General Assistance

Program Purpose

The State of Utah offers a program of limited financial assistance for adults who are unemployable and emancipated minors under certain circumstances. This program is often called General Assistance (GA).


To be found unemployable, you must have a physical or mental condition that keeps you from doing basic work activities in any occupation. Your condition must be expected to last more than 60 days. 

Self-Sufficiency Plans

In most cases, persons who get GA will have to develop a plan to achieve self-sufficiency. All GA recipients must either looking for employment or waiting on approval for Social Security disability. The state can assist you with transportation or medical care to carry out your plan.

Qualifying for GA

You must give your caseworker proof of your physical or mental impairment.  Proof can be records from your care provider. If you are not receiving treatment, you need to ask about free medical clinics in your area. The local office may also refer you to a doctor chosen by DWS for an exam.


You may own certain property and still be eligible for GA. 


You will have to be involved in an assessment from your caseworker to qualify for GA. 

Work Plans

In order to get GA benefits, you must create an employment plan with your caseworker.  You must enroll in a primary care network (PCN) unless you have other medical coverage. 

Time Limits

You can only receive GA for 6-12 months out of a 60-month period.

GA and Social Security Disability

If you feel you are unable to work and have applied for Social Security disability, it is important to apply for GA.  GA will give you financial support while your Social Security application is pending. If you are approved for SSI, any GA you have received will be taken out of your SSI back payments. When you apply for GA, you will be asked to sign a form to allow that recovery. If you are denied SSI by an Administrative Law Judge, you will no longer be eligible for GA unless another physical or mental impairment develops or your condition gets significantly worse.

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