please include that in your message.
Thanks for taking action to provide economic security for people with disabilities!