General Assistance Unemployable

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General Assistance Unemployable (GAU) is a social welfare program in Washington state that provides cash and medical benefits for persons who are physically and/or mentally incapacitated and unemployable for 90 days from the date of application. It is state funded and administrated by the Department of Social and Health Services.

Who is eligible:
Persons who:

  • Are "incapacitated" (unable to work)
  • Are at least 18 years old, unless married
  • Meet income and resource requirements
  • Meet citizenship/alien status requirements
  • Reside in Washington State
  • Agree to have their needs for medical treatment and referral assessed

You cannot get GAU benefits if:

  • You are eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits or State Family
  • Assistance (SFA) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • You are eligible for SSI
  • You are an ineligible spouse of an SSI recipient
  • You were denied benefits or your benefits were terminated by the Social Security Administration for failing to follow a program rule or application requirement.

As with other cash programs, there is a $1,000 resource limit requirement for the GAU program. Certain items, such as a home you live in, or vehicle equity up to $5,000, are not counted. Income is also considered.

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